Open Access Publishing and Plan S

If you have been receiving research funding from one of the Plan S signatories, since 1 January 2021, any scientific publications that have been financed by these funds must be published in open access immediately, without embargo. 

What is Plan S?

Plan S is an initiative from an international consortium of research funding bodies, cOAlition S. They want to speed up the transition to open access publishing. In the Netherlands, Plan S has been signed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). The Dutch Research Council's Open Access Plan S Policy covers peer-reviewed articles, review papers, conference publications and books.

Plan S conditions

The following conditions apply to the publications that are financed by Plan S: 

  • Publications must immediately be made available through full open access. There must be no embargoes.
  • The publications should preferably be published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY). CC BY-SA and CC0 are also permitted. Use of other licences will require prior consent from the research funding body.
  • The scientific author and/or institution holds the copyright. The licence should make it possible for the Version of Record (publisher’s version) or the author’s version to be immediately made available via the Radboud Repository after peer review (post-print).

How can I comply with Plan S?

There are three ways in which the conditions of the Plan S signatories can be met:

  1. The work must be published in a fully open access journal or on an open access platform. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) contains an overview of qualified fully open access journals. In most cases, scientific authors pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). This can be funded with money that has been allocated for open access publishing as part of the funding application.
  2. You may still have your work published in a scientific journal that is based on the subscription model. In this case, you will need to make sure that you are at least able to publish the peer-reviewed author’s version (post-print or Author Accepted Manuscript) directly in open access in the Radboud Repository without embargo.
    In an effort to assist scientists with this, cOAlition S has developed a Rights Retention Strategy.
  3. The Association of Universities in the Netherlands have concluded so-called transformative agreements with a large number of major publishers, with whom the corresponding authors of the Dutch universities may publish their articles in open access at no extra cost. These agreements comply with Plan S. If you would like to know which journals these agreements apply to, take a look at our Journal Browser. Or have a look at the list of publishers with whom Radboud University and Radboud university medical center have made agreements.


If you have any questions about Open Access, send an email to: