Plan S Impact on Software Engineering Publications

Plan S Impact on Software Engineering Publications

Presentation at the ACM SIGSOFT Town Hall meeting that took place in Tallinn, Estonia, during ESEC/FSE 2019.

Plan S is an initiative by major European research funders who require that all research they fund is made available as Open Access. In particular it demands that all research is made available with a license that allows anyone to use the papers for any purpose, as long as the original paper is credited (the Creative Commons Attribution License).

We summarize Plan S, and explore to what extent ACM SIGSOFT publications can be made Plan S compliant, and how many papers will be affected (14%).

More information in blog post at


Arie van Deursen

August 28, 2019


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    Plan S Impact on Software Engineering Publications Arie van Deursen,

    TU Delft; ACM SIGSOFT Town Hall Meeting; Tallinn, August 28, 2019 1
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    Plan S • Coalition of major (€100 billion) European research

    funders • EU, H2020, ERC, UK/EPSRC, NL/NWO, ... • Demands that all resulting research is available as open access • With Creative Commons (CC BY) license with attribution • Anyone can use the paper for any purpose, even commercially • Incompatible with many publishers to date • What is the situation for software engineering research? 2
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    Three Routes to Plan S Compliance 1. Journal/conference is full

    (gold) open access with CC BY license. • Open access fees (APC) refunded by Coalition S 2. Journal/conference is subscription based (paywall, closed access), but allows authors to self-archive with CC BY • Fees for CC BY in hybrid models are not refunded by Coalition S • Authors must self archive in “compliant repository” 3. Journal/conference is in transition towards open access before 2024 • Publisher and Coalition S need to agree on “Transformative Arrangements” • Fees refunded, even though hybrid model is used. 4
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    Current ACM Plan S Compliance: Mostly Route 2 • ACM

    self-archiving rules: • Authors can self-archive, in non-commercial repositories • Standard (free) ACM license is exclusive: only ACM or author can redistribute • Author-paid fee is required for any non-exclusive license, such as CC BY. • Route to Plan S for article within current ACM setting: • Pay $700/$900 (conference) or $1300/$1700 (journals) open access fee • Copy paper to compliant repository with CC BY license • Compliant, but fee not refunded by Coalition S 5
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    Proceedings of the ACM in Programming Languages 6
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    Sanctions on Non-Compliance • Withholding grant funds • Discounting non-compliant

    publications as part of a researcher’s track record in grant applications • Excluding non-compliant grant holders from future funding calls 8
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    [ Intermezzo: IEEE ] • ACM SIGSOFT and IEEE TCSE

    co-sponsor many events (ICSE, ASE, ...) • Without fee, IEEE self-archiving is incompatible with CC BY • With fee of $2045, hybrid IEEE journals (TSE) are compatible • IEEE conferences have no hybrid option • Publishing in IEEE conferences is non-compliant with Plan S • [ IEEE is launching a new IEEE Open Journal of the Computer Society ] 10
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    [ Why does Europe want open access? ] • Europe

    will benefit more from their €100 billion investment, if any (European) citizen/industry can freely access the resulting knowledge. • Europe believes that the world needs informed societal debate about all research Europe invests in • Climate change, health care, ethics, artificial intelligence, ... • Europe believes that not just single papers, but also all research building on such papers needs to be accessible • Europe believes that current (subscription-based) academic publishing costs take too much of Europe’s research budget 11
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    Discussion: SIGSOFT Action Items 1. ESEC/FSE with European roots must

    accommodate researchers funded through Plan S. 2. Should ACM SIGSOFT follow the ACM SIGPLAN model and launch the open access Proceedings of the ACM in Software Engineering? 3. Should ACM TOSEM go gold open access? 4. What can ACM SIGSOFT do to ensure all its (co)sponsored journals, conferences, and workshops comply with Plan S? 5. What can ACM SIGSOFT do to coerce IEEE to make co-sponsored events like ICSE and ASE compliant with Plan S? 12
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    More Information • IANAL: Use all information at your own

    risk • • • 13