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Plan S and Springer Nature on collision course over author rights

Publisher says it “expects author agreements to be respected” even if they contradict funder agreements

The scholarly publisher Springer Nature has set itself on a collision course with the Plan S open-access initiative by announcing that in certain circumstances it will ask authors to sign an agreement that would be incompatible with terms the authors have agreed with their funder.

In Plan S, funders require the researchers they support to make resulting papers openly available immediately. For example, if papers are published behind a subscription paywall, the researcher will be required to also make the accepted manuscript openly available from a repository. Researchers will have to sign up to these conditions in their grant agreement with their funder.

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