Home 190708 RELX Group | Plan S postponed by one year
190708 RELX Group | Plan S postponed by one year

190708 RELX Group | Plan S postponed by one year


No. pages 7




Last May, we published an in-depth report on RELX Group featuring the migration towards a more Open Access based environment and the possible consequences for its STM division in particular.

Shortly after our report was published, cOAlition S – a group of national research funding organisations that, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), aims for full and immediate Open Access to research publications – announced some modifications in Plan S. The latter contains a set of guidelines for Open Access.

The most important element is that implementation of this initiative has been postponed by one year and will now be as of January 2021. This will give all parties involved more time to prepare themselves and take adequate action.
cOAlition S also announced some (minor) modifications in Plan S, which we will discuss in this report.

What it all adds up to is that from 2021 onward, a transformation period will apply as well. In order to stimulate the migration to more Open Access, cOAlition S may actually provide financial support; for now until 2024. Although this may help, we do not believe that this will trigger a 'big bang'. Instead, we stick to our view that change at a more evolutionary pace is more likely.

This appears to be supported by the fact that cOAlition S calls upon its members to change the current research reward and incentive system. As long as the current ecosystem is still in place, whereby both authors and funders still are strongly focused on publications in the most impactful journals, the large STM publishers will have very little to fear and may actually benefit from more Open Access in the near term.

As for RELX specifically, it should also be noted that STM is just one of its four divisions. Although it is one of the more important contributors to its overall revenue and results, the other three offer ample room to compensate for any headwinds here.

A flip side of the proposed changes in Plan S, is that there may be a period of contract renewal uncertainty between now and early 2021.






Created Date: Monday July 08, 2019 08:52:51
Last Updated Date: Monday July 08, 2019 08:52:51
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