POST: Chasing cows in a swamp? Perspectives on Plan S from Australia and the USA

In a recent post during Open Access Week, Beatrice Gini (University of Cambridge) interviewed Danny Kingsley (Scholarly Communication Consultant) and Micah Vandegrift (Open Knowledge Librarian at NC State University) about Plan S, an Open Access publishing initiative launched in 2018 that requires publicly funded scientific research to be published in open repositories and journals by 2021.

From the post:

In this Open Access Week, we look East and West to find out how Plan S is being received across the globe. Dr Danny Kingsley explores how reliance on foreign students has trapped Australian universities in a ‘Faustian bargain’ with publishers and reduced the scope for change. Micah Vandegrift reports on the type of conversations that Plan S has inspired in the USA, as well as the potential political barriers, sounding a note of cautious optimism.

The uptake of Plan S or equivalent principles in countries beyond Europe is crucial to the overall success of the movement. Publishers are using the fact that uptake currently has limited geographic scope to stall change, arguing that they cannot alter their model to suit the requirements of a relatively small percentage of authors. The number of supporting funders is still small and concentrated in Europe, with a few US players. China initially looked set to join in and thus change the game, but since the end of 2018 we have seen little progress on that front. Has Plan S been successful in shaping conversations around the world?

Hearing from our colleagues in other countries highlights some of the promises and challenges Plan S is facing in making an impact outside Europe. Learning about those raises a number of interesting points for how we advocate for open access at home too.

Kingsley and Vandegrift address issues of politics, economics, and barriers and incentives for researchers for local and global implementation of Plan S and a broader open research ecosystem.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Adriana Cásarez, Criss Guy, Erin McCabe, Alessandra Otero, and Heather Rogers (Editors-at-large for the week), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (Editor for the week), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Linsey Ford, Pamella Lach, and Ian Goodale (dh+lib Review Editors).

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