More than 600 researchers have signed a letter pushing back against Plan S, the initiative from research funders to increase uptake of open-access publishing.
Plan S, under which funders will support only those researchers who report their work immediately in open-access journals and platforms from 2020, was “probably written with good intentions”, the researchers said in the letter, which was published on 5 November. But it “goes too far, is unfair for the scientists involved and is too risky for science in general”, they said.
The letter said that Plan S’s intended ban on subscription journals and hybrid journals that combine open-access and subscription models is “a big problem”, as researchers might not be able to publish in more than 85 per cent of existing journals. Furthermore, it said that researchers might not even be able to read these journals if funders stop subscribing to them in order to pay open-access publication fees.