What is cOALition S?
On 4 September 2018, a group national research funding organisation, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles.
cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its 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 from 12 countries who have have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission and the ERC. Other research funders from across the world, both public and private, are invited to join cOAlition S.
The initiative was born from the cooperation between the Heads of the participating Research Funding Organisations, Marc Schiltz the President of Science Europe, and Robert-Jan Smits the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission. It also drew on significant input from the Scientific Council of the ERC.
An implementation task force, lead by John-Arne Røttingen (RCN) and David Sweeny (UKRI), will now collaborate with other stakeholders and work towards the swift and practical implementation of these principles.
The 10 Principles of Plan S
The key principle is as follows:
“After 1 January 2020 scientific publications on the results from research funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- When Open Access publication fees are applied, their funding is standardised and capped (across Europe);
- The Funders will ask universities, research organisations, and libraries to align their policies and strategies, notably to ensure transparency;
- 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;
- 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;
- The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the above principles;
- The Funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliance.
- Preamble by Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe
- 10 principles of Plan S
- List of participating national funders
- Press release by Science Europe (04/09/2018)
- Statement by Commissioner Carlos Moedas (04/09/2018)
- Statement by the European Research Council (04/09/2018)