IARLA issues statement in support of Plan S

The International Alliance of Research Library Associations (IARLA) welcomes the move towards the open access environment for journal articles.

The member organisations of IARLA have stated that they are support the overall objectives of Plan S and are happy that the iterative nature of the project has brought about some 'welcome changes' since the first version of Plan S was published. These positive changes include:

  • Extended deadline for implementation to allow greater preparation time for stakeholders
  • Flexibility on licensing terms – while continuing to prefer CC-BY, IARTA welcomes the allowance for CC-BY-ND in some cases – a change that reflects concerns in the arts and humanities communities
  • The undertaking that cOAlition S will 'develop … mechanisms to ensure that no author needs to negotiate individually with publishers the right to make an article Open Access.'
  • The explicit statement that un-embargoed deposit in repositories will be a route to compliance
  • The addition of the new Principle 10, which commits to moving away from journal metrics as a means for research assessment

IARLA also wants to see additional changes as the project moves forward:

  • Further clarity on the nature of transformative agreements and description of the expectation of what the next steps will be when hybrid funding ends on 31 December 2024
  • Large-scale financial model of the costs of a fully Plan S compliant environment. IARLA expresses concern that research-intensive institutions may see significant increases in costs, and that cross-disciplinary research and international collaborations may suffer from complicated financial models
  • Modelling of the possible impacts on smaller, mainly arts, humanities and social sciences institutions and publishers and an analysis of the danger of further market consolidation.

As Project S moves forward, IARLA is committed to offering support in the following areas:

Transformative publisher agreements – "We will work, adhering to library community principles and guidelines, to ensure our agreements with publishers move us towards their stated goal of equitable and sustainable models of full and immediate open access. We will further pursue transparency by advocating for and encouraging registration of Transformative Agreements in the ESAC Registry."

Transparency in pricing – "We agree with the call for 'full transparency and monitoring of publication costs and fees’ and offer our support in the proposed 'on-going monitoring to maintain transparency and a clear understanding of costs and prices'."

Monitoring and compliance - "The library community holds significant data in areas of interest around compliance – including volume of material hosted in institutional repositions and APC expenditure. We will work with cOAlition S and other funders to ensure that any monitoring frameworks provide measurable results."

Rights retention - "We are well placed to work nationally and internationally to help develop practical implementation plans to allow authors and institutions to retain the rights necessary to make their outputs open access."

Members of IARLA are:

  • ARL – Association of Research Libraries
  • CARL - Canadian Association of Research Libraries
  • CAUL - Council of Australian University Librarians
  • LIBER – Association of European Research Libraries
  • RLUK – Research Libraries UK

More information via IARLA.