Plan S: an update

Open access baubles on Christmas tree

Well, it’s 4 weeks to Christmas and that means that it’s 5 weeks until the first funders commit to Plan S! On 1st January 2021, Wellcome Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will officially be Plan S-ers.

What follows is a quick reminder of what this will mean to researchers at LSHTM, what you need to know, and some handy tools to help you out.

So, tools. Probably the best one in anyone’s toolbag: The Journal Checker Tool

The big news is that yesterday, 18th November 2020, cOAlition S’s long-awaited Journal Checker Tool (JCT) has launched! I’ve had a quick play on it, testing out imaginary publishing scenarios, and so far it’s easy to use and to interpret the results.

It gives all the possible ways of complying with Plan S, taking into account both your funder and your affiliation, giving you a tailored response: transformative agreement, fully open access journal, or self-archiving using rights retention.

What is Rights Retention?
#RetainYourRights hashtag

The Rights Retention Strategy is cOAlition S’s strategy to allow self-archiving (green open access) to form a compliant option for Plan S funders. They have written to publishers and notified them that, if you inform them on submission that “the AAM resulting from [your] submission carries a CC BY public copyright licence” then you can deposit the accepted manuscript in a repository (for example LSHTM’s Research Online) for immediate open access from the publication date.

If the journal objects, cOAlition S say they’ll argue the case so you won’t have to.

They’ve even made a handy PDF summarising this and giving an example of the statement you provide upon submission.

The Research Publications Team Plan S information and discussion session

We held a drop-in session for Open Access Week 2020 and recorded it. It goes into Plan S specifically at LSHTM, and answers some questions from viewers on that day. We’ll be holding more of these in the coming months and are also happy to answer questions via Service Desk, or come along to departmental meetings etc if you’d like an opportunity to pick our brains!

You can watch the recording here and we’ll also put it on Service Desk.

Other places to get information and guidance

cOAlition S are the driving force behind Plan S. Their website is the first port of call for all Plan S news and well worth a look. They’re on Twitter too.

The Wellcome Trust is continually updating their page: Complying with our open access policy

UKRI have announced that they will be following Plan S from January 2022 so they state that “you should follow the RCUK policy on open access and REF 2021 open access policy until further notice. No changes will be made to the REF 2021 open access policy” You can keep up with them here.

What should you be doing now to prepare?

The Wellcome Trust have said that 1st January 2021 is the cut-off date for submissions so anything submitted before this date will still be subject to the current open access policies. This means that if you are hoping to publish in a hybrid journal which is not under an LSHTM transformative agreement (at time of writing we have signed up to agreements with Wiley and Sage, but use the journal checker tool for more up-to-date information) then it’s time to think about submitting!

Familiarise yourself with the Journal Checker Tool, and other tools like DOAJ (the Directory off Open Access Journals, which could come in handy for ideas of where to publish) and Sherpa/Fact, the Funders & Authors Compliance Tool.

Chat to us! Ask us anything on Service Desk, schedule a phone call, or get us along to a departmental meeting. We’ll also be in touch with any more drop-in sessions we run.