In a world where information has never been so accessible, and answers are available at the touch of a fingertip, we are hungrier for the facts than ever before - something the Covid-19 crisis has brought to light. And yet, paywalls put in place by multi-billion dollar publishing houses are still preventing millions from accessing quality, scientific knowledge - and public trust in science is under threat.
On 4 September 2018, a bold new initiative known as 'Plan S' was unveiled, kickstarting a world-wide shift in attitudes towards open access research. For the first time, funding agencies across continents joined forces to impose new rules on the publication of research, with the aim of one day making all research free and available to all.
What followed was a debate of global proportions, as stakeholders asked: Who has the right to access publicly-funded research? Will it ever be possible to enforce change on a multi-billion dollar market dominated by five major players?
Here, the scheme's founder, Robert-Jan Smits, makes a compelling case for Open Access, and reveals for the first time how he set about turning his controversial plan into reality - as well as some of the challenges faced along the way. In telling his story, Smits argues that the Covid-19 crisis has exposed the traditional academic publishing system as unsustainable.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC). You can download Plan S for Shock ebook for free in PDF format (11.4 MB).
Table of Contents
Welcome to the world of academic publishing
What exactly is open access anyway?
Academic publishing: a brief history
The internet and OA: the early pioneers
The Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation pave the way for OA
The Finch Report: taking OA to a political level
Brussels gets involved; the momentum picks up
Slow progress: the move towards OA stagnates
Time for a radical intervention
The open access envoy
Forming a plan
The impact on smaller publishers
The European tour
Support arrives from the universities
Gaining support from the younger generation of researchers
The Coalition is born
The first setbacks
Putting the Science Europe face on; Plan S makes its first headlines
To the movies
October 2018: the US road trip
You win some, you lose some
Towards a Plan S implementation guidance
Berlin 2018: a radical intervention
Berlin take two: entering the lion's den
Latin America speaks out
Big interest from big players ... and another withdrawal
Changing the narrative
Reimagining publisher business models
The future of academic publishing
Navigating the data-led future
Plan S as a continued source of debate
Open science: the new normal
Taking stock of the legacy