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American Chemical Society Responds to Plan S

On February 7, the American Chemical Society posted its response to Plan S. ACS shares the aspirations espoused by architects of Plan S to enable open access to research literature, however, Plan S’s range and number of tenets, including its impractical timetable for execution, present shortcomings that must be remedied for the plan to be practicable.

As written, Plan S threatens the effectiveness of global scientific communication and could have unintended negative consequences for the advancement of science. To avoid such harm, ACS suggests Coalition S engage with various stakeholders to identify constructive and sustainable solutions that will help the Coalition to achieve its objective of “full and immediate open access” to disclosed research results.

ACS’s principal concerns with the proposed Plan S include:

  • Hybrid journals provide a clear path to achieving full and immediate open access—yet are considered ‘non-compliant’ by Plan S.
  • The role of digital preprints in open access should be embraced and included in Plan S.
  • Restricting Plan S authors to a current small sub-set of established OA journals risks stifling scientific collaboration.
  • Clarity around transformative agreements is lacking.
  • Authors should have the flexibility to choose the publishing license that best serves their needs.
  • A one-size-fits-all approach to article publishing charges (APCs) is problematic.
  • The proposed timetable is impractical.

ACS Publications offers authors a range of flexible choices to publish open access. Researchers may publish open access in any of our 50+ journals, including two fully-OA journals. They may also engage in direct arrangements with institutions and funders to directly sponsor article publishing charges on their behalf. ACS authors have published more than 20,000 OA articles through these programs. In addition to encouraging author self-archiving of accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts with institutional repositories via Green OA, ACS also recently organized and co-sponsored the digital preprint server ChemRxiv with other societies. ChemRxiv provides authors with the ability to archive and openly disseminate their research findings before peer review and publication. After publication, ACS also gives its published authors the ability to post and openly share links to their published articles, enabling free reader access to the final version of record, unrestricted after 12 months, as disseminated and archived online by ACS Publications.

Read the full response.

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