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LERU makes ten recommendations for the implementation of Plan S

The aim of Plan S – open access in science – is quite right, says the League of European Research Universities (LERU), of which Leiden University is a member. But the proposed implementation plan will cause too much difficulty for researchers and institutes. LERU has therefore come up with ten recommendations on how to support the implementation of Plan S.

Open access is good for research and for researchers themselves because it removes the barrier of high subscription fees. It can also speed up research because results from all around the world can easily be shared. LERU therefore wants universities and research institutes to do all they can to realise open access. The aim is to create a global scientific community that is based on the principles of open science.

LERU endorses the aim of Plan S, the European Commission’s plan to make (European) science fully open access. But how the Commission wants to implement Plan S, and in particular the speed at which this should happen, has met a lot of resistance from institutes and researchers. Having consulted all of its members, LERU has now come up with ten recommendations on how to implement Plan S.

LERU's recommendations for Plan S

  1. The timescales for implementing Plan S should be lengthened. This will give publishers time to adapt their infrastructure, for example.
  2. The European funders who have signed up to Plan S are responsible for about 10% of the total global research budget. This makes it essential that countries such as China, the United States, Canada and India sign up.
  3. Plan S needs to be more precise about what constitutes a transformative deal and about how Article Processing Charges (APCs) will be treated. 
  4. New forms of publishing platform should also receive attention. The emphasis should not only lie on Gold Open Access journals and publishing with APCs. 
  5. The technical demands made by Plan S will increase university costs. Publishers should assist universities with meeting these demands. 
  6. The academic community and its organisations are keen to engage with the promoters of Plan S to help deliver a solution that works for all stakeholders.
  7. Researchers need clarity on how the funding agencies behind Plan S will judge the quality of research-project applications and researchers.
  8. Universities need more clarity on the impact that Plan S will have on career progression, particularly for early career researchers. 
  9. Plan S supposes that one size fits all, whereas different approaches in different subject communities in different parts of the world would be more effective. 
  10. The promoters of Plan S should undertake further engagement with all stakeholders and work with them to deliver a satisfactory plan.

Read the full LERU statement

Open access at Leiden University

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