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Formulaire de recherche

Open Access

Plan S - Principles and objectives

Plan S is an initiative from a consortium of European funding agencies and private foundations (named cOAlition S), supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC). Launched in September 2018, it came at a time when accessibility of publicly funded scientific research results was increasingly restricted by the high subscription costs imposed by several major scientific publishers.

Since January 2021, the terms of Plan S have required researchers who obtained public funding from participating granting organizations to make the resulting scientific articles freely available. Unlike most North American funding agencies requirements, these publications must be made freely and immediately available as they are published.

Here are some observations regarding the guiding principles of Plan S:

  • Plan S applies to all types of scholarly publications, though applying this to books and book chapters will require more time and adjustments.
  • The granting agencies encourage business models for scientific publications that allow for reasonable publication fees to be charged by publishers, so that all publications in a journal be freely available. These fees could be covered by the member granting agencies and not by the authors.
  • cOAlition S does not support the hybrid open access model adopted by several scientific publishers. This model implies that a publisher can charge a fee to make an article available in open access, while continuing to publish articles that are accessible only by subscription.
  • Authors should retain the copyrights to their publications and publish their work under an open license, for example a Creative Commons CC-BY license. This would allow them to freely reuse their own images, figures, and tables from previous publications without having to ask permission.
  • The members of cOAlition S are aware that developing reliable criteria will be important to evaluate the quality of the services offered by publishers and/or to assist them in order to improve the overall quality of the publishing process.
  • Compliance with Plan S requirements will be monitored and those who do not comply will be penalized, although the details are not specified.

See all the guiding principles of Plan S on their website.

For more general information on Plan S, see this article published in Nature in April 2021: A guide to Plan S: the open-access initiative shaking up science publishing.

Plan S - Implications for researchers at Polytechnique Montréal

International Collaboration

In their research activities, several Polytechnique Montréal researchers may collaborate with European researchers or other researchers receiving funding from granting agencies that have joined cOAlition S. Over the next few years, in the context of the internationalization of Polytechnique Montréal's activities, these collaborations could intensify.

The collaboration of researchers from Polytechnique with other researchers subject to the Plan S requirements will indirectly result in an obligation to publish in open access in accordance with the Plan S terms and conditions. It could then be mandatory to make the articles resulting from these collaborations immediately available in open access.

Research funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)

On June 1, 2021, the Chief Scientist of Quebec announced that the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) had decided to join cOAlition S and to support the principles of Plan S. Until July 2022, the FRQ's Open Access Dissemination Policy required that scientific articles published in a scholarly journal by researchers or students receiving FRQ funding be made available in open access within 12 months of publication.

In June 2022, the FRQ announced the publication of a revised Open Access Dissemination Policy to scientific publications. This revised Policy requires that publications resulting from FRQ funding be made available in open access immediately upon publication. This Policy generally applies to publications funded by awards or grants launched on or after July 1, 2022, with the exception of certain FRQ infrastructure grants which may be effective between now and July 2023.

Plan S - Member or Supporting Organizations

cOAlition S is made up of about 20 national research funding organizations, mostly from Europe, but also from the Middle East, Africa, and Quebec.

To find out if a funding organization is part of cOAlition S, consult the list of member organizations. You can also consult the list of organizations officially supporting Plan S.

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