Plan S

What is Plan S?

Plan S is an open access publishing initiative that aims to accelerate the transition to full and immediate open access to research outputs. Plan S has one target and ten principles, along with guidance for implementation. The principles of Plan S include:

  • all scholarly publications should be immediately open access immediately (no embargo)
  • authors or institutions should retain copyright to their work
  • outputs must be published with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY)
  • research should be assessed on its intrinsic merit, not the publication venue
  • Plan S is not supported by the "hybrid" model of publishing

Plan S outlines three possible routes to compliance:

1. Publishing in fully open access journals or platforms
2. Open access in repositories without embargo
3. Transformative Agreements

Plan S is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders including the European Commission, UKRI and the Wellcome Trust, who have agreed to implement the principles of Plan S together in a coordinated way.

Plan S Rights Retention Strategy

Under the Plan S Rights Retention strategy, cOAlition S funders will change their grant conditions to require that a CC BY licence is granted to all future research articles arising from grant funding - Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) or Version of Record (VoR), or to require that all research articles are licensed with CC BY. This will give researchers supported by cOAlition S funders the freedom to publish in any journal they choose, whilst continuing to be able to comply with Plan S principles and their funder policy by making their work immediately open access with a CC BY licence. Read the FAQs.

What does Plan S mean for researchers?

cOAlition S funders have committed to implementing Plan S. The Plan S principles apply from 01 January 2021, but individual funders’ open access policies will differ in the date from which they apply.