The Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) on Plan S

The Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) on Plan S:

Press release, September 19th 2018, COASPA – Vienna

The Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) enthusiastically welcomes and endorses the bold proposal of cOAlition S to accelerate the transition to Open Access in Europe.

The cOAlition S plan requires grantees to publish in compliant Open Access journals by 2020. Hybrid journals are defined as non-compliant, as long as they are not part of a transformative arrangement. FOAA takes special note of the pledge that the Funders will provide incentives to establish and support new high-quality journals and infrastructures when appropriate and necessary. FOAA believes that a coordinated plan and vigorous support will be crucial to help current hybrid journals in their transition to compliant Open Access. FOAA believes that its Open Publication Platform (OPP) proposed last May with the various partners of the Consortium for a Transparent Transition to Open Access (TTOA) can be instrumental in achieving this goal. FOAA is currently consulting with the TTOA partners and various other publishers how they can participate in the OPP so that the transition from hybrid to full Open Access can be facilitated without disruption.

The cOAlition S plan also puts a cap on Open Access publication fees. FOAA is concerned that a cap may simply set a new higher price point for APCs to which publishers will be drawn, increasing the costs to funders and institutions. We would like to plead for full transparency of the APC, requiring publishers to provide a specified breakdown of the per-article costs of publishing.

Finally, the cOAlition S plan largely focuses on the APC model. FOAA would like to draw attention to various Open Access initiatives that do not charge authors, which are especially important in the Humanities, and play a key role in the change to Open Access.

For more information, see contact prof.dr. Johan Rooryck at or drs. Saskia de Vries at