On 28 September, the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP), a High-Level Group of stakeholders tasked to advise the European Commission on Open Science policy, and to which EuChemS belongs, met to discuss the latest updates on Open Science in Europe, and in particular, ‘Plan S’. The plan aims to accelerate the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications. A coalition of national funding agencies have signed up to the plan and as of January 2020, will require all journal articles based on research that they fund to be published immediately open access in compliant open access journals and platforms. Hybrid journals will not be considered compliant, except for time-limited truly transformational regimes.
Although a European initiative, Plan S aims to be global in reach, and funders from across the world have been invited to join. However, the current landscape in which Plan S would be implemented is far from optimal. Under Plan S, many researchers would be limited in their choice of journals in which to place their work – leading to inequality and removing freedom of choice. Moreover, many well-established and respected journals would no longer be eligible. This, tied with the likely outcome that neither the US, China or India sign up to a rapid transition to Open Access, risks decreasing the visibility of European science on the global stage.
EuChemS remains concerned that many implications of Plan S continue to be disregarded and many questions left unanswered. The lack of willingness to revisit the recommendations of the plan leaves much to be desired, and the concerns of Learned Societies remain often overlooked. Only with an inclusive discussion with all stakeholders can an ideal way forward, which works for everyone, be found.
Reports, minutes and other information on the OSPP meetings can be found online here.