Plan S

Information on developments relating to Plan S, a new initiative for Open Access from participating research funders under cOAlition S.

cOAlition S

The implementation of Plan S is driven by cOAlition S. Launched in September 2018, this group of national funders is co-ordinated by Science Europe and is supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC) in fulfilling one main principle:

By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.

cOAlition S currently comprises 13 national research funding organisations and three charitable foundations, including:

  • UKRI (representing the research councils, including BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC and NERC)
  • The Wellcome Trust

cOAlition S website

The 10 principles of Plan S

The main principle of cOAlition S is to be achieved by the implementation of 10 supporting principles:

  1. Authors retain copyright of their publication with no restrictions. All publications must be published under an open license, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution Licence CC BY. In all cases, the license applied should fulfil the requirements defined by the Berlin Declaration;
  2. The Funders will ensure jointly the establishment of robust criteria and requirements for the services that compliant high quality Open Access journals and Open Access platforms must provide;
  3. In case such high quality Open Access journals or platforms do not yet exist, the Funders will, in a coordinated way, provide incentives to establish and support them when appropriate; support will also be provided for Open Access infrastructures where necessary;
  4. Where applicable, Open Access publication fees are covered by the Funders or universities, not by individual researchers; it is acknowledged that all scientists should be able to publish their work Open Access even if their institutions have limited means;
  5. When Open Access publication fees are applied, their funding is standardised and capped (across Europe);
  6. The Funders will ask universities, research organisations, and libraries to align their policies and strategies, notably to ensure transparency;
  7. The above principles shall apply to all types of scholarly publications, but it is understood that the timeline to achieve Open Access for monographs and books may be longer than 1 January 2020;
  8. The importance of open archives and repositories for hosting research outputs is acknowledged because of their long-term archiving function and their potential for editorial innovation;
  9. The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the above principles;
  10. The Funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliance.

10 principles of Plan S from the cOAlition S website

Poster of 10 principles of Plan S from the cOAlition S website

Licensing types explained on the Creative Commons website

The Berlin Declaration

Guidance and consultation

Further guidance on the implementation of Plan S was published on 27 Nov 2018. The guidance was open for public consultation until 08 Feb 2019 (extended from 01 Feb 2019). Further to a series of public meetings, the University has submitted a response to the consulation, available from the Scholarly Communications Plan S pages. 

University of Edinburgh response to the Plan S consultation

Plan S pages from Scholarly Communications

Guidance on the implementation of Plan S (27/11/18) from the cOAlition S website

Give feedback on the guidance on the implementation of Plan S on the cOAlition S website

Further information

UKRI statement on joining cOAlition S

Wellcome Trust updated Open Access policy in light of Plan S