Scientific societies worry about threat from Plan S

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Science  25 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6425, pp. 332-333
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6425.332

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Nonprofit societies are alarmed that Plan S, an initiative by European funders to make scientific journal articles free to read, may wreak havoc on their publishing revenues and the services they provide. Some estimates project journal income, which depends heavily on subscriptions, could drop by up to a third under different scenarios. Societies worry that an alternative supported by Plan S—allowing grantees to publish in journals that offer immediate open access and charge authors to publish there—will force them to publish more articles to maintain income, potentially lowering quality. The Plan S funders have pledged to work with societies to explore business models that could help them continue publishing and maintain financial viability under the new regimen.