mobile menu decorative search schedule
Plan S graphics

Plan S

Plan S was launched in September 2018 by a coalition of European funders (cOAlition S) and aims to accelerate the transition to Open Access for the research that they fund. Members of cOAlition S include the European Research Council, UKRI, Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The coalition invited feedback on the implementation plan for Plan S in early 2019 and made a number of amendments to the original guidelines in May. The University provided feedback highlighting support for the objectives of Plan S as well as areas of concern.  

Plan S is not a policy but a set of high level principles. The core principle of Plan S is that from 2021, all scholarly publications resulting from research funded by signatories, must be Open Access immediately on publication. This may be achieved by publishing in Open Access journals or Open Access platforms, or by sharing a version of the output through an Open Access repository with no embargo. Publications must be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY), although in some cases the ‘No Derivatives’ (ND) version of this licence will be acceptable. N.B. Plan S will not apply to monographs and book chapters from 2021. 

The extent to which Plan S principles will affect publication choices is not yet fully known. Publishing in fully Open Access journals or on Open Access platforms will be permitted. Publishing in subscription journals may be permitted if journals are part of a transformative agreement or allow papers to be shared via an Open Access repository immediately on publication under the CC-BY licence.

A number of publishers have already begun to develop transformative agreements. We currently have deals in place with Springer Nature (selected Springer titles only), Oxford University Press and IEEE. All University of Manchester corresponding authors can publish Open Access in participating journals at no further cost as part of Springer Compact. See our Publisher Deals and Discounts section on our Open Access Funding page for more information.

Individual funders will determine how the principles are applied in their own policies. The Wellcome Trust have already announced a new policy, informed by Plan S. UKRI are currently reviewing their OA policies.

Updates and further guidance on individual funder policies will be provided on these pages.