Earlier this week, a group of nearly 750 researchers from around the world published an open letter expressing serious concerns with Europe’s controversial Plan S. Announced on September 4, 2018, and scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020, Plan S would regulate private sector publications that report on publicly funded research, imposing a host of requirements that, among other things, would: (1) undermine intellectual property (IP) protection for these publications, (2) prohibit researchers from publishing in the vast majority of journals, and (3) impose government price caps on open access publication fees. Thirteen of the 43 major national research funding organizations in Europe have signed on to Plan S, and the plan’s proponents are actively soliciting additional support in Europe and abroad.
In their letter, the researchers conclude that “Plan S is a serious violation of academic freedom” that “strongly reduce[s] access to (and possibilities to publish in) suitable scientific journals of high quality, with a direct consequence that it also strongly restricts our choice of countries with which we can conveniently collaborate with or sustain lasting exchange programs.”
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) shares these concerns. “It is the strong view of the U.S. publishing industry that Plan S is ill-conceived and unsustainable,” said Maria A. Pallante, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAP. “Plan S is a violation of academic freedom to publish and is a disservice to all who rely upon credible research literature. Plan S devalues and disrespects the publishing industry threefold: it imposes strict regulations on an innovative private sector marketplace; it creates market access barriers for American publishers; and it places unreasonable constraints on individual researchers.”
See Also: Reaction of Researchers to Plan S: Too Far, Too Risky
“Plan S Open Letter”