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Eleven European countries have signed on to Plan S, which would require researchers who receive public funds to publish in open-access journals, the Economist reports. Those countries include the UK, France, and the Netherlands, it adds.

Plan S was developed by Science Europe, a coalition of European funding agencies. It has 10 key principles, including that authors retain copyright of their publications, funders will develop criteria for compliant open-access journals, and that the funders or universities cover open-access fees. It sets January 2020 as the date for compliance.

The plan "insists that, from 2020, research we have already paid for through our taxes will no longer be locked up," writes George Monbiot in a column at the Guardian.

Publishers are not down with the idea, according to the Economist. Springer Nature tells it that the plan "potentially undermines the whole research publishing system," while the American Association for the Advancement of Science says it would "disrupt scholarly communications, be a disservice to researchers, and impinge academic freedom."

The Economist notes that Plan S is "not yet a done deal" and that a "middle way may be found."

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