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Transition to immediate open access publishing under Plan S will be smooth, promise backers

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 27 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5019
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London, UK

A coalition of research funders has outlined how a new system called Plan S,1 which aims to ensure full and immediate open access science publishing by January 2020, should be implemented.

The guidance2 contains 10 principles that the group, called cOAlition S, says are immovable. But the group is seeking views from stakeholders on implementation in a consultation ending on 1 February 2019.

Plan S aims to establish science publication without paywalls—a system, the coalition says, that will be more transparent, efficient, and fair, fostering a culture that ensures all scholars, and in particular early career researchers, have the opportunity to excel and advance their careers.

So far, 16 funding bodies have signed up to it, mostly national funding agencies of countries including Austria, France, and the UK, but also private funders such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome.

Critics in science publishing have said previously that the move will not support high quality peer review, research publication, and dissemination, while others said that research funding agencies should align rather than act in small groups in ways that are incompatible with each other.3

On 26 …

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