Academia Europaea Cardiff Knowledge Hub’s 30th anniversary reception, held on 14th January, featured a lively discussion on Plan S, an initiative for open-access science publishing. Plan S was launched in September 2018 by an international consortium of research funders, cOAlition S, supported by the ERC and launched by Science Europe.
Prof Ole Petersen, the Hub’s Academic Director, and Dr Mangala Srinivas, Chair of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), introduced the topic, followed by audience discussion.
Although Plan S is seen as a force for change and is supported by some very important funding bodies, such as UKRI, the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation, there remain a number of challenges and some institutions remain cautious. There are challenges for researchers. They include those trying to build their career through publishing in high-impact journals that are not generally open-access, and those who do not have the advantage of research grants to meet the costs of publishing fees, often in developing countries. At the same time, it was recognised that the academic publishing industry may undergo a fundamental transformation, with new not-for-profit publishing initiatives and fresh publishing strategies adopted by learned societies and others.