Plan S – making full and immediate Open Access a reality

Published on
January 18, 2021

Plan S is an Open Access publishing initiative by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. From 2021 all research publications ensuing from research grants by cOAlition S partners must be published Open Access fully and immediately. Which consequences does Plan S have for researchers at WUR?

To what research does Plan S apply?  

    Plan S concerns all research financed by funders who have committed to implement Plan S. For WUR, Plan S primarily applies to calls from NWO, including ZonMw, and the European Commission. NWO has already announced its new Plan S compliant Open Access policy for calls as of January 2021. The guidelines for the Horizon Europe calls are to be expected.

    How to comply with Plan S?

    Research publications should comply with the following key requirements:

    • Immediate Open Access

      Publication of the publisher’s version, i.e. the Version of Record (VOR) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) without embargo.

    • Publish under an open licence

      Preferably the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY).

    Several routes can be followed to meet these requirements:

    • Open Access journal or platform route

    - Publication in a full Open Access journal or on a platform registered in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR);

    - Open Access publication in a transformative journal approved by cOAlition S. Or, for NWO grants, in a journal under a transformative agreement between the Dutch universities and publishers;

    • Subscription journal and repository route

    - Publication in a journal of choice. Either a subscription journal or archiving the Version Of Record or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript in an Open Access repository, such as Research@WUR. The chosen repository should be registered in OpenDOAR.

    Rights Retention Strategy

    If you choose to publish in a subscription journal, the Rights Retention Strategy lets researchers retain their rights to use, dependent on your publisher, either the AAM or the VOR. This includes sharing within academic networks, with whomever they choose under CC BY conditions. As such, you are allowed to make your publications open via the ‘repository route’ (see above). COAlition S has notified publishers of this strategy and developed a PDF with a summary and which steps to follow.

    Journals compliant with Plan S

    The Journal Checker Tool allows you to easily check whether a journal is compliant with Plan S. Simply select the journal of your choice, your funder and your institution to see whether the journal is compliant and which publication options are available to you.

    Please note that the Journal Checker Tool is still in beta version; not all VSNU and WUR-specific publisher agreements may have accurately been included yet. If in doubt, please contact WUR Open Access support.