Presentation Open Access

Are we plan-S ready? Level of Compliance at the University of Vienna

Pinhasi, Rita; Kromp, Brigitte; Blechl, Guido

Plan S has been a central topic of conversation with faculty and publishers ever since its announcement last September sent shock waves around the world. The initiative, launched by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders, requires that from 2020, scientific publications that result from research funded by one of its members must be published in compliant Open Access (OA) journals or platforms. Given the fact that Austria has been at the forefront of the OA movement in Europe, one might assume that its institutions and researchers should be well placed to comply with the strict requirements set out by Plan S. But how ready are we really?

This paper will take stock of the current state of OA publishing opportunities in Austria and more specifically at the University of Vienna, which is by far the largest higher education institution in the country, with researchers active across all research fields.

Thanks to the decade-long close collaboration of the key players, such as the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), one of the original members of cOAlitions S, and the Austrian Academic Library Consortium (KEMÖ), which brings together the country’s universities and research institutions, the landscape in Austria is a lot less fragmented than in other countries. By virtue of our large portfolio of transformative OA publishing agreements, which range from contracts with Wiley, Springer Nature to niche publishers such as the International Water Association our researchers have a number of options available to them. The University of Vienna participates in several initiatives supporting fully OA publishers (OLH, SciPost, etc.) and also has a well-established institutional repository and an OA publishing fund.

With the January 2020 deadline less than a year away, there are still some uncertainties around the initiative, among others, potential penalties and some compliance questions need clarifying. At the time of submission, the University of Vienna is in the process of consulting its faculty on Plan S and the feedback to date is far from unanimously supportive.

We will explore to what extent our agreements cover our researchers’ publishing needs and what further steps we can take to support them, bearing in mind that some of our agreements may no longer be compliant after 2024. There are still some obvious gaps to cover and, potentially, financial and structural hurdles to overcome. We will also present lessons learned and how these continue to shape our approach.

An audio recording of this presentation is available here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5ibnCjXHrW5HYOm2m3axyj

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