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The guide to setting up Plan S


The cOAlition S has just published the guide to setting up Plan S.

The document is seven pages long, and it provides the elements about the rules to respect so that scientific publications are in harmony with plan S. It should be noted that all the articles resulting from research financed by the members of cOAlition S must be accessible to the public as soon as they are published, without any period of embargo, by publication in open access journals or on open access platforms, or by deposition in open archives.

Concerning journals and platforms, the coalition recommends the use of Creative Commons (CC) licences: it demands CC-BY licences, allows CC-BY-SA and CC0 licences, but refuses the CC-BY-NC licence. Furthermore, they must be registered, or in the process of registration, in the DOAJ inventory. Other criteria are indicated so that they conform to Plan S requirements, such as the fact that the journal or the platform must offer the authors/institutions the possibility of retaining the whole of their copyright without any restrictions, that they should benefit from a solid peer-based evaluation system according to the norms of the field and those of the ethical committee with respect to publications (COPE), that there should be a guarantee of the permanence of the contents and transparency of prices.

Concerning open archives, the coalition also declares any constraints such as the absence of an embargo, the same requirements for CC licences as those for journals and platforms, registration of the deposition policy in Sherpa Romeo and high-quality metadata in standard formats. The archives must be indexed in OpenDOAR or an application for this must be made.

On the subject of publication costs (APC, article processing charge), the coalition calls for the highest level of transparency and efficient management of costs. It accepts to pay for the APC in hybrid journals, provided that they fall within the framework of a “transformative agreement”, i.e. are transformed into a totally free access model. These journals benefit from a transition period to conform to the Plan S requirements. From 2020 onwards, the new agreements drawn up between Universities and publishers must respect certain conditions to conform, notably the agreements, including costs, must be made public and must not last longer than three years. cOAlition S underlines that members are obliged neither to conclude such agreements nor to finance the APCs that are covered by this type of agreement. Moreover, to clarify “normalization” of costs and/or APC ceilings, the cOAlition S will order an independent study of the prices and costs of publication in open access (including APCs).

Books are not concerned for the moment.

The guide is open for discussion until February 1st 2019.