Decolonise Plan S, South African academics hear

Scientists warned against ‘apartheidisation’ of research and spiralling costs

Plan S—the controversial open-access publishing plan that has the backing of some research funders around the world—needs to be “seriously decolonised”, a group of South African academics heard last week.

The sentiment was expressed by Robin Crewe, a former head of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and echoed by others at a roundtable on open access publishing organised by the academy at Stellenbosch University of 24 October.

Crewe, a noted critic of the plan which mandates that all publicly funded research be published on open access platforms from 2021, said the country’s National Research Foundation and government would make “a serious mistake” if they endorse Plan S—which according to him and others at the meeting will be more expensive than current publishing models.

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