Which licences are compliant with Plan S?

Published on: 15/07/2020 - Updated on: 16/07/2020

For any chosen route to compliance, the public must be granted a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable licence to share and adapt the article for any purpose. cOAlition S recommends using Creative Commons licences and requires using a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) 4.0 by default. CC-BY-SA and CC0 are acceptable alternatives. CC-BY-ND can only be assigned if the author(s) explicitly request and justify its application to their funder(s) and the request is approved by their funder. For more details see Guidance on the Implementation of Plan S and check the individual funder’s information.

Why are cOAlition S funders changing their grant conditions to mandate their funded researchers to apply a CC BY licence to the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) for publications arising from their grants?

Published on: 15/07/2020 - Updated on: 13/08/2020

The Plan S Rights Retention Strategy has been developed to give researchers supported by a cOAlition S Organisation the freedom to publish in their journal of choice, by providing grantees with the ability to immediately self-archive papers published in subsciption journals, irrespective of restrictions or embargo periods imposed by publishers.

When will cOAlition S funders change their grant conditions to mandate their funded researchers to apply a CC BY licence to the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) for publications arising from their grants?

Published on: 15/07/2020 - Updated on: 13/08/2020

Funders will begin implementing changes in their grant conditions from 1 January 2021. For details see the cOAlition S Organisations implementation webpage.

How do authors benefit from retaining the rights to their own works?

Published on: 15/07/2020 - Updated on: 14/07/2020

By retaining their rights to their own work, authors are able to use and re-use their work as they choose. This may include actions such as freely distributing copies of the work via any research network they choose, freedom to use their work within any other work of their own or anyone else’s, freedom to use the work for teaching as they choose, freedom to share the work as they choose, and so on.

What happens if an author doesn’t notify the publisher in advance that the author has applied a CC-BY license to the AAM, and signs a license with the publisher?

Published on: 30/07/2020

If the author in their submission of the manuscript hadn’t identified the prior licence which will apply to any AAM arising from that submission, or that they were funded by a member of cOAlition S then, we accept that the author hasn’t taken all the steps requested of them and that the publisher has dealt with the manuscript without there being a clear notice of the prior CC BY licence to the AAM.

Assuming the author self-archives the AAM in a repository, an issue is only likely to arise when/if the publisher challenges the presence of the AAM on that repository via a take-down notice. We hope that once the publisher was made aware of the author’s oversight, that they would respect the obligations the author was under with their funder and withdraw the takedown notice. It is unlikely that a funder would encourage a repository to resist such takedown notice if the publisher want to pursue the matter.  

 However, if an author, in their submission, makes it clear that  “this work is funded by (for example) Wellcome”, we would rely on the fact that publishers have been told that CC BY licences apply to AAMs from Wellcome funded authors (despite the words CC BY having been omitted), and as such we would help resist a take-down notice on the basis that the publisher did have knowledge of the prior licence.

 As, in this example, the researcher has not fulfilled the requirements of their grant conditions (i.e. by making it clear to the publisher than any AAMs arising from their submission is already licensed CC BY) It would be a matter for the particular funder to decide how to address the breach of their funding conditions by the author.

What rights statements must I include in my submissions to journals?

Published on: 15/07/2020 - Updated on: 28/08/2020

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. For example: “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.
If I simply inform the journal that this submission is made available under a CC BY licence is that sufficient?

Published on: 21/07/2020 - Updated on: 21/07/2020

No.  The submission to the journal should make it clear that any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission is already licenced CC BY (or by exception CC BY ND).  This can be achieved by adding the following language to an article submission: “This research was funded, in whole or in part by the [cOAlition S Organisation 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.”

If at the time I submit an article for publication I also post a preprint, does that preprint have to be licensed CC BY?

Published on: 21/07/2020

No.  Although some funders may strongly encourage you to make your preprints available under a CC BY licence – and in certain circumstances, like a public health emergency, require it  – researchers can make their preprints available under a licence of their choice.