UK funders have appointed a consultancy firm to explore new business models for learned societies, as the controversial open-access initiative Plan S threatens existing revenue streams.
The Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers have commissioned the company Information Power to propose how learned societies could be compliant with Plan S but still operate sustainably. In the past few months, learned societies have expressed concerns over Plan S as they rely on hybrid journals to cover publishing costs and generate an income to support other work. Hybrid journals are not compliant with the current Plan S guidelines.
Wellcome’s head of open research Robert Kiley said in a statement that these societies play an important role in “supporting researchers and contributing to a vibrant research ecosystem”. He added: “We are keen for them to be successful in transition to open access in line with Plan S.”