Facing Plan S, publishers may set papers free

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Science  17 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6441, pp. 620
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6441.620

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European science funders are expected this month to finalize a measure, Plan S, that would force funded authors to publish articles in venues immediately free to read. Some publishers of subscription journals, which have long dominated scholarly publishing, are considering an approach they hope will both comply with the plan and maintain their subscription income: allowing authors to post manuscripts in public archives as soon as their papers are published. Some editors of nonprofit scientific journals reckon this "green" form of open access will not significantly erode their subscription income because Plan S–funded authors contribute only about 3% of the world's scholarly literature. And some publishers see green open access as potentially more financially sustainable than switching subscription journals to an entirely "gold" open access model, in which authors pay journals to make their articles immediately open access.