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Eleven research funders launch open access initiative

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Eleven national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC), have announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate open access to research publications a reality.

The initiative is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles. The key principle is as follows: After 1 January 2020 scientific publications on the results from research funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant open access journals or on compliant open access platforms.

The 11 national research funding organisations that form cOAlition S have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission including the ERC. Other research funders from across the world, both public and private, are invited to join cOAlition S.

Jisc, the not-for-profit providing the UK’s national research and education network, Janet, and technology solutions for its members – colleges, universities and research centres – has welcomed the development.

Liam Earney, director of Jisc Collections, said: 'This announcement is really positive, not only in removing hurdles for the research community, but for society as a whole. People will be able to access current research findings, while they are still relevant, engaging the public in the UK’s leading higher education and research.

'We are particularly pleased that the funders have focussed on establishing robust criteria for high quality OA journals and platforms, support for OA infrastructure and the monitoring of compliance.'

The cOAlition S initiative was born from the cooperation between the heads of the participating research funding organisations, Marc Schiltz the president of Science Europe, and Robert-Jan Smits the open access envoy of the European Commission. It also drew on significant input from the Scientific Council of the ERC.

The research funders involved in cOAlition S will now collaborate with other stakeholders and work towards swift and practical implementation of these principles.

The national funders are: Austrian Science Fund; French National Research Agency; Science Foundation Ireland; ItalyNational Institute for Nuclear Physics; Luxembourg National Research Fund; Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research; Research Council of Norway; National Science Centre Poland; Slovenian Research Agency; Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning; and UK Research and Innovation.

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