What is Plan S?

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 came 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.”

How does Plan S affect researchers?

The extent to which Plan S principles will affect publication routes is not yet fully known. Publishing in fully open access journals, on open access platforms or in subscription journals which allow papers to be shared via a repository immediately on publication under the CC-BY licence (zero embargo period), does comply with the principles.

Some cOAlition S members now have fully aligned policies (such as Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation), and, as of 1st January 2021, researchers funded by them are required to make their work immediately open under a CC BY licence. cOAlition S have developed a journal checker, which provides an overview of what compliant publishing options are offered by journals. 


Information and documentation relevant to Plan S will be posted here, when available.

For a more detailed overview on key developments and FAQs please visit the cOAlition S website.

For any further information please contact openaccess@port.ac.uk