Kent preparation for Plan S – Making full and immediate Open Access a reality

What is

Clouds unzipping to reveal blue sky

There is an increasing amount of interest, from many areas, in ‘Plan S’ and how it will affect open scholarship, academic publishing and research funding. Below is a short summary of what ‘Plan S’ is, what the next steps are and how we are preparing for the introduction of this at Kent. If you have any particular concerns, then do please get in touch with me – I’d be happy to talk more and in more detail about aspects of this.

What is PlanS?

PlanS is a target, with 10 underlying principles that have been agreed by some of the major European Funders, including UKRI, the ERC and the European Commission. The target is:

“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.”

The 10 principles are outlined here and cover licensing, archiving, copyright and funding. In particular, there are 2 points that have been most discussed:

  • The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the above principles;
  • The Funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliance.

There have been a number of responses from publishers, as this represents a major step in the move towards open scholarship that is not reflected in current practice – some work has been done on possible transition models  and the details on implementation are not yet available.

For more information, see the Plan S website.

What are the next steps for PlanS?

  • An implementation task force, lead by John-Arne Røttingen (RCN) and David Sweeney (UKRI) are working with other stakeholders towards the practical implementation of these principles. They have released draft guidance for consultation for feedback by 1/2/2019.
  • There is a UKRI review of their open access policy in early 2019.
  • There are many outstanding questions on how Plan S will work in the UK – e.g. which research outputs will count as funded (Research England sits alongside the individual research councils under UKRI in the new structure), how work co-produced with industrial funding will work, or what counts as a ‘research output’ for Plan S. We hope that many of these will be answered in the two implementation plans as above.
  • Increasing involvement for other funders – the Wellcome Trust have announced their new open access policy which is explicit on applying only to research articles and the requirements for a responsible metrics policy and implementation, and the Gates Foundation are developing their policy. More funder involvement is being sought.
  • Publisher responses to PlanS to provide platforms that are compliant with the principles.

How is Kent preparing for this?

  • We will be responding to the request for feedback on the implementation plan – if you have any comments, please contact by January 16th.
  • Information, support and options regarding open access are available here and will be updated as required: Choose your route to Open Access – key links
  • All articles must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY): Copyright and Licences
  • Kent has both signed DORA and adopted the Leiden Manifesto – our statement on fair assessment of research is here and some of the steps to implementation are here. We will continue our work to align policies and procedures at Kent with these principles.
  • We are reviewing our IP policy to ensure that is line with the principles required by the funders.
  • We will continue to review and develop our repository service to ensure they are compliant with the new implementation policies. The current Kent Open Access policy allows the greatest degree of sharing within the expectations of publishers and scholarly practice.
  • We have an Office for Scholarly Communication! We are aware of these changes and are keen to ensure that the researchers and research at Kent are as informed as possible to make the appropriate choices for their work. Do get in touch with us with any questions. As more information and details become available, we will pass them on.

Leave a Reply