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Plan S needs a deus ex machina

Dutch scientists are at loggerheads over the potential impact of the open-access initiative Plan S. An independent party could help develop a compromise, says Erik te Roller.

One thing scientists in the Netherlands agree on is that open access is good. At a consultation meeting on Plan S last month, organised by the NWO national research council and ZonMw, which funds health research, the 250 participants declared themselves unanimously in favour of open access.

However, opinions are strongly divided on the timing of the introduction of Plan S, a document whose signatories have vowed to make all the research they fund available for free immediately. Some high-profile journals that charge readers for access will be forbidden territory for researchers funded by the NWO and the rest of the plan’s signatories.

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