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Coalition S consults on draft plan for ‘responsible publishing’

Reliance on article-processing charges is “forcing a rethink” of how to achieve open access

Funders participating in the Plan S open-access initiative have revealed that they will consult with the research community on a draft proposal for responsible publishing.

Under Plan S, the Coalition S group of funders requires immediate open access to papers reporting research they have supported. On 10 July, the group announced plans to run a large-scale consultation with the research sector on its draft proposal for a “community-based communication system fit for open science in the 21st century”.

According to the group, academic publishing practices have “not kept up with the rapid advances in the way science is performed, openly disseminated and used”, while there is an increasing reliance on article-processing charges—per-article fees paid to publishers for open-access services.

These issues are “forcing” funders to “rethink how best to deliver open access in a responsible, equitable and sustainable way”, the group said.

Coalition S said it was developing a proposal for a new academic communication system that would “empower scholars to share the full range of their research outputs, and participate in new quality-control mechanisms and evaluation standards for these outputs”.

It is looking for a contractor to carry out a consultation on the draft proposal to gather the opinions of the research community.

The consultation aims to find out whether the draft serves the needs of researchers, would garner broad support, avoids unintended consequences and could be delivered using existing infrastructure.

The draft proposal will be published once a contractor for the consultation has been appointed. Applications for that are due by 4 September.