Plan S releases revised guidelines; many publishers remain unconvinced
Following its recent feedback exercise, which received more than 600 responses, cOAlition S has released revised guidance on the implementation of its Plan S initiative, which aims to accelerate the move to full open access for all government-funded research. Foremost among the changes, summarised here, is a year’s delay in the implementation of its mandates, from January 2020 to January 2021, to allow more time for ‘researchers, institutions, publishers and repositories to adjust’. The revised guidelines also specify that the transition period will continue to 2024, with a formal review of the plan’s effects taking place by the end of that year. And though Plan S now supports a wider range of transformative arrangements, that support is only confirmed until 2024, while hybrid journals remain entirely unsupported. The plan’s principles also now reflect a commitment made by the funders to revise methods of research assessment along the lines of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
Responses from publishers were mixed. Open access publisher the Public Library of Science (PLOS), all of whose journals are already Plan S compliant, welcomed the revisions’ acknowledgment of a range of open access models and its encouragement for sharing preprints. But Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the Publishers Association, reiterated that the policy changes proposed in Plan S need to be sustainable for all parties, and that ‘very significant concerns around the scale, speed and potential unintended consequences of its implementation remain’. The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), though ‘glad to see specific mention of Learned Societies’, warned that the timeline remained ‘very ambitious’. And though Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature, welcomed the emphasis on transformative deals and transitional arrangements, he too warned that the deadlines involved might be counterproductive, dissuading institutions from entering into transformative deals that stretched beyond the cut-off point of 2024.
As cOAlition S steps up its work towards the implementation of Plan S, it has appointed Neil Jacobs, head of open science and research lifecycle at JISC, as its as interim programme manager, working three days a week from June until December.
Transformative deal for Springer in Qatar
Springer Nature has announced a three-year transformative read and publish deal with a consortium led by the Qatar National Library that will give researchers from participating institutions access to over 2,250 journals from Springer Nature imprints and the opportunity to publish without charge in more than 1,850 Springer hybrid journals.
PLOS offers peer review publication
All seven journals published by PLOS will now offer authors the option of publishing their peer review history alongside their accepted manuscript, as part of the organisation’s move towards a more open publication process. This history will include the editor’s full decision letter, complete with reviewer comments and authors’ responses for each revision of the manuscript; it will also have its own Digital Object Identifier (DOI), enabling reviewers to take credit for their contributions.
Two new deals for Hindawi
Hindawi has announced two new partnerships. An alliance with China-based scholarly publishing specialists the Charlesworth Group will see the latter help deliver Hindawi’s marketing strategy in China through key social media and content channels. Closer to home, a deal with customer insight solutions provider DataSalon will make freely available insights on submissions, acceptances, publications, turnaround times, numbers of authors, and article usage at an individual journal level.
The ALPSP has announced the appointment of Wayne Sime as its permanent chief executive, after six months serving in an interim capacity.
Clarivate Analytics Executive Chairman Jerre Stead will take over as company CEO on 30 June, replacing Jay Nadler.
Kudos has announced the integration of its plain language article summaries and author perspectives into the research impact assessment platform provided by ResearchFish, giving research funders access to summaries of the publications resulting from the work they have supported.
Discovery platform ScienceOpen has announced a partnership with Tsinghua University Press that will integrate six of the press’s journals as featured collections in the ScienceOpen Super Collection ‘Tsinghua University Press’, increasing their discoverability while adding interactive functionality such as community curation and article reviews.
SAGE will be publishing the biannual open access Journal of Orthopaedics, Trauma and Rehabilitation (JOTR) in partnership with the Hong Kong Orthopaedic Association (HKOA) and Hong Kong College of Orthopaedic Surgeons (HKCOS).
Alastair Horne is a PhD student at the British Library and Bath Spa University.