The Rights Retention Strategy and publisher equivocation: an open letter to researchers | Plan S
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cOAlition S strategy of applying a prior licence to the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is designed to facilitate full and immediate open access of funded scientific research for the greater benefit of science and society. It helps authors exercise their ownership rights on the AAM, so they can share it immediately in a repository under an open licence.
The manuscript – even after peer-review – is the intellectual creation of the authors. The RRS is designed to protect authors’ rights. The costs that publishers incur for the AAM, such as managing the peer-review process, are covered by subscriptions or publication fees. Delivering such publication services does therefore not entitle publishers to limit, constrain or appropriate ownership rights in the author’s AAM.
Some subscription publishers have recently put in place practices that attempt to prevent cOAlition S funded researchers from exercising their right to make their AAM open access immediately on publication.
The undersigned – cOAlition S funders and other stakeholders in academic publishing – wish to provide clarity to researchers about these practices, and caution them about the possible consequences.