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Plan S fails to convert sceptics

Attempts by the funders backing the Plan S open-access initiative to clarify their plans seem to have increased divisions in the academic community.

The scheme will require grant-winners to make their work openly available immediately from 2020. Researchers will be compliant with Plan S even if they publish behind a paywall in a subscription or hybrid journal, but only if they also make the accepted or final version of their paper immediately available in a repository, the funders said in guidance published on 27 November. Few journals allow this at present.

Koen Vermeir, a member of the executive committee of the Global Young Academy, told Research Europe that the academy remained ambivalent about Plan S. He questioned how it will affect researchers who are young, lack resources to pay open-access fees and work in neglected fields not well served by publishers.

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