Plan S

The aim of the European Open Access initiative Plan S is to secure full and immediate Open Access (OA) to scholarly articles. The plan also encourages increased OA for scholarly books.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Plan S​ was initiated by e.g. the EU, The Research Council of Norway (NFR)​ and other European research funders, together forming cOAlition S. The plan requires immediate Open Access to all research the coalition is funding. Plan S applies to calls from 1 January 2021.

In September 2021 the coalition launched a set of recommendations for OA publishing of scholarly books.

Plan S requirements: Journal articles

As a result of the implementation of Plan S, the following changes concerning Open Access apply:

    • All articles should be made openly accessible immediately upon publication, including those published in subscription-based journals

    • The peer-reviewed version (Author's Accept​ed Manuscript, AAM) of all articles may be made openly accessible (self-archived) through an open repository (e.g. Nord Open)

    • You as a researcher retain copyright to your articles instead of transferring this right to the publisher​

    • Articles must be published with an open (Creative Commons) licence facilitating free re-use of publications: CC BY as a standard, alternatively CC BY-SA or CC0, or CC BY-ND as an exception​​​​
      • CC BY 4.0​ is the preferred licence of Plan S. The licence entails that everyone is free to re-use (e.g. share and adapt) the article, while requiring attribution to the author
      • ​CC BY-SA (Share Alike) is one of two alternative Plan S-compliant licences. The license is equivalent to CC BY, except that any adaptations must be provided with the same license and be shared on the same terms as the original publication
      • CC0 (Universal) is the second of two alternative Plan S-compliant licences. The licence entails that the publication is public domain, i.e. that it is not subject to any copyright restrictions
      • CC BY-ND​ (No Derivatives) is Plan S-compliant in exceptional cases. This ​​entails that the publication may be shared, but not adapted, and this licence may be used if special reasons apply (solely on academic grounds). This may be an option if you as a researcher need to limit the possibilities to adapt a published text.​​

Plan S recommendations: Books
cOAlition S acknowledges that book publishing is important for scholars - particularly within the Humanities and Social Sciences. Accordingly, they have the following recommendations for Open Access publishing of scholarly books:

  1. All scholarly books based on original research funded by cOAlition S organisations should be made OA on publication.

  2. Authors or their institutions should retain sufficient intellectual property rights (IPR) to make books OA and to allow for re-use.

  3. Books should be published OA under a Creative Commons​ licence.

  4. Any embargo periods should be as short as possible and not more than 12 months.

  5. cOAlition S funders should use their funding schemes to support books and separately fund OA publishing business models​

How do l comply with Plan S?
You may ensure compliance with Plan S by publishing in one of the following four ways:

  • Gold/pure OA journals
    Publish your article in a Gold/pure OA journal. These are journals where all the articles are immediately openly accessible. They often charge OA fees, and these may be covered either through your research project funds or - if you do not possess funding for this - by filing an application to Nord's OA Fund

  • Transformative OA publishing agreements
    Publish via one of Nord's OA publishing agreements to get any OA fees covered or to get a discount on the fee (for discount agreements, you may apply to the OA Fund - see Gold/pure OA journals)

  • Self-archiving in open repositories
    If you are unable to publish in a Gold OA journal or via one of Nord's OA agreements, you may still achieve OA by self-archiving the AAM version of your publication in Nord's open repository, Nord Open Research Archive

  • Open Research Europe (ORE)
    Publish your article for free on the EU's n
    ew (2021), electronic OA publishing platform, Open Research Europe​. The platform publishes preprints (after thorough checks), offers transparent and open peer review, and ensures indexing in databases of articles that have passed peer review​


​Journal Checker Tool

In November 2020, cOAlition S​ launched a beta version of the Journal Checker Tool (JCT). This tool is for researchers receiving funding from cOAlition S partners like the EU (Horizon Europe) or The Research Council of Norway.​ ​By using JCT you can check whether the journal where you wish to publish is Plan S-compliant.

How to use it
There are two ways to use JCT:

  • Check that the journal is listed on levels 1 or 2 in DBH/NSD’s directory of approved publication channels​ to ensure credit in the Norwegian financing system for scholarly publications. JCT has been integrated into the directory, thus ​when you search for a specific journal, you will find the tool ​below the Open Access heading. ​Fill in funder information, and information about Plan S compliance will appear

  • ​Go to Journal Checker Tool​ and fill in the names of your chosen journal, research funder (cOAlition S partner) and your own institution (Nord University)