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Open access publishing

This guide introduces open access, its benefits, the different models, APCs, policies and resources, and OA @ RMIT University.

What is Plan S?

                            Plan S, announced in 2018, is an open-access initiative of cOAlition S. A group of 10 European research funders, supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council, released plans to mandate a move to full, immediate Open Access for all of their funded research articles by January 1, 2020.
"Coalition of European Funders Announces Plan S" by SPARC is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Plan S Logo by European Science Foundation used with Permission.                              


Plan S has one target:

"With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional, and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo”.

European Science Foundation. What is CoALition S?

Implications for Australia

Australian response

The Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) have released a joint statement broadly supportive of  Plan S.  However they call for greater consideration of several key areas:

  • Repository-based Green open access
  • Infrastructure needs
  • Financial impacts on early career researchers and developing countries
  • Continued global consultation


Plan S is not yet mandated by any Australian funders. However, international bodies endorsing Plan S may mandate compliance when funding Australian research.

Plan S compliance

To be Plan S compliant you must ensure that all scholarly articles that result from research funded by members of cOAlition S are made openly available immediately upon publication without any embargo period.

There are three routes to achieve this.

  1. Gold (Full Open Access Journal) - Publish in a fully Open Access (OA) Journal where all the content of the journal is made OA at point of publication. This does not include a hybrid journal where only some of the articles have Open Access.
  2. Green (Self-Archiving) - Publish in a subscription/hybrid journal that allows for the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to be made openly available immediately at point of publication without embargo. Deposit your AAM in the RMIT Research Repository.
  3. Transformative - Publish in a hybrid/subscription journal that has a transformative arrangement. A Transformative journal is committed to transition to fully Open Access in an agreed timeframe.

Plan S also requires the use of open licenses and prefers the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

"Journal Checker Tool logo" by is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Check funder Plan S requirements

Check for journal Plan S compliance