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Watered down Plan S will not curb publishers’ power

The latest version of the international effort to boost open access publishing makes too many concessions to commercial interests, says Curt Rice.

The aim of Plan S was to radically change the model for the distribution of published research, by forcing recipients of funding from several national research councils, charitable funders and the EU to publish their results in open-access journals.

Confronting publishers whose business model sometimes appears to be to milk universities until they have nothing more to give was a noble aim. Unfortunately, the outcry following the plan’s publication in September 2018 seems to have softened the resolve of its architects to the point where it is now difficult to see the plan having much effect.

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