Sconul welcomes UKRI commitment to open access “Plan S”.

UKRI and Science Foundation Ireland along with nine other European funding agencies have signed up to “Plan S”. The plan is seen as a transformative development towards achieving full open access to research outputs.

The key principle of Plan S is as follows-

“After 1 January 2020 scientific publications on the results from research funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms”.


• Authors retain copyright of their publication with no restrictions. All publications must be published under an open license, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution Licence CC BY. In all cases, the license applied should fulfil the requirements defined by the Berlin Declaration; 

• The Funders will ensure jointly the establishment of robust criteria and requirements for the services that compliant high quality Open Access journals and Open Access platforms must provide; 

• In case such high quality Open Access journals or platforms do not yet exist, the Funders will, in a coordinated way, provide incentives to establish and support them when appropriate; support will also be provided for Open Access infrastructures where necessary; 

• Where applicable, Open Access publication fees are covered by the Funders or universities, not by individual researchers; it is acknowledged that all scientists should be able to publish their work Open Access even if their institutions have limited means; 

• When Open Access publication fees are applied, their funding is standardised and capped (across Europe); 

• The Funders will ask universities, research organisations, and libraries to align their policies and strategies, notably to ensure transparency; 

• The above principles shall apply to all types of scholarly publications, but it is understood that the timeline to achieve Open Access for monographs and books may be longer than 1 January 2020; 

• The importance of open archives and repositories for hosting research outputs is acknowledged because of their long-term archiving function and their potential for editorial innovation; 

• The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the above principles; 

• The Funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliance. 

See the announcement from Science Europe and the announcement from UKRI.