Plan S has now undergone a consultation, and upwards of 600 responses that were received have been analysed. The revised implementation guidance contains several changes, including a one-year extension of the timetable.
Formas and Coalition S have considered the viewpoints expressed in the consultation responses. The timetable for launching the plan’s open access requirements has therefore been extended by one year. Mandates for immediate open access will thus apply to research projects that receive funding in calls that open after 1 January 2021. This means that the new rules will apply to papers published starting from around 2024.
“Plan S is an initiative aimed at transforming the entire publishing landscape. Pushing back the mandate for immediate open access by a year facilitates this transition and gives all concerned better opportunities to prepare,” says John Tumpane, Head of Department at Formas.
Plan S principles have also been updated. They now emphasise that funders will adapt their guidelines on assessing research applications based on the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). These state that research should be assessed based on its quality, not on where it has been published.
Plan S is an initiative promoting immediate open access to scholarly publications. We are in the midst of a transition towards open science. Formas sees many benefits in this. For example, articles that are published using open access are more widely disseminated and are cited more frequently.
At present, many scientific articles lie behind expensive paywalls. Businesses, decision-makers in municipalities and government agencies, schools and the general public are often excluded from immediately accessing the knowledge that the public has funded. At the same time, the costs of scientific subscriptions are increasing at a rate that makes it difficult for universities to access articles, something which has become starkly apparent in view of Bibsam Consortium’s terminated agreement with Elsevier.
“In order to achieve the objectives of Agenda 2030, we’ve got to build up more knowledge through research and innovation. It is vital for all of society to gain immediate access to the latest research results, since we have to take action based on the best knowledge available,” says Formas Director-General Ingrid Pettersson.