Plan S does not require CC BY per se

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Posted in by A year ago, more than a dozen influential research funders in Europe launched.
This plan poses, from 2021 onwards, strict requirement s on open access publishing of any research funded through the Plan S coalition.
To understand what this means for my field of research, software engineering , I did some data collection.
My data suggests that 14% (one out of seven) of the published papers are affected, meaning that conferences may lose 14% of their papers, unless publishers take action.
The European Union , which runs the program of €100 billion (over 113 billion US dollars).
It is the successor to H2020, and includes funding for the prestigious personal grants of the European Research Council (ERC).
Twelve national research funding organizations, from various European countries, such as (where I live), the United Kingdom , and Austria.

The of these Plan S “funders” (collectively called “Coalition S”)

is that The coalition has taken an axiomatic approach to expressing its plans, starting with 10 , followed by a.
The results is a somewhat hard to understand document, .

In which there are to become Plan S compliant

In all forms of Plan S compliance the license plays a key role

As Plan S (under the header Rights and Licensing) : This

thus, corresponds to the license, also known as CC BY.
Note that this is a very generous license, essentially allowing anyone to do anything with the paper.
Traditionally, publishers do not like this, as they wish to keep exclusive control over who distributes the paper.
Strictly speaking, Plan S does not require CC BY per se , but authors need to ask permission for any other license.
For the CC BY-SA “Share-Alike” variant of the license permission will be granted automatically, b ut for CC BY-ND “No Derivatives” permission needs to be asked.
Coalition S explicitly indicates that CC BY-NC “Non-Commercial” is : Given this CC BY starting point, Plan S distinguishes to compliance: Subscription-based venues: These by themselves are non-compliant, but can be made compliant if the author immediately (no embargo) deposits the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in a compliant repository with a CC BY license.
This license is a complicating factor, since many publishers (they are self-archived, and no one else can do this — which is at odds with the sharing principle of CC BY).
If such restrictions exist, a way out can exist if the venue permits hybrid open access, in which authors can pay an extra fee to make their own article open access available with a CC BY license.
This model is offered by many publishers, but not by all.
Note, however, that in Plan S, while this route is “compliant”, .

Plan S does not refund the APC fees

The 10 principles also address other issues relevant to open access: it requires that “the structure of fees must be transparent” (, suggesting that some of the current article processing charges are unexplainably high), and warns that the funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliant beneficiaries/grantees (, a direct threat to me).

To understand whether Plan S compliant publishing in my area of research

software engineering, is possible at the moment, I looked at the top 20 venues in the area of , according to.
In these top 20 venues, just three are gold open access: and , both published by ACM , and TACAS, published by Springer.
It is in these venues that authors funded through Coalition S, can safely publish, following the gold open access route to compliance.
Their open access fees will be covered by the Coalition S funders.
Since the do not permit the use of CC BY without a fee, the hybrid route applies, in which (1) authors pay a fee; (2) the publisher distributes with CC BY; and (3) the author shares on a Plan S compliant repository.
Note that this route is compliant, but that the fee is not refunded by Coalition S.

This self-archiving route works for IEEE journals

but not for IEEE conferences.
This is because for IEEE conferences presently authors do not have the option to pay a fee to publish just their own paper open access (unlike ACM).
As stated by IEEE in their on the “IEEE Policy Regarding Authors Rights to Post Accepted Versions of Their Articles”: Note that other fields may fare better: top conferences in security (), AI (, ), or // sponsored by are all full gold open access.
This, however, seems the exception rather than the rule.
Last but not least, Coalition S is working hard to expand the list of funders, talking to both China and , for example.
Also, Jordania and Zambia have already joined, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (though their presence in computer science research is limited, compared to, e.g., China).
Since conferences (with full length rigorously reviewed papers) are dominant in software engineering, I focused on these.
I picked two editions of and (for which I am a member of the steering committee) and for the smaller and more specialized conference (which I happened to attend this summer).
The results (also available as ) are as follows: The 14% I found is substantially higher than the estimate of 6% impact found by Clarivate Analytics (cited by the ), and the itself.
If anything, this factor 3 or even factor 5 with ISSTA difference calls for a detailed assessment for each venue affected.
My data is based on what I saw in the acknowledgments: In reality it is likely that more papers are affected.
You can check your own papers in — corrections are welcome.
The 14% figure relates to impact on the conference.
Individual researchers can be affected much more.
Our , for example, has been very successful in attracting substantial funding both from the EU and from the Dutch NWO.
As a consequence, for me personally, half of my publications will be affected.
For some new PhD students starting in my group funded on such projects all publications will be affected.
ACM, as one of the leading publishers in computer science, .

Shared an update on their Plan S progress in their

It states: The ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages, , meanwhile, sets an example on how to progress within the current setting.
The research papers of three of its key conferences are published as part of the.
This is a Gold Open Access journal in which different volumes are devoted to different conferences.
The POPL, OOPSLA, and ICFP conferences have adopted this model, and hence are fully open access.
To quote the by : Furthermore, last year, we as ACM SIGSOFT members elected as our chair.
In his he wrote: The other main non-profit society publisher in software engineering is the IEEE.
IEEE publishes various conferences and journals in software engineering on its own, such as ICSME, MODELS, RE and ICST.
Furthermore.

