Plan S

Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. Read more from cOALition S.

While the Open Access and Open Science debate is largely a settled one, reactions from the research community and publishers to Plan S have been mixed. This is a short bibliography of articles from academic journals from 2019, most of which are accessible, offering contemporary commentary, explanations and interpretations of Plan S. Follow the links to article content.

Brainard, Jeffrey. 2019a. “Facing Plan S, Publishers May Set Papers Free.” Science 364(6441):620–620.

Brainard, Jeffrey. 2019b. “Scientific Societies Worry about Threat from Plan S.” Science 363(6425):332–33.

Dal‐Ré, Rafael. 2019. “Plan S: Funders Are Committed to Open Access to Scientific Publication.” European Journal of Clinical Investigation 49(6):e13100.

von Eckardstein, Arnold. 2019. “Implications of Europe’s Plan S for Atherosclerosis.” Atherosclerosis 280:202–3.

Eddy, Tyler D. 2019. “Plan S: Motivations of for-Profit Publishers” edited by J. Sills. Science 363(6426):462.2-462.

Granshaw, Stuart I. 2019. “Open Data, the Fourth Paradigm and Plan S.” The Photogrammetric Record 34(165):6–10.

Green, Toby. 2019. “Is Open Access Affordable? Why Current Models Do Not Work and Why We Need Internet-Era Transformation of Scholarly Communications.” Learned Publishing 32(1):13–25.

Guzik, Tomasz J. and Amrita Ahluwalia. 2019. “Plan S: In Service or Disservice to Society?” European Heart Journal 40(12):949–52.

Guzik, Tomasz J. and Amrita Ahluwalia. 2019. “Plan S: In Service or Disservice to Society?” British Journal of Pharmacology 176(6):753–56.

Haug, Charlotte J. 2019. “No Free Lunch — What Price Plan S for Scientific Publishing?” edited by D. Malina. New England Journal of Medicine 380(12):1181–85.

Hawkes, Nigel. 2019. “Open Access Publishing under Plan S to Start in 2021.” BMJ l2382.

Herwald, Heiko. 2019. “Plan S Und Der Tellerrand.” Nachrichten Aus Der Chemie 67(4):3–3.

Jackson, Sarah. 2019. “Free Access to Scientific Publications: Contrasting the JCI Approach to Plan S.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 129(2):440–41.

Johnson, Rob. 2019. “From Coalition to Commons: Plan S and the Future of Scholarly Communication.” Insights the UKSG Journal 32.

Khoo, Shaun Yon-Seng. 2019. “Article Processing Charge Hyperinflation and Price Insensitivity: An Open Access Sequel to the Serials Crisis.” LIBER Quarterly 29(1):1.

Kiley, Robert. 2019. “Plan S: The Final Cut—response from COAlition S.” The Lancet 394(10192):28.

Kowaltowski, Alicia J. and Marcus F. Oliveira. 2019. “Plan S: Unrealistic Capped Fee Structure” edited by J. Sills. Science 363(6426):461.1-461.

Laccourreye, O. and H. Maisonneuve. 2019. “Plan S!” European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases. In Press 26 April 2019.

Machovec, George. 2019. “Publish and Read Mandates May Change the Future of Journal Publishing.” Journal of Library Administration 59(3):325–33.

Mann, Douglas L. 2019. “What Are the Off-Target Effects of Plan ‘S’ For Translational Investigators?” JACC: Basic to Translational Science 4(1):132–33.

Martínez-Galindo, Francisco Jesús, Francisco Rubio, Javier Hernández-San-Miguel, and Sergio Fernández Burguete. 2019. “Plan S: Challenges and Opportunities in Spain.” Insights the UKSG Journal 32.

McNutt, Marcia. 2019a. “Opinion: ‘Plan S’ Falls Short for Society Publishers—and for the Researchers They Serve.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(7):2400–2403.

McNutt, Marcia. 2019b. “Reply to Kiley and Smits: Meeting Plan S’s Goal of Maximizing Access to Research.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(13):5861–5861.

Mills, Michael. 2019. “Plan S – What Is Its Meaning for Open Access Journals and for the JACMP ?” Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics 20(3):4–6.

Purton, Mary, Francesco Michelangeli, and László Fésüs. 2019. “Will Plan S Put Learned Societies in Jeopardy?” FEBS Letters 593(4):383–85.

Rabesandratana, Tania. 2019. “Radical Open-Access Plan Is Delayed a Year.” Science 364(6444):919–919.

Sayre, Steve and Steven Ottogalli. 2019. “Plan S: What Does It Mean for Authors and Researchers?” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 17(5):247–247.

Shrier, Ian and Christopher Schmid. 2019. “Plan S: Overlooked Hybrid Journal Model” edited by J. Sills. Science 363(6426):461.2-462.

