Skip to main content

Support for Researchers at the University of Derby

Plan S

What is Plan S?

A critical development for the future of Open Access. 

On 4 September 2018, cOAlition S – a group of national research funders, supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council – launched a new open access (OA) publishing initiative called Plan S, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021. It aims to accelerate the transition towards full and immediate Open Access to research publications by committing to the following:

"With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo'. 


What are the key points of the Plan?

​​​​​​Plan S is built on a framework of 10 principles, supported by implementation guidance. These documents (revised recently following a public feedback exercise) include the following key points: 

  • Authors or their institutions to retain copyright of their publications.
  • Funders will not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless such journals commit to changing their business model within a clearly defined timeframe.
  • Plan S principles apply to all scholarly publications but it is recognised that the timeline for achieving OA for monographs and books will be longer and will necessitate separate guidance.
  • Authors to publish under an open licence, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.
  • Funders may opt to standardise or cap the reimbursement of OA publication fees if the fees charged by publishers are deemed unreasonable.
  • Funding agencies will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliant beneficiaries/grantees.

cOAlition S principles also include a commitment to changing the academic reward and incentive system by supporting the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) that research should be assessed on its own merits rather than on the basis of the venue in which the research is published. 

Ahead of the 1 January 2021 deadline, cOAlition S has committed to undertaking 9 priority actions over the next few months.


Research Funders and Plan S

UKRI, a founding member of cOAlition S, is currently reviewing its OA policy to align with Plan S principles.

A consultation on its proposed policy ran from 13 February 2020 until 29 May 2020. Members of staff from the University Library and URKEO crafted an institutional response to the consultation document to showcase the University of Derby's investment in the future of Open Research. 

The Wellcome Trust, another signatory, has already revised its OA policy, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021.

Although primarily Europe-focused on launch, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization have also joined cOAlition S, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, among others, has issued a statement supporting the initiative.  

What does Plan S mean for UoD researchers?

The detailed implementation decisions of individual funding agencies, such as UKRI, will be key in determining the likely impact of Plan S on UK researchers. 

The University of Derby's Library Research Liaison Team will update this page as Plan S progresses and more details emerge from individual funders.

cOAliton S has stated its intention to review the requirements, effects and impact of Plan S by the end of 2024.

Further help and support

Please read the FAQs on the Plan S website. These will be regularly updated to reflect questions arising from the research and publishing communities. 

If you have any additional questions or comments about Plan S (including how it might affect your research publications), please email or get in contact with Repository and Open Access Librarian, Holly Limbert. 

For information on current Open Access requirements, please see the funder policies page of this LibGuide or visit our Open Access web pages