Skip to content
Log In

Towards a global knowledge commons

Revised Plan S and Repositories

cOAlition S has published a revised Plan S Principles and Implementation Guidelines.

cOAlition S is a group of (mainly European) public and private charity research funders who want to accelerate the transition to open access through the adoption of a common strategy, called Plan S, that will require full and immediate Open Access to peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from the research they fund.

The details of the plan have changed quite a bit in response to a large volume of feedback from the community (including COAR’s input on December 13, 2018 and February 6, 2019). In particular, the start date for Plan S compliance has been moved to January 1, 2021, and several of the compliance requirements for both journals and repositories have been reduced.

COAR is pleased to see that repositories are included in Plan S as equal and legitimate mechanisms for compliance. Furthermore, as was suggested by COAR and others, the implementation requirements for compliant repositories are now much less onerous than in the original draft, and should be fairly manageable for repositories to implement. The requirements mainly focus on the inclusion of appropriate metadata for articles: Persistent identifier, machine-readable licenses, access status, and funder information. Those repositories that have already adopted the OpenAIRE guidelines, or another regional variation, are already close to being Plan S compliant.

We wanted to highlight a couple of other things for you, related to the role of repositories:

  • No embargoes: Publications resulting from research funded by cOAlition S members’ grants under calls published as of 1 January 2021 (or earlier at individual members’ choice), must be published in Open Access venues (journals or platforms) or made openly and immediately available in an Open Access repository (the final published version or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM)
  • Open licenses: All publications must be published under an open and machine readable license, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY)

In addition, other mandatory criteria for repositories are as follows:

  • Registration with OpenDOAR Directory (or in the process of being registered)
  • Use of persistent identifiers for the deposited versions of the publications (DOI -preferable, URN, or Handle)
  • Non-proprietary metadata under a CC0 public domain dedication, which include PIDs, the Open Access status, and the license of the deposited version, and funder information (funder name/ID and grant/project number)
  • Machine readable information on the Open Access status and the license embedded in the article, in standard non-proprietary format.
  • Continuous availability of compliant repositories.
  • Email address for contacting the repository (or more robust help desk functionalities)

There are also several “strongly recommended additional criteria”.

COAR is committed to helping our members and the repository community ensure repositories can adhere with Plan S, and we will be working with other partners, including the open source repository systems, to support compliance.

In addition, we will be reviewing the Plan S requirements in more detail and keep you informed about any other issues of relevance for our community.

Joint statement about open access by COAR and UNESCO

COAR and UNESCO have published a joint statement about open access which outlines some of the concerns around the drive towards APCs. The statement is aimed at policy makers and underscores the need for a variety of OA models to be implemented around the world

“Open access is a global trend, with policies and practices rapidly being adopted around the world. As the world enters a new era of sustainable development, openness and inclusiveness in scientific research will become increasingly critical. While most governments agree on the underlying principles of open access, there is significant diversity in the way countries have approached its implementation. These differences reflect a range of perspectives, values, and priorities of the different regions. Clearly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to implementing open access.”

The full statement published on May 9, 2016

The statement in English. The UNESCO announcement is available here.

The statement in Chinese.

La declaración en español.

A declaração em português.


OpenAIRE, LIBER and COAR make recommendations for EC Open Data Pilot

With digital data being declared as the ‘new gold’, the European Commission is developing a pilot to explore ways to make research data open access too. The pilot will look at will look at research data generated in projects funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, with the aim of stimulating the data-sharing culture among researchers and facilitating both the re-use of information and data-driven science. As organisations with a strong interest in Open Data, OpenAIRE, the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) provided their views on the current situation and made recommendations for an effective Open Data Pilot at a hearing held by the European Commission on 2 July 2013, Brussels.

For further information please consult the joint statement.

Joint response to EC Research Data Framework from COAR LIBER and OpenAIRE

COAR, LIBER and OpenAIRE have jointly responded to a proposal from DG Connect for a Framework for Action addressing research data infrastructures. LIBER, COAR and OpenAIRE strongly support the development of an open, interoperable e-infrastructure for scientific data through the engagement of the relevant actors, including libraries and repositories supporting researchers in their scientific endeavor. This framework for action is highly relevant, both for the success of data driven science and also the uptake and impact of open access policies and initiatives. It recognises the changing nature of research and the importance of engaging the whole stakeholder ecosystem in the development and integration of research data e-infrastructures.

Besides its strengths the three initiatives identified some gaps , i.e they would welcome a more horizontal approach within each of the fiches. Involvement of all relevant stakeholders (for example, researchers, research institutions, universities, libraries, repositories, data centers, publishers etc.) is essential for the supporting of discoverability, navigation and (re)use of research data and literature. Additionally more attention to research institutions and the long-tail of research is needed. The fiches should give more importance to universities to establish skills and services. In addition the development of a clear workflow between research institutions and data centres should be supported.

In conclusion, the group aggrees that:

  • the framework is highly relevant and recognizes the changing nature of research support,
  • that the fiches will provide opportunities for libraries and repositories to support open science in a structured way and
  • it is essential that continuing professional development is supported through engagement with the broader stakeholder community in order to share and develop best practice.


To download the full response, please click here: Response LIBER OpenAIRE COAR.


Letter in response to “Licences for Europe” working group meeting – COAR among signatories

In response to the “Licences for Europe- A Stakeholder Dialogue” working group meeting on text and data mining for scientific research purposes, participants from LIBER, EBLIDA and further key stakeholders have published an open letter. Adressing Commissioners Barnier, Geoghegan-Quinn, Kroes and Vassiliou of the European Commission, signatories express their concerns that additional licensing is seen as the only solution to cover the needs of researchers who wish to undertake text and data mining in content to which they already have lawful access. The letter asks for support of the view that all evidence, opinions and solutions to facilitate the widest adoption of text and data mining should be taken into account and given equal weighting.
Executive Director Alicia Lopez Medina on behalf of COAR is among the signatories. LIBER and COAR collaborate as partners on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their joint interests.