Openaccess plan draws online protest

first_img Hundreds of scientists are pushing back against Plan S, a plan to crack down on scholarly journals’ paywalls, launched 2 months ago by 11 national research funders in Europe. In an open letter published on 5 November, about 800 signatories say they support open access (OA)—making papers available free to all readers online—but condemn Plan S as “too risky for science.”The letter slams the plan’s decision to stop paying for researchers to publish in so-called “hybrid” journals of scientific societies such as the American Chemical Society. Hybrid publications earn revenue from both reader subscription fees and article processing charges (APCs) paid by authors who want to make their papers immediately accessible. “Effectively Plan S would block access to exactly those journals that work with a valuable and rigorous peer-review system of high quality,” the letter says.Robert-Jan Smits, OA envoy for the European Commission in Brussels and one of the architects of Plan S, says he has “enormous respect” for the work of learned societies, but no tolerance for some journals’ “sometimes outrageous” subscription fees. Hybrid journals were meant as a step to help subscription journals move toward full OA, he says, but they have endured as profitmaking ventures that rely on public funding, without a clear exit in sight. By Tania RabesandratanaNov. 8, 2018 , 9:55 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Open-access journals’ article processing charges are often paid by research organizations’ libraries. pidjoe/iStock Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Open-access plan draws online protest Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Plan S stipulates that funders will pick up the bill for APCs, which the letter signers see as a gift to publications that charge authors, instead of readers. (Some OA journals are free for both readers and authors.) Lynn Kamerlin, a structural biologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, who penned the open letter, says this move will provide an incentive for journals to publish a high volume of papers, rather than fewer, higher-quality articles.In the 2 months since its release, Plan S has sparked heated debate, in part because its 10 principles are very brief statements that leave room for interpretation. Smits says the implementation plan, set to be announced at the end of the month, will flesh out the details and be open for public consultation. “We won’t step away from our goal of full, immediate OA,” he says, “but we can discuss how to get there.” Email But Kamerlin says the Plan S definition of OA is too narrow. She hopes that instead of joining Plan S, funding agencies will “come up with strong models that respect authors’ choices and the full diversity of open access.”The Swiss National Science Foundation, for one, did not sign Plan S, although it has publicly stated its support. Unlike Plan S, the foundation’s OA policy allows its researchers to publish in a subscription journal first, and later make papers available in an OA repository.The open letter also warns that Plan S would endanger collaborations between grantees of funding bodies that apply Plan S rules and the rest of the scientific world, which can often publish papers in journals that have a paywall.Currently, 13 government agencies and charitable organizations have signed on to Plan S. This includes France’s National Research Agency and UK Research and Innovation, as well as the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together, these funders spend about $11.2 billion on research every year.last_img read more