Building on researchers' feedback
In seeking compromise, participants suggested three points to move forward:
- put the onus on publishers to seriously consider switching their journals to non-article processing charge models of open access, particularly Green open access;
- seek more clarity from cOAlition S on specifically how they will address problems arising from the fact that the initiative is not yet global, and encourage cOAlition S to continue pushing for more countries to sign up; and
- use the extended timeframe to spread the word about Plan S among more researchers, as there are still very many researchers who are unaware of the changes, and they need to be given time to feed in their views and prepare.
As the biggest open access publisher in the chemical sciences, the Royal Society of Chemistry recognises the benefits of open access: it allows wider knowledge dissemination, removes reading restrictions in its gold form, and offers more opportunities for researchers to improve the visibility of their work and build a strong reputation. We are working to make sure that the transition to open publishing is smooth, fair and sustainable, with no compromise to quality, or to editorial and ethical standards.
We publish the largest fully open access journal in the chemical sciences, RSC Advances, and our flagship high impact journal, Chemical Science, is both free to read and free to publish in (we support these costs). We’ve also led the way for chemistry by developing and agreeing forward-thinking Read and Publish deals in 10 countries, with major institutions like Max Planck. You can read more about all these initiatives on our open access pages.
Responding to the recent changes to Plan S, our Director of Publishing, Dr Emma Wilson, said: "We’re pleased that cOAlition S have taken a broad range of stakeholders’ feedback into account in revising their Plan S guidelines – but there’s more work to do to incorporate the views of researchers.
"cOAlition S’s explicit recognition of the role of learned societies in scholarly communications is welcome and we echo the view that learned and professional societies are partners in this transition.
"We welcome cOAlitions S’s recognition of concerns voiced by researchers but more direct action is needed to mitigate them – including the unintended consequences of an uncoordinated global roll-out, and the potential cost implications for unfunded researchers.
"We will continue to engage with our community, and support a smooth, fair and sustainable transition to open access publishing that does not considerably add to the workload of researchers or impact on their career progression."