Several major conferences are co-sponsored by IEEE and ACM together

such as and.
Note: — use this information at your own risk.
License: Copyright (c) Arie van Deursen, 2019.
Licensed under.
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Posted in by I am relieved that this miserable rule is about to change: February 23rd of this year, the Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer) has passed an to bring PhD supervision more in line with the rest of the world (for an English summary, see this article).
However, the vote for this law in the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) still needs to take place,.
Much to my surprise, the preliminary reports by the Senate committee raised.
The senators advocate a hierarchical model in which the full professor is “responsible for the discipline” — a notion at odds with the modern principal investigator approach in which all researchers are peers.
The senators are afraid of “undesirable friction”, thereby assuming that making the roles of co-advisors explicit increases rather than decreases friction.
The senators gratuitously worry that extending the ius promovendi to non-full professors will reduce the quality of the supervision.
The senators argue that granting the right to supervise at the end of a career, is an attractive way of encouraging young professors to engage in such a career.
Lastly, in line with the advice of the , the senators wonder “whether there is a real problem requiring a new law”.
Answers to these concerns and questions will be provided by the Dutch Minster of Education, after which the senators will vote.
Despite the senators’ concerns, the general expectation is that the law will pass.
In preparing her answer, the minister can use a wide range of documents arguing the need for this change, e.g., by the and the.
The Dutch lists nine key concerns with the current regulation.
They argue that the current law is disconnected from reality in academic life, resulting in insufficient recognition (in reputation, financially, and when competing for grants) for the non-full professors involved.
The Young Academy also points out that the present situation makes The Netherlands unattractive for talented researchers seeking to pursue an academic career in The Netherlands (as a point of reference, in my department half of the faculty is non-Dutch).
Besides this, the in its letter (in English) to the executive board of the University of Amsterdam emphasizes problems related to quality control, arguing that in many areas it will be hard to find a full professor who is the actual expert in the field.

It can lead to publication restrictions for the PhD student

even if the full professor abstains from active involvement in the research.
A case in point are that in a strict interpretation forbid research students to submit a paper if their advisor is program chair even if that advisor ultimately has a mere ceremonial role in the PhD project.
Extra advisors here means fewer publication options.
After that, it is up to the universities to take advantage of this law, and change their own doctoral regulations.
The has various useful suggestions.
For example, they call for always appointing two supervisors (a good idea already in place at various universities).
Given the new law, it then becomes possible to make the young assistant professor (who, e.g., has obtained the grant) the primary supervisor, and to involve a second supervisor in a more advisory role (i.e., .

Not carrying executive responsibility for the success of the PhD)

Drafting these new regulations in a way that is most beneficial to the PhD students

and getting them approved will take some time, but I am confident the improvement will be worth the effort.
UPDATE 7 June 2017: In response to the questions from the Dutch senators, the (the Association of Dutch Universities) and the presidents of the Dutch Universities provided an explaining how they would implement the law in their regulations.
In particular, this addendum emphasizes that universities will grant the “ius promovendum” to associate professors (“UHDs”), but not to assistant professors.
Given this addendum, the Senate passed the internationalization law on June 6, 2017.
Image credit: , Flickr.
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Posted in , by This week we finished grading of the I’m teaching.
All in all, this spreadsheet has grown quite complex, and it is easy to make a mistake.
For example, I once released incorrect grades — a rather stressful event both for my students and myself.
And all I did wrong was forgetting the — despite the fact that I was well aware of this “feature”.
For the this year’s spreadsheet we had duplicate student ids, in a column where each row had to be unique, leading to a missing grade, and again extra effort and stress to resolve this as soon as possible.
Now I have an interest in spreadsheets that goes beyond that of the casual user: As a software engineering researcher, I have looked extensively at spreadsheets.
I did this together with , first when she was doing her PhD under my supervision in the context of the project (co-funded by Microsoft) and then in the context of the project (funded by the Dutch agency).
From a research perspective, these projects were certainly successful, leading to a series of publications in such venues as ECOOP 2010, ICSE 2011-2013, ICSM, EMSE, and SANER.
To that end, we founded a company, , which offers tooling, services, consultancy, and training to help organizations and individuals become more effective with their spreadsheets.
After several years of operating somewhat under the radar, the Infotron team (headed by CEO ) has now launched an on line service, PerfectXL, in which users can upload a spreadsheet and get it analyzed.
The service then helps in the following ways: PerfectXL can visualize the between sheets, as shown above for my course sheet;.
PerfectXL can (such as the vlookup I mentioned, interrupted ranges, or overly complex conditional logic);.
PerfectXL can assess the structure and quality of the in your sheet.
If this sounds interesting, you can try out the service for free at.
There are various that help Infotron run and further grow this service — pick the subscription that suits you and your organization best.
Even if you decide not to use the PerfectXL service, the site contains a lot of generally useful information, such as various hints and tips on how to well-structured spreadsheets.
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Posted in by The Dutch government has proposed a new law on intelligence and security services (“Wet op de inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten” — ).
As several privacy-related organizations have made clear, this law proposes non-specific (bulk) interception powers for any form of telecom or data transfer without independent ex-ante review or court involvement (see the summary by , and reactions on the bill by , , the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam , and the Internet Society ).
When discussing the importance of privacy, I am always reminded of South Africa’s anti-apartheid activist and his autobiography “The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter” (first published in 1990, and turned into a in 2014).
As a law student at the University of Capetown, started fighting apartheid at the age of 17, in 1952.
He was imprisoned from 1963-1964 (solitary confinement) and again in 1966, after which he was exiled from his home country South Africa.
From 1991 until 1993, after Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990, Albie Sachs played a pivotal role in the leading to the new.
For his recovery he was flown into a London hospital.
He noticed that he was remarkably optimistic, and he was wondering why.
Here is his reason (): Albie Sachs is not alone in his dream.
According to of the , we all have a right to privacy:.
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