The Committee for Open Science’s recommendations for the implementation of Plan S

News from committee
25/01/2019

The Committee for Open Science has made recommendations on the 10 points of the Plan S in response to a request from the French National Research Agency (ANR). The ANR signed the Plan S and thus committed to scientific publications which it funded being published in open access in journals or on platforms as of the 1st of January 2020 and to the authors of these publications keeping their copyrights with no restrictions.

This is a major step towards open access but the implementation of this kind of commitment in such a short period of time can only be achieved – to put it simply – by initially following the two existing and non-exclusive routes: the publication of journals and books in open access (“Gold Open Access”) and deposits in open archives (“Green Open Access”).

It is essential, while basing the approach on existing elements, to also consider the development of other more innovative methods. The Plan S expresses the need to establish strict criteria of conformity for the services of journals and platforms eligible but also seems to focus on the hypothesis of the “APCs” (Who will pay them? What is the maximum amount?) without explicitly considering alternative economic models of the “Diamond” type and also by reducing the potential for the editorial innovation of open archives.

Therefore, the ANR which has to implement Plan S must take into account open access journals at no cost to the authors in its roadmap, alternative business models of the “Diamond” type and open archives, thus respecting the diversity of models advocated by the Jussieu Call for open science and bibliodiversity signed by the majority of French research institutions.

It is in this direction that the specialized groups of the Open Science Committee (Open Scientific Publishing Group and the Bibliodiversity Building Project Group) composed of researchers from various disciplines and professionals of scientific and technical information (STI) have studied the following recommendations with a view to implementing Plan S in phase with our European colleagues. General recommendations are presented first and then the 10 points of Plan S are discussed in order.