Spedding, Michael, James Barrett, Edward T. Morgan, Mary Vore, Dominic Geraghty, Carl Kirkpatrick, and Ingolf Cascorbi. 2019. “Plan S: A Threat to Quality of Science?” edited by J. Sills. Science 363(6426):462.1-462.

Tennant, Jonathan P. and Dean R. Lomax. 2019. “An Overview of Open Access Publishing in Palaeontology.” Palaeontologia Electronica 22(2).

The Lancet Group. 2019. “Plan S: The Final Cut.” The Lancet 393(10188):2276.

Tofield, Andros. 2019. “The COALition S and Plan S: Explained.” European Heart Journal 40(12):952–53.

Walton, D. W. H. 2019. “Scientific Publishing and Plan S.” Antarctic Science 31(1):1–1.

Watson, Roger and Mark Hayter. 2019. “Time to Plan for Plan S.” Nursing Open 6(2):206–7.

Publishing with Springer & ORCID

Springer are encouraging authors to use their ORCID iD when submitting publications. Many researchers share the same name, while others’ names change throughout their career. With an ORCID iD, you can persistently associate your name with your research works.  In Springer Nature’s as well as in many other publishers’ article submission systems you have the option of including your ORCID iD. If you already have an ORCID iD, Springer’s submission system will automatically fill in your profile.


School Pupils and Their Understanding of Significant Change and Losses in Life

Nonprofits Help Kids Find Hope For Life After Loss

Professor Rebecca Wallace, from the School of Health Sciences, has published a report with her collaborator Dr Ros Scott (University of Dundee) entitled ‘School pupils and their understanding of significant change and losses in life.’ The project was conducted in a central Scotland school and funded by Pallium Canada.

This study, involving pupils, parents and staff, sought to understand young people’s perceptions of loss, death and dying. This collaborative qualitative pilot study was undertaken in conjunction with colleagues in Canada and was designed to gain knowledge of how children of different ages understand loss, death and dying; the support they access and their awareness of what is available to them. The pupils in Canada were of primary school age; whereas the study’s Scottish component involved one secondary school with participants aged between 12-18 years.

Professor Wallace and Dr Scott conclude that ‘Coping skills as reported by this particular group of pupils appear to be strong. They find support from families, friends, interests and social groups. It is interesting to note that the internet, social media and written information seems to be of less significance. Parents and teachers have an important role to play in providing support. However, there is a significant disconnect between the resources that young people identified as helping them and those that parents and teachers would use or recommend. This would suggest the need to ask, rather than assume, what it is young people need. The approach to bereavement support should rather be participatory and involve the young people themselves. Peer support emerges as important to young people and this could be built upon as key resource.’

The authors recommend that further study is necessary before any conclusions may be postulated as to the place of loss, grief and death in the school curriculum. The report is available to read and download from the University’s Institutional Repository OpenAIR.

10 Tips for Writing a Truly Terrible Journal Article


Webinar 1 March at 2-3 pm GMT / 3-4 pm CET / 9-10 am EST

Learning how not to write an article is as important as learning how to write it! In this webinar Bert Blocken highlights 10 tips of what to avoid when writing your article. What to avoid includes taking the lazy route of plagiarism, overestimating your contribution and ignoring comments from editors and reviewers. Many of these “tips to avoid” may appear obvious but are pitfalls that even the most seasoned of authors can fall into. The webinar will demonstrate how a poorly written article can ruin the career of a researcher.

The presenter Prof. dr. ir. Bert Blocken is a Civil Engineer, holding a PhD in Building Physics. He is Full Professor in the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands and part-time Full Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at KU Leuven in Belgium. Bert has published 128 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and is among the 150 most-cited researchers worldwide both in the field of Civil Engineering and in the field of Energy Science & Engineering. Further, Bert is an Editor of Building & Environment and Associate Editor of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics. He has acted as a reviewer for more than 70 different journals.

Follow this link to register.

Systematic Review Course, 26-29 June 2017, University of Cardiff


This is an intensive four-day course introducing the skills necessary to complete a systematic review. The course will cover:

  • introduction to systematic reviewing and developing a protocol
  • literature searching and selection of studies
  • critical appraisal of quantitative and qualitative data
  • extracting data – developing/adapting forms
  • meta-analysis or narrative synthesis
  • reporting and dissemination of qualitative data.

More information and links to register interest available here.


Open access in the Research Excellence Framework: Extension of flexibility


The four UK higher education funding bodies have decided to extend the initial flexibility in the Open Access (OA) policy for a further year, recognising the timetable for the next REF with results in 2021. The requirement that outputs be deposited on acceptance will commence after Sunday 1 April 2018, subject to a review of the readiness of systems within the sector in autumn 2017.

