ASAS Publications Symposium: A how to guide to publishing?
A group of European funding agencies launched an initiative called “Plan S” in September 2018 that would require scientific publications resulting from funded research to be published only in Plan S-compliant open access journals by 2020. A delegation from the European Commission visited the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other federal agencies in December 2018 to gain support for Plan S. Plan S would force authors to publish solely in open access journals and bar researchers from publishing in hybrid journals, such as the Journal of Animal Science, that allow authors to choose between Gold and Green Open Access publishing. Gold Open Access allows immediate open access with articles made freely available at time of publication and requires payment of article processing charges that are usually higher than page charges of subscription-based journals. Green Open Access publishing is subscription-based and defers open access for the publisher embargo period (usually 12 months). Because 85% of journals are hybrid or subscription based, Plan S would limit researcher’s academic freedom to decide where to publish and prevent authors from publishing in most research society journals that are hybrid or subscription-based. Research society-based journals provide rigorous peer review and comprehensive editorial processes and thus, have earned the trust of researchers, professionals, and the public. Funneling research output to non-research society based open access journals may distort the dissemination of scientific research and reduce the quality of scientific communication. Nonprofit research societies use revenues from their publishing operations to finance educational, journalistic, outreach, and other activities and thus, Plan S threatens the financial stability of these research societies. Authors should be allowed to choose the best venue to publish their work. Plan S must be rejected.