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Plan S could limit the amount of research published, warns society

Image: Oxyman [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Economic Society has expressed concern that the open-access initiative Plan S could be detrimental to institutions with lower income.

While the society “supports the principle of open access”, it fears that under the current Plan S guidelines research may be “less easily available due to competition for funds for article processing charges”. These are fees charged by publishers to make scientific papers available in open-access journals. Lower-income institutions are likely to struggle to pay these fees, the society said. 

“We are concerned that Plan S as stated will adversely affect groups with less access to funding, thereby exacerbating differences between the haves and have-nots,” it said on 7 February. The society was responding to a public consultation on the Plan S implementation guidelines, which closes on 8 February.

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