Priorities for Plan S by Open Access Champion Johan Rooryck

Priorities for Plan S by Open Access Champion Johan Rooryck

Johan Rooryck shares his priorities for Plan S and his passion for Open Access publishing.

About Johan Rooryck

Johan Rooryck is a researcher, journal editor, and committed advocate of Open Access publishing. He is Professor of French Linguistics at Leiden University (Netherlands). He has over 20 years’ experience as an editor, first as the Executive Editor of Lingua (Elsevier) and since 2015 as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Fair Open Access journal Glossa: a journal of general linguistics.

He is President of the Quality Open Access Market (QOAM), founding member and President of the Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA), founding member of Mathematics in Open Access (MathOA) and Psychology in Open Access (PsyOA), founding member and President of Linguistics in Open Access (LingOA), and Member of the Academia Europaea. 

The interview

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Open Access Champion for cOAlition S. What are your first priorities for Plan S in this new role?

“My first priorities in my new role as Open Access Champion for cOAlition S are to meet with all stakeholders: researchers, universities, libraries, publishers, and learned societies. My goal is to clarify any misunderstandings around Plan S, and to convince more research funders to join, with a special focus on those outside Europe.”

You are one of the founders and Editor in Chief of Glossa: a journal of general linguistics. What prompted you to set up a fully open access publication?

“I was led to set up Glossa as a result of my disenchantment with Elsevier. In general, I did not like their position with respect to Open Access and the Elsevier boycott, which harmed my relationship with reviewers. In addition, Elsevier’s interaction with the editorial team of Lingua, which I had edited for 16 years, had over the years turned from collaborative to directive. We had a feeling core decisions about the direction of the journal were progressively taken away from the editorial team.”  

What are the specific challenges of embedding open access within a research community?

“There were surprisingly few challenges in embedding Open Access in the linguistics research community once we had secured the money for flipping 4 linguistics journals to Fair Open Access. I was actually pleasantly surprised how enthusiastically the linguistics community supported our initiative, and especially the move from Lingua to Glossa. Dissemination by social media played a large role here. We wanted to provide proof of concept that the value of a journal is not in its impact factor or title but in its community of authors, reviewers, and editors. When a family decides to move to a new house, it is still the same family. We entirely succeeded in that endeavour of moving the community to a new journal title, Glossa, which is thriving even beyond the levels of Lingua before 2015. The old title Lingua still exists, but has become a completely different journal.”

You are our keynote speaker at The Future of Research: Assessing the impact of Plan S on 6th November at KU Leuven. Why is outreach important for cOAlition S?

“Outreach is important to cOAlition S because we want to convince, not just impose. The purpose of Plan S is to provide a catalyst in accelerating the transition to Open Access. We want it to happen in the next few years. Paywalls have to come down ASAP. Open Access will accelerate science and make it more visible in society.”

What key messages do you hope the audience will take away with them?

“My key message is that we have to jointly find solutions for the many challenges in that transition, rather than cling to an outdated subscription model. We need all the help we can get in that transition. I hope the best and brightest minds of academia and academic publishing will focus their energies to contributing to that goal.”

Professor Rooryck delivered the keynote address at The future of research: assessing the impact of Plan S on 6th November 2019 at KU Leuven. 

23rd September 2019. For further information please contact Juliet Davies, Executive Officer

Interview Spotlight Series

Interview Spotlight Series

Read our series of interviews with Members of Academia Europaea connected with the Cardiff Knowledge Hub. Our members share their career highlights and their views on key issues in research.


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