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Gates and Wellcome join Plan S, launching it into the charity sector

The Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, two of the world’s largest charitable research foundations, have signed up to Plan S in a watershed moment for the controversial open-access initiative.

The UK charity the Wellcome Trust and the Gates foundation in the United States, which together spent a total of more than €2 billion on research in 2017, announced on 5 November that they were joining Plan S. They said their move was intended to “ensure that research findings are shared widely and are made freely available at the time of publication”.

Funders that sign up to Plan S will require research papers reporting work they have supported to be made openly available immediately in approved journals and platforms from 2020. The initiative launched in September with the commitment of 11 European national funders plus the European Research Council, and has since been backed by two more European national funders. Wellcome and the Gates foundation are the first non-public funders to sign up, and the Gates foundation is the first funder based outside Europe to do so.

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