Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Plan S and its Impact on the Scholarly Publishing Community


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sponsor of the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2019 offers this insight into the impact of PlanS on the industry.


“Starting from January 1, 2021, all scholarly publications that result from research funded by public grants or private grants must be published in Open Access Platforms or Journals, or made available in Open Access Repositories without any embargo period.”

Gaining momentum and attracting feedback from researchers, publishers, funding organizations, and others involved in scholarly publishing, Plan S has been a topic of global debate since its launch in September 2018 and has led to a revised version released by cOAlition S on 31 May 2019.

If successfully implemented, Plan S will allow unrestricted use and access to publicly funded research and redefine the ways scholarly publications are published, read, and shared. Are you ready for this change?

The absence of a detailed structure and steps to achieve the desired outcome brings forth a lot of confusion. Various technical aspects of Plan S, including publications and transition agreements, are not well defined. Though Plan S implementation is supported by various organizations like the European Research Council (ERC) and other funding bodies, some publishers believe that it’s an impractical solution with no robust guidelines. This leaves researchers with meager or no additional financial support, and many publishers are concerned about the impact on future revenue.

A collective observation of the feedback and comments received on the Plan S implementation guidance reveals that individually and organizationally many support Plan S’ goals. Agreeing to the broader perspective, publishers across the globe are prepared to create a sustainable and “open accessible” scholarly publication system.

So what does it mean for different stakeholders?

The noble cause of making publicly funded research freely available to the public is generally feasible for researchers who are supported by grants for their research and allied expenses. However, it has been noted that not all research streams are uniformly assisted by funding agencies, and thus burdening the publishers of less funded streams even further.

Publishers have major concerns about the prohibitions by Plan S against publication in hybrid journals and various other subscription models. This occurs as a major downside, especially for small- and medium-sized scholarly publishers. They anticipate that the projected revenue loss will have a more debilitating effect.  Additionally, it increases the need, to put it in its best light, to innovate in terms of finding sources of additional revenues for publishers already struggling to make ends meet.

With an objective to establish publishing and content sharing in the era of OA, platform providers offer solutions that cater to the entire publishing life cycle. These platforms are flexible and agile, and can be customized to suit the requirements of modern publishers. Backed by an innovative and knowledgeable approach, these solutions offer customer-centric interfaces and superior operational experience to publishers and authors. As an example, with guidelines, processes, and pricing in a transparent Platform as a Service environment, APC’s pricing can be kept transparent as authors pick and choose from the authoring services and tools affordable to them.

About MPS Limited

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platforms help solve complex business problems through intuitive and scalable technology. Our Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings are powered by domain expertise, scalable architecture, and highly secure hosted environments. These offerings include Content Workflow and Production, Content Management, Hosting and Delivery, Usage Analytics, and also Custom Development. Strengthening and innovating our platforms in line with OA objectives, we also cater to the entire publishing value chain, starting right from manuscript submission through production to content delivery.


See the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing Finalists lightning session at our Annual Conference on 11-13 September, where the winners will be announced.

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