The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) commends cOAlition S on today’s announcement of its Rights Retention Strategy to advance the goal of immediate open access to the published results of funded research. With this announcement, cOAlition S has provided a pathway to implementing the first principle of Plan S, that authors or their institutions retain copyright to their publications, and make them available under an open license. While author rights retention and open licensing have been a bedrock principle for open access advocates for nearly two decades, many authors are reluctant to challenge journal publishers who require the transfer of copyright as a condition of publication. Similarly, cOAlition S (and many other funding agencies) have been reluctant to tell authors where to publish their work.
Under this new strategy, cOAlition S resolves this conflict by assigning, as a condition of their grants, a default CC-BY license to all author accepted manuscripts (AAMs) reporting on original research supported in whole or in part by their funding. Grantees are asked to inform publishers of this requirement and open license upon submission, and then upon publication to make that manuscript (or, if possible, the version of record), immediately available in an open access repository. Research libraries either maintain such open repositories for their institutions or have the expertise and services to consult with researchers on where and how to deposit their work openly.
“As an organization representing stewards of the scholarly record, the Association of Research Libraries welcomes the Rights Retention Strategy as a scalable, policy-based solution,” said ARL Executive Director Mary Lee Kennedy. “We commend cOAlition S on this bold approach to advancing open access to funded research through open repositories.”
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.