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Plan S open-access initiative asks researchers for feedback

Survey looks at impact of open-access policy on publishing practices and career progression

The open-access initiative Plan S has asked researchers for feedback on their experiences when publishing papers in accordance with its principles. 

Under Plan S, a group of mainly European funders are requiring the researchers they support to make resulting papers openly available immediately and under conditions such as that they or their institutions must retain copyright over their work.

The initiative has proved highly contentious since it was announced in 2018, with some researchers complaining about a loss of autonomy as well as some publishers saying it will undermine their business models and in turn scholarly publishing more broadly.

Launched on 10 May, the survey will gather anonymous data that will be used by Coalition S, the funders signed up to Plan S, to “understand how to support researchers in their varied publishing journeys”.

The survey asks a series of multiple choice questions before giving researchers the opportunity to provide written comments on their experiences and career progression.

It also asks if researchers are aware of the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy, after the initiative launched a campaign last month to help authors of academic papers to assert their intellectual property rights.

The survey builds on pilots carried out last year.