Chat is offline

Plan S

What is Plan S?

Plan S, an initiative of cOALition S, was launched in September 2018 with the goal of achieving full and immediate Open Access to publications. Members of cOAlition S include the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)  UKRI, Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Plan S implementation received a major update in 2021..

Plan S is not "a policy" but a set of principles that endorsing members have agreed to implement. It starts with the idea that no science should be locked behind paywalls. Therefore, research publications funded by Plan S members "must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo". 

cOAlition S endorses several strategies to encourage subscription publishers to transition to full and immediate Open Access (OA). These approaches are referred to as “Transformative Arrangements”. NUI Galway Library is negotiating with publishers such deals. Examples are our Open Access deals with an increasing number of publishers of different sizes. You can also be compliant with Plan S by submitting your paper (Version of Proof or Author Accepted Manuscript) to a repository like ARAN (without embargo).

Please consult the FAQs below for further guidance or get in touch if you have further questions.

What are the possible routes to be compliant with Plan S?

There are three main routes to Plan S compliance according to SFI's Open Access Policy:

  1. Publication in fully Open Access journals or platforms. You can find more than 15,000 Open Access journals listed in the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals). Will OA publication fees be covered by SFI? The Policy states: "Where  OA  charges  apply,  SFI  will  support  a  contribution  to  costs  in  open  access venues".
  2. Publication in ‘hybrid’ journals (i.e. Open Access within a subscription journal) only under transformative agreements. You can take advantage of the Publishing Deals NUI Galway Library has arranged with a growing number of publishers (such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley etc.).
  3. Deposit of Versions of Record (VoR) or Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in Open Access repositories without embargo and licensed with a Creative Commons licence: CC BY or CC BY SA (or CC BY ND on a case by case basis if your funder agrees). This is the Green Open Access version and you can use our institutional repository ARAN for this. An important element of this is the inclusion of the following “Rights Retention” statement upon submission of SFI-funded original research to peer-reviewed journals, as required by SFI. See text under point 1g) in SFI's Open Access Policy.

I am funded by SFI. What do I need to know about Plan S?

Science Foundation Ireland is a partner of cOAlition S and has updated its Open Access Policy accordingly. It states that "all  SFI-funded  publications  (Version of Record e.g. final published version or Authors Accepted Manuscript) must be made openly available".

From 1st January 2021 the following is in effect:

  •  All publications must be immediately available from the date of publication (no embargo will be permitted).
  • Where  OA  charges  apply,  SFI  will  support  a  contribution  to  costs  in  open  access venues or subscription journals with transformative agreements (e.g. agreements to include or offset these costs against subscription costs). SFI funds may not be used to support publication in subscription journals where transformative agreements do not exist and SFI will not support costs associated with non-OA publishing.
  • Publications must be available under a CC-BY licence unless an exception has been granted by SFI in advance.
  • Copyright shall be retained by the authors / institutions.
  • Grantholders must  include a specific acknowledgment statement. Two versions are available on SFI's OA Policy (under g.).

SFI have also published an FAQ regarding Open Access Policy and you can watch an explanatory video (23 minutes) on Youtube. Please note that when you publish using a transformative agreement that is facilitated by the Library will make you compliant (if you choose the CC-BY licence option).

Plan S stipulates that authors (or their institutions) retain copyright to their publications. How does that work?

cOAlition S has developed a Rights Retention Strategy to give researchers supported by a cOAlition S Organisation (such as SFI) the freedom to publish in their journal of choice, including subscription journals, whilst remaining fully compliant with Plan S.

The implementation of this will depend on the Plan S member. Some cOAlition S Organisations will require their grantees to apply a CC BY license to all future AAMs which arise from their funding (prior licence). Other cOAlition S Organisations will impose an obligation on their grantees that their research articles, either the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or Version of Record (VoR = the published version), are licensed CC BY (prior obligation). At the time of writing of this FAQ (August 2020), SFI have not yet published how they will respond to the Rights Retention Strategy.

Why is this important? Retaining the copyright of your AAM or VoR means you can legally deposit a copy in an institutional repository such as ARAN without an embargo(Green Open Access). Therefore you can achieve compliance without paying a Article Processing Charge (APC).

cOAlition S will give notice to publishers about these new grant conditions.

Look also at this FAQ for more information.

Does depositing a preprint make my publication compliant with the SFI Open Access policy?

No. SFI encourages researchers to publish preprints however the SFI Open Access policy requires that the Version of Record (VoR) or Authors Accepted Manuscript (AAM), after peer-review must be made openly available. A preprint would not fulfil this criterion. (Source: SFI)