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DRI welcomes important new Open Access initiative


DRI welcomes Plan S and the cOAlition S: full and immediate Open Access to research publications paving the way for Open Science

A new plan and supporting initiative were launched on 4 September 2018 to ensure that full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications will become a reality by 2020. Through its Open Access Envoy, Robert Jan Smits, the European Commission, in collaboration with Science Europe, the European Research Council, and 10 supporting national research funding bodies, have come together to form the cOAlition S. The coalition is jointly committing to a single objective and 10 supporting principles (Plan S), designed to accelerate the transition to Open Access by 1 January 2020.  

In a nutshell, the Plan S states that:

  • All articles funded by public grants must be published in OA journals or made available on OA platforms.
  • Access must be immediate, no embargo periods are allowed
  • Authors will retain their copyright, and all publications will be available under an open license (preferably CC BY).
  • Where publication fees apply, they will be standardised and capped across Europe. These will not be covered by the individual researchers who have the right to publish their work Open Access even if their institutions have limited means.
  • “Hybrid” journals are not considered compliant with the Plan S principles.
  • Funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliance.

In particular, the Plan S acknowledges “the importance of open archives and repositories for hosting research outputs … because of their long-term archiving function and their potential for editorial innovation”.

The Digital Repository of Ireland is committed to Open Access and the realisation of Open Science as an overarching vision and therefore welcomes Plan S. At a national level, DRI supports the commitment of Science Foundation to this initiative. Commenting on the initiative, DRI Director Dr Natalie Harrower said:

"Open Access to research publications is one of the priority areas in the European Open Science agenda, with persistent, open access to FAIR research data not far behind. Through our involvement in the National Open Research Forum, (which feeds into Innovation 2020) and through dedicated projects improving DRI’s capacity for preservation of research datasets, we are committed to playing our part in the international effort to open up scientific research for the purposes of transparency, research integrity, and citizen access. We also contribute to the coordination and furthering of this internationally, through the Research Data Alliance Europe H2020 project and the European Commission’s FAIR data expert group, amongst other initiatives."

DRI acknowledges the plan as an effective tool to make the ambitious Open Access objective a reality, provided the funders take immediate action in reviewing the grants assessment criteria, their policies, and overall strategy while at the same time ensuring that researchers are not left without the means to openly share their work results.

DRI has been long promoting the principle that publicly-funded research, publications, and data should be openly available to discover, share and reuse. We will continue to provide best-practice repository services, education and training, and contributions to policy definition at both national and international levels.

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