In the announcement yesterday, 15 November (SFC/AN/14/2016), Stuart Fancey, Scottish Funding Council Director of Research and Innovation wrote:

“We are pleased with the progress so far, but we recognise the challenges involved in driving the policy centrally. As previously announced, for the first year of the policy (from 1 April 2016 to 1 April 2017), we are providing a degree of flexibility to allow time for higher education institutions (HEIs), Jisc and others to develop tools to allow information about publications to flow better between researchers and administrators. During that period of flexibility, HEIs may deposit outputs in their repositories within three months of publication, rather than of acceptance, which provides a longer window for securing author engagement. Many HEIs have nonetheless continued to implement our ‘deposit on acceptance’ policy and are seeing academic engagement increase significantly, and excellent progress has been made to build new relationships between HEIs and publishers in pursuit of the UK’s OA goals.

In Open access in the next Research Excellence Framework: policy adjustments and qualifications (HEFCE Circular letter 20/2015,,202015/), institutions were advised that the funding bodies would work with them in autumn 2016 to review the developing arrangements, and to determine whether remaining technical gaps had been sufficiently addressed to end the flexibility in April 2017. In the intervening period, the Minister for Universities and Science asked Lord Stern to review the REF, and to allow time for this, the timetable has been realigned so that results of the next REF would be announced in December 2021. The four higher education funding bodies will now work together to develop proposals on how to implement Lord Stern’s recommendations in the next REF. We expect to launch a consultation with the sector on these proposals in November 2016 and we are conscious that our original plan to review progress on OA in autumn 2016 may collide unhelpfully with the consultation on the REF. We therefore want to allow HEIs longer to improve systems and fine-tune approaches. The REF 2021 timeframe will provide HEIs with a further year to embed open access activities and to work with us to develop the shape of the next REF.

In light of the above, we are therefore making the following adjustments to our OA policy:

  • The policy continues to require that, to be eligible for submission to the REF, outputs must be deposited within three months of acceptance for publication, but we now plan that this requirement will apply to outputs accepted after Sunday 1 April 2018. We will review the readiness of systems with the sector in autumn 2017.
  • Outputs accepted between 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2018 must be deposited within three months of publication.”

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Wellcome Open Submissions – Open for Business

wellcomeYou can now submit to Wellcome Open Research a new publishing platform. The platform aims to make research outputs available faster, and to support reproducibility and transparency. Wellcome researchers can use the platform to publish a wide range of submissions, from more traditional narrative-based articles to incremental findings, methods, protocols, datasets and negative/null results. Once uploaded, submissions pass through transparent invited peer review and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.  Wellcome Open Research is designed to be author driven.

RGU research presented at RICS COBRA conference

RGU was represented at the recent RICS COBRA research conference, held in Toronto and hosted by George Brown College. COBRA is the annual international construction, building and real estate conference run by the RICS, which in recent years has travelled to the USA, India, Australia and France, and which will return to the UK in 2017.

Research presented by Professor Richard Laing included a paper concerning our use of HD laser scanning in Elgin, as part of the Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere project. The paper (co-authored with Elizabeth Tait, Marianthi Leon, John Isaacs and Peter Reid) looked at the application of architectural visualisation in a heritage-led regeneration project, and connected well with a series of keynote talks (emerging pervasive ICT, BIM and smart buildings).

Among the other papers were excellent presentations on community-led upgrading (by Claudia Loggia and Christina Georgiadou from the University of Westminster) and a fascinating study of online teaching and learning in architecture and construction, including design (by Heather Bibbings, Stephen Austin and Amela Bogdanovic, from the University of Coventry).

The conference commenced with a tour of the renovated historic ‘distillery district’ led by students of George Brown, and concluded with a visit to the George Brown BIM Lab.

Wellcome Trust – Open Access Policy

Wellcome this week has published a set of requirements for open access publications, which will come into force next spring.

The policy deals with many issues including whether Wellcome will pay for publishing costs,  uploading articles to PubMed Central (PMC),  and publishing content under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) .

Neil Jacobs, head of scholarly communications support at Jisc, notes: “It is incredibly helpful to have a funder of Wellcome’s standing be so clear about its expectations in this area.  APCs already constitute a multi-million pound market, which makes it important that everyone is clear about what is being paid for.” More from JISC here.

This policy will come into effect on 1 April 2017. Wiley, SpringerNature, OUP, Royal Society and PLOS, who publish almost 50% of Wellcome funded research outcomes, have all committed to signing up to the requirements. Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) members Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Parkinson’s UK will all set the same requirements for outcomes of research they have funded. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also be introducing the requirements when their open access mandate is launched in January 2017