SCONUL welcomes UKRI commitment to open access “Plan S”. - Tue, 4 Sep 2018

SCONUL is delighted to welcome the commitment by European funders, including UKRI and Science Foundation Ireland, to “Plan S”, a transformative development which will put real momentum behind the global drive towards full open access to research outputs.


The UK is one of the countries leading the transition to open access, with 37% of UK outputs made freely available to the world immediately on publication. However, this has come at a high cost to funders and institutions, due to the escalating costs of APCs and the need to simultaneously maintain subscriptions to hybrid journals.


“We are still at a relatively early stage in the transition to open access, and this kind of initiative is essential if we are to progress towards a shared goal of a fully OA world, where nothing is behind a paywall,” said Ann Rossiter, Executive Director, SCONUL.


“Without it, progress is likely to slow or stall since allowing publishers to charge twice for the same content, through subscriptions and APCs, provides few incentives for them to act on their apparent commitment to open access.”


“Science is a global undertaking and removing the barriers to sharing knowledge between researchers and institutions is essential if we are to fully realise the benefits of academics’ work and funders’ investment, said Stella Butler, Chair of SCONUL’s Content Strategy Group and University Librarian at the University of Leeds.



The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) represents all university libraries in the UK and Ireland, irrespective of mission group, as well as national libraries and many of the UK’s colleges of higher education.

SCONUL promotes awareness of the role of academic libraries in supporting research excellence and student achievement and employability, and represents their views and interests to government, regulators and other stakeholders.  SCONUL also has a number of groups supporting the strategy and ensuring that the academic library community is informed about, and engaged with, the major issues and challenges facing the library sector.