Publicly funded research output should neither be hidden behind paywalls nor be a ‘pay-to-publish’ game. This is one of the core tenets of the Position Statement titled ‘Opportunities and Challenges for Implementing Plan S – The View of Young Academies’, which is the result of discussions among several European young academies and the Global Young Academy (GYA). The joint Statement was released on 15 October 2018.
According to the Statement, ‘We consider Plan S as a bold step that has the potential to be a game-changer in making European science open and setting an example globally on how publicly funded research is published, in particular its requirement that the copyright remains with the author and that licences adhere to the Berlin Declaration.’
Driven by the voice of several national young academies and spearheaded by members of the GYA’s Open Science working group, the Statement considers the set of principles offered by Plan S to be ‘an invitation to contribute to shaping the research ecosystem and its impact on society as whole. At the same time, given the large room for possible interpretation and implementation, there is much concern that Plan S may not lead to the positive changes that we, as young scholars, think are necessary.’
Moritz Riede, Immediate Past Co-Chair of the GYA, added: ‘Plan S is ambiguous, and a wide range of implementations is possible, from scientific dystopia to a system where open access – a central part of open science – can really thrive. We young academies consider becoming engaged paramount, and are willing to contribute to shaping the implementation of Plan S to ensure that it benefits society as a whole.’
The joint Statement is a reaction to ‘Plan S’, which was launched on 4 September 2018 by cOAlition S, with support from the European Commission and the European Research Council. The thrust of ‘Plan S’ lay in its subtitle: ‘Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications’.