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Publisher offers open-access answer to Plan S

Image: biblioteekje [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0], via Flickr

The academic publisher Springer Nature has suggested a route that companies could take to adopt immediate open-access publication of research papers in compliance with initiatives such as the controversial Plan S.

Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing officer at Springer Nature, said in a blog post published on 7 May that the company had gone “back to the drawing board” over Plan S. This is because the funders backing the Europe-led plan have insisted that they will not fund open-access publication in hybrid journals that also charge subscription fees—despite pleas from some publishers—unless those journals are transitioning to a full open-access model.

Under Plan S, funders will require the researchers they support to make their research papers openly available immediately and with permissive licences through approved channels from 2020. The initiative has proved highly controversial, with a lack of universal support from funders making it far from guaranteed that the plan will force a wholesale switch to immediate open access. 

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