Conference Agenda

MD10: Plan S and Open Access: What Kind of Reality Will it Make for Sociological Publication?
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
12:45pm - 1:45pm

Session Chair: Sue Scott, Newcastle University
Location: BS.G.27
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

This Midday session will address Plan-S (see and its mandate to achieve open access for all publicly-funded European science, including social science, by January 2020 – ‘making open access a reality’. The scope of the mandate varies by country, as do the means of making it happen (whether by incentives or by sanctions). We will assume that it will happen and that its application will be comprehensive, in order to assess the risks and opportunities for sociologists. We will consider the drivers of the policy – high subscription costs of journals – as well as problems of the new business models that are emerging (pay-to-publish, read-and-publish), revenue risks to professional associations as well as alternative ways of maintaining publication by associations. We will also consider the special circumstances of monograph publication.


John Holmwood, University of Nottingham, UK


John Holmwood is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham and a former President of the British Sociological Association and former member of the Executive Committee of the International Sociological Association. He was a member of the Higher Education Funding Council of England Expert Reference Group for its Monographs and Open Access Project. He is co-founder of the Campaign for the Public University and joint founder of the free online magazine of social research and commentary, Discover Society. He is a critic of the commercialisation of open access (‘Commercial enclosure: Whatever happened to open access?’, Radical Philosophy, 181, 2013).

Alison Shaw, CEO, Policy Press


Alison Shaw is founder and CEO of Policy Press, a major not-for-profit publisher of sociology and social policy in the UK, awarded Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year 2016. In 2016 she founded Bristol University Press, incorporating Policy Press as an imprint within it. She was named by The Bookseller magazine in its list of the top 100 most influential people in the book trade. This recognises influence and leadership across a wide range of publishers, retailers, authors and members of the media. Alison was one of only eight scholarly publishers on the list and Bristol is the only University Press outside of Oxford and Cambridge to have been included.

Julia Mortimer, Journals Director, Bristol University Press/Policy Press


Julia Mortimer is Journals Director and Head of Open Access at Bristol University Press and Policy Press. She was Assistant Director of Policy Press and has played a key role in developing both presses. Julia has been involved in many of the policy discussions around Open Access in the UK including the current Society Publishers Accelerating Open Access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project initiated by ALPSP, Wellcome Trust and UKRI and the current UKRI Review into Open Access.

chaired by:

Sue Scott, Newcastle University and University of Helsinki (ESA President)


Sue Scott is the current President of the European Sociological Association (2017-2019). She was President of the British Sociological Association 2007-2009. She is a sociologist primarily of gender and sexuality. Sue has been a Professor at a number of UK Universities, as well as a Dean and a Pro Vice Chancellor, and is now a Visiting Professor at Newcastle and Helsinki. She is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and adviser to the Academy on Open Access. She is on the Board of the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities. Sue is a founding and managing editor of Discover Society,

No contributions were assigned to this session.