New report by Institute for Scientific Information on Plan S poses key questions for the research community

New report by Institute for Scientific Information on Plan S poses key questions for the research community

LONDON, March 1, 2019: A new report on Plan S[1] from the Institute for Scientific Information, using Web of Science data poses a number of questions for the research community, including funders, publishers and institutions. This is the second report in the Global Research series from the recently relaunched Institute for Scientific Information.

The report, “The Plan S footprint: implications for the scholarly publishing landscape”, examines recent patterns of publications funded by Plan S supporters, exploring potential impacts on funders, subjects, countries, publishers, and journals.

Dr Jonathan Adams, Director, Institute for Scientific Information said: “Our report, based on journal data taken from Web of Science Core Collection, looks to provide an unbiased and data-driven background analysis to inform the debate around a potentially transformative change in research policy.

“The report raises a number of questions for consideration by funders, publishers and institutions when exploring possible ways to implement Plan S.”

The report findings pose the following questions, which are backed up with data:

  • Some research areas have very few journals that are currently Plan S compliant. Without carefully paced transition to allow for the emergence of new titles, is there a risk of unusual constraints and disjunctions in publishing opportunities in affected subjects?
  • Citations are not a defining metric of quality, but might the restructuring of the spread of well-cited papers have unplanned contingent consequences?
  • How can the shift to Gold Open Access and associated APCs be managed equitably to protect the positions both of unfunded researchers in G20 economies and of a wider spread of authors in emergent research regions?
  • The large publishers, with a diverse stable of titles, will be influential in discussions, but there are many small publishers, including those linked to learned societies, who publish an important part of the Plan S funded output in serials central to their discipline. Will transition be more difficult for them and, if so, can this be managed effectively but flexibly?

The report dataset is comprised of publication records drawn from the more than 20,000 journals in the Web of Science Core Collection. These records were filtered for content published in 2017 and documents were then classified as articles or reviews. Proceedings papers are not identified as a document type under the Plan S proposals.

Document records in Web of Science contain ‘acknowledgments’, which include funding sources. These were used to identify papers sponsored by Plan S funder organisations, by cross-reference to a manually curated list of funder variants. This enabled broad capture of papers that would be affected by Plan S mandates. Some authors will have failed to identify Plan S funding and there will also be papers not included because of missing data or obscure name variants. The Plan S funded records analysed therefore represent a minimum estimate of Plan S papers published and of those indexed in the Web of Science.

Web of Science integrates data from Impactstory’s Unpaywall which has one of the widest sets of data on article level OA information and is augmented by a direct journal level feed from the DOAJ.

You can download the full report here.





[1] Plan S is an initiative from “cOAlition S”: a consortium of the European Research Council and national research agencies and funders, initially in Europe but now including other funders worldwide. It will require researchers who benefit from state-funded projects and institutions to publish in open repositories or in journals where all papers are publicly accessible, for free to anyone with an internet connection.

Sign up to more reports from ISI here:


Media Contact 

Amy Bourke-Waite

Director of External Communications


About the Web of Science Group

The Web of Science Group organizes the world’s research information to enable academia, corporations, publishers and governments accelerate the pace of research.  It is powered by the Web of Science – the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform. Its many well-known brands also include Converis, EndNote, Kopernio, Publons, ScholarOne and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).  The ‘university’ of the Web of Science Group, ISI maintains the knowledge corpus upon which the index and related information and analytical content and services are built; it disseminates that knowledge externally through events, conferences and publications and it carries out research to sustain, extend and improve the knowledge base. The Web of Science Group is a Clarivate Analytics company.


About Clarivate Analytics

Clarivate Analytics is a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. Building on a heritage going back more than a century and a half, we have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor, and Techstreet. Today, Clarivate Analytics is a new and independent company, on a bold entrepreneurial mission to help our clients radically reduce the time from new ideas to life-changing innovations.


Forward-Looking Statements

This press release and oral statements made with respect to information contained in this release may contain forward-looking statements regarding Clarivate Analytics. Forward-looking statements provide Clarivate Analytics’ current expectations or forecasts of future events and may include statements regarding anticipated synergies and other future expectations. These statements involve risks and uncertainties including factors outside of Clarivate Analytics’ control that may cause actual results to differ materially. Clarivate Analytics undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements made herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Subscribe to our news

Let's stay in touch. Subscribe to our latest announcements.