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1. What is Plan S?

Plan S

Plan S is a global open access initiative with one target:

"“With effect from 2021*, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo.”

 Some research at UniSA is already funded by Plan S signatories. This guide will assist applicants applying for research grants from Plan S funders from 2021 onwards. The guide includes information and tools concerning:

  • What grant funders require Plan S compliance
  • What researchers need to do to be Plan S compliant
  • How to find out what journals are Plan S compliant
  • FAQs and further information

2. Which grant funders require Plan S Compliance?

Plan S target and principles is supported by cOAlition S. Coalition S is made up of many organisations that fund or perform research activities. Further research funders across the world have indicated interest in Plan S.

From 2021 all UniSA research funded by cOAlition S funders will need to ensure compliance with Plan S.

International funders and supporters include: World Health Organisation, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, Wellcome  and Aligning Science Against Parkinson's (ASAP).

World Health OrganizationBill&MelindaGatesasapwellcome

Open access policies may differ between the organisations however as a signatory to Plan S, the funders have all committed to the main principles of Plan S within their policies.

3. What do I need to do to be Plan S compliant?

To be compliant you must ensure that all scholarly articles that result from research funded by members of cOAlition S are made openly available immediately upon publication without any embargo period.

There are three routes to achieve this...

Route... Publish in... Description
Gold (Full Open Access) Open Access Journals Publish in a fully Open Access (OA) Journal where all the content of the journal is made OA at point of publication. This does not include a hybrid journal where only some of the articles have Open Access. An article processing charge (APC) may be paid by the funder.
Green (Self-archiving) Subscription/Hybrid Journals Publish in a subscription/hybrid journal that allows for the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to be made openly available immediately at point of publication without embargo. You must deposit your AAM in the Research Outputs Repository. 
Transformative Hybrid/Subscription journals with a transformative arrangement Publish in a hybrid/subscription journal which has a transformative arrangement. A Transformative journal is committed to transition to fully Open Access in an agreed timeframe. An article processing charge (APC) may be paid by the funder whilst transitioning to fully Open Access.

For any chosen route, the publication must be openly available immediately with a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) unless an exception to this license has been agreed by the funder. 

cOAlition S strongly encourages the deposition of all publications in a repository, irrespective of the chosen route to compliance.

4. How do I know I am publishing in a Journal that is Plan S compliant?

A Journal Checker Tool has been developed to assist researchers with quickly identifying if and how they can comply with a funders Plan S-aligned Open Access policy when publishing in their chosen journal.

 Simply supply the name of your preferred journal, your Coalition S funder and your institution as 'University of South Australia'.

Journal Checker Tool example

You will be provided with the appropriate routes to compliance and instructions on what to do next. If no route to compliance is available the tool will suggest how to edit the search to find a combination that enables compliance.

Please note that the Journal Checker Tool is in Beta. Contact the Library if you need any further help.

5. FAQ's


Not if you have published in a hybrid open-access journal in which only some of the articles are open access. You must publish in a journal that is fully open or under a transformative arrangement. One of the overarching principles of Plan S is its commitment that funders do not support the hybrid model of publishing where a revenue stream is provided both from full subscriptions as well as from APC's. To comply with Plan S you must make a copy of the article (either the Author’s Accepted Manuscript or the Version of Record) available in a repository at the time of publication (no embargo).

Submission into the Research Outputs Repository is only compliant with Plan S if it has a CC-BY and can be made openly available at point of publication i.e no embargo on its access. Please check the publishers website for information about embargo periods.

In most cases there are no compliance requirements for publications resulting from grants before 2021. However, ensure you check the Implementation Roadmap of Coalition S organisations. Some funders including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome indicate that all research articles submitted for publication from 2021 must be compliant. Funding may have been received prior to 2021.

In the manuscript you submit for consideration by a journal you should include:
• Name of your funder and your grant number
• Text to indicate that any AAM arising from the submission is already licensed CC BY.

Example rights statement: "This work was funded by [Funder name] [grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission."

Check your own grant agreement or the cOAlition S organisations implementation webpage for details.

6. Further Information

For more information about Plan S and its implementation please see the Coalition S website. You may find the pages listed below particularly helpful. Contact the Library if you require extra assistance.