January 21, 2022

cOAlition S (Plan S): A Coalition of European Research Funding Organisations Announces Commitment to Make Open Access to Research Publications a Reality by 2020

UPDATE September 12, 2018 Relax Everyone, Plan S is Just the Beginning of the Discussion and Most Plan S Principles are Not Contentious (via Unlocking Research)

UPDATE September 12, 2018 COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories) Releases Response to Plan S (2 pages; PDF)

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) welcomes the strong stance taken towards open access by a coalition of 11 European Funders, coordinated by Science Europe as outlined in “Plan S” and we strongly support the goal of accelerating the transition to open access.

Read the Complete Response

UPDATE September 5, 2018 Perspective: “Science Without Publication Paywalls: cOAlition S for the Realisation of Full and Immediate Open Access” (via PLOS Medicine)
by Mark Schlitz, President, Science Europe

In this Perspective, a group of national funders, joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council, announce plans to make Open Access publishing mandatory for recipients of their agencies’ research funding.


From the Official cOAlitionS Launch Announcement/Science Europe:

On 4 September 2018, 11 national research funding organisation, with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles.


cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: “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 11 national research funding organisations that form cOAlition S have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission including the ERC. Other research funders from across the world, both public and private, are invited to join cOAlition S.

Read the Complete Launch Announcement

Resources From cOAlition S/Science Europe

List of Funding Organizations

Austria Austrian Science Fund FWF
France French National Research Agency ANR
Ireland Science Foundation Ireland SFI
Italy National Institute for Nuclear Physics INFN
Luxembourg National Research Fund FNR
Netherlands Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO
Norway Research Council of Norway RCN
Poland National Science Centre Poland NCN
Slovenia Slovenian Research Agency ARRS
Sweden Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning FORMAS
UK UK Research and Innovation UKRI
  • European Commission, including the European Research Council





European Science Funders Ban Grantees From Publishing in Paywalled Journals (via Science)

The announcement delighted many OA advocates. “This will put increased pressure on publishers and on the consciousness of individual researchers that an ecosystem change is possible,” says Ralf Schimmer, head of Scientific Information Provision at the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich. Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, calls the plan “admirably strong.” Many other funders support OA, but only the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation applies similarly stringent requirements for “immediate OA,” Suber says.


But traditional publishers are not pleased. The plan “potentially undermines the whole research publishing system,” a spokesperson for Springer Nature, which publishes more than 3000 journals, wrote in an email to ScienceInsider“Implementing such a plan, in our view, would disrupt scholarly communications, be a disservice to researchers, and impinge academic freedom,” adds a spokesperson for AAAS, Science’s publisher. “It would also be unsustainable for the Science family of journals.” The world’s biggest academic publisher, Elsevier, declined to comment, referring instead to a statement by the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers that urged “caution” and said “above all, it is vital that researchers have the freedom to publish in the publication outlet of their choice.”

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1070 words)

From Nature:

As written, Plan S would bar researchers from publishing in 85% of journals, including influential titles such as Nature and Science. According to a December 2017 analysis, only around 15% of journals publish work immediately as open access (see ‘Publishing models’) — financed by charging per-article fees to authors or their funders, negotiating general open-publishing contracts with funders, or through other means. More than one-third of journals still publish papers behind a paywall, and typically permit online release of free-to-read versions only after a delay of at least six months — in compliance with the policies of influential funders such as the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).


“The plan is roughly what one would want after about 15 years of funder experimentation with weaker policies,” says Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Open Access Project and the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We are very supportive of the ambition set out in Plan S,” adds Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a large private biomedical charity in London. He says the funder is finalizing a new open-access policy.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1680 words)

See Also: EU and National Funders Launch Plan For Free and Immediate Open Access to Journals (via ScienceBusiness)

See Also: Scientific Journals Have to Tear Down Paywall; Open Access For All (via dutchnews.nl)

See Also: Research Funders Unite to Break Publishers’ Stranglehold (* Research)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.