The French Committee for Open Science has published a guide to help researchers apply the rights retention strategy (RRS) to their scientific publications.
The RRS is considered a novel approach which aims at allowing the unrestricted dissemination of knowledge within the scientific community and beyond. It is put forward by cOAlition S (a consortium of 28 research funding organisations that initiated Plan S) and requires that all research articles originating from projects funded by members of the consortium be made available in open access and with an open licence at the time of publication.
In the traditional scientific journal publishing model, researchers transfer their proprietary rights exclusively to publishers so they can publish and distribute the manuscripts and make commercial use of them. Conversely, the RRS encourages researchers to no longer transfer exclusive copyright to the publishers of scientific journals. In fact, with the RRS, researchers retain sufficient rights on their publications so as to make them available in immediate open access, regardless of the distribution model of the journal in which they are published.
The guide introduces the RRS, presents its benefits for researchers and gives details on how to implement the strategy in practice. In particular, it provides practical suggestions and solutions to overcome the various types of difficulties researchers may encounter in applying the RRS.
An FAQ is also included at the end to answer researchers’ main questions regarding which licences to choose, the various options available according to the stage of publication or how to manage relationships with publishers.