Plan S is an initiative of cOAlition S, a consortium of 20 organizations for research funding, promoted by the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC).
cOAlition S has been launched on September 4, 2018 with the purpose of accelerating the transition towards a complete and immediate open access to research publications. At the present time, cOAlition S consist of 16 national research funding organizations and 4 charitable foundations. Thirteen countries agreed on actuating the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated manner, together with the EC and the ERC. Italy is represented by INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare [Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics].
The initiative is focussed on Plan S, 10 principles with the purpose of:
"With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo".
In a nutshell, the 10 principles of Plan S focus on the following key points:
- authors have to retain the copyright on their publications, transferring some rights through Creative Commons licenses;
- after a "clearly defined timeframe", funders will not allow their support to the publishing on hybrid journals (i.e. traditional journal upon subscription paid by the institutions);
- it would be established a ceiling on the expenditures for publication (APC, Article Processing Charge) requested by Open Access journals;
- where applicable, funders would pay for APCs.
The guidelines on the actuation of plan S have been published on November 27 and were left open to the general audience until February 8, 2019.
The publication of Plan S has raised a debate with contrastive opinions.
The initiative keeps stimulating a good number of reactions from the international scientific community. An overview of the broad debate is available in the "In Depths" section.