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Plan S

Plan S

What is Plan S?

Plan S is an open access publishing initiative that aims to accelerate the transition to full and immediate open access to research outputs. Plan S has one target and ten principles, along with guidance for implementation. The principles of Plan S include:

  • all scholarly publications should be immediately open access immediately (no embargo)
  • authors or institutions should retain copyright to their work
  • outputs must be published with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY)
  • research should be assessed on its intrinsic merit, not the publication venue
  • Plan S is not supported by the "hybrid" model of publishing

Plan S outlines three possible routes to compliance:

  1. Publishing in fully open access journals or platforms
  2. Open access in repositories without embargo
  3. Transformative Agreements

Plan S is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders including the European Commission, UKRI and the Wellcome Trust, who have agreed to implement the principles of Plan S together in a coordinated way.

Rights Retention Strategy

Under the Plan S Rights Retention strategy, cOAlition S funders will change their grant conditions to require that a CC BY licence is granted to all future research articles arising from grant funding - Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) or Version of Record (VoR), or to require that all research articles are licensed with CC BY. Funders require set text to be included in article submissions, in the funding acknowledgements section and in any covering letter.

Wellcome Trust: 'For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.'

UKRI: ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a ‘Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising' [or wording to this effect].

NIHR: 'For the purpose of open access, the author has applied [a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising'

Where permitted by the funder, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead’. To use the CC BY-ND licence, you may need to apply to the funder for an exception. Read more on the funder policies webpage.

What does Plan S mean for researchers?

cOAlition S funders have committed to implementing Plan S through their open access policies.

Wellcome Trust open access policy 2021 requires immediate open access with a CC BY (only) licence to peer-reviewed original research articles. Wellcome Trust open access policy for monographs and book chapters has not changed.

UKRI open access policy requires immediate open access with CC BY licence to journal articles submitted from 1st April 2022 and open access within 12 months to long form outputs (monographs, book chapters, edited collections) published from 1st January 2024. The UKRI open access review will feed into a review of the Research Assessment Exercise; until a new policy is launched, current REF open access policy applies.

Check compliance of your chosen journal with your Plan S funder using Journal Checker Tool.

How is the University of Exeter responding to Plan S?

The University of Exeter policy for managing central open access funds outlines how funds will be prioritised to support publishing in open access journals, full open access platforms and publisher Transformative Agreements. This aligns with the aim of Plan S to deliver immediate open access to research outputs and the principle not to support the “hybrid” model of publishing. The University signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in June 2020. DORA aims to improve the way in which outputs of research are evaluated, eliminating the use of journal-based metrics and focussing on the intrinsic merit of research itself, a key principle of Plan S.