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Plan S: I hear the train a comin’

Johnny Cash would have likely not have had an opinion about Plan S, but everyone else seems to. If it Is not on your radar screen, Plan S is an initiative for open access science publishing that was launched in September 2018 by Science Europe.

People have staked out their position on the particulars, from academics, publishers, universities, libraries, funders, politicians, and the general press. Many are supporting a lot of the concepts espoused by Plan S and cOAlition S. Some have categorically said it will not work. Others are trying to perform a Solomon-like split of the baby.

Who knows how this story will turn out? Not me certainly. What I do know is that some form of Plan S will eventually be implemented in the academic/publishing world. The details might change, but the paradigm that ruled for the last 10, 20, 50, 100, or 200 years will change (or has already changed).

Think about the dominance of Encyclopedia Britannica for decades. Now think about Wikipedia. I can list other examples. The world has changed, and the model of the captive content and Big Deal may not be dead today or tomorrow, but fundamentally changes are here.

Do you hear the train a comin?


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