On 4 September 2018, 11 national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC), have launched cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which was announced at EuroScience Open Forum - ESOF in Toulouse in July 2018.
cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fullfil its main principle: "By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms."
The 11 national research funding organisations that form cOAlition S have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission including the ERC. Other research funders are also invited to join cOAlition S.
The initiative was born from the cooperation between the heads of the participating research funding organisations, Marc Schiltz, the President of Science Europe, and Robert-Jan Smits, the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission. It also drew on significant input from the Scientific Council of the ERC.
Speaking about the initiative, Marc Schiltz highlighted that "Open Access to research results is foundational to the scientific enterprise. 15 years have passed since the Berlin Declaration and Open Access is still far from being a reality. I am glad that a core group of research funders, driven by their collective duty of care for the good functioning of the science system, have committed to take a decisive step to change the situation."
The funders participating in cOAlition S will work together with researchers, universities, libraries, and publishers to coordinate swift implementation. "I call upon funders, from Europe and beyond, to join cOAlition S and upon researchers, universities, research organisations, libraries, and publishers to express publicly their support to the ambition of the coalition to accelerate the transition to full and immediate Open Access by 2020", added Robert-Jan Smits.
More information is available at the Science Europe website.