October 2019 From the IFAC President

IFAC-PapersOnLine transition to Diamond Open Access

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Imagine  you  can  read  all  published  articles
for  free  and  at  the  same  time  you  can  also
publish for free while retaining the copyright.
Sounds  like  the  perfect  publication  model?
Well, that is exactly what IFAC is offering for
all  of  its  events  since  the  beginning  of  this
month.  This  means  that  PapersOnLine  (or
short POL), which is where all IFAC event pro-
ceedings go, is classified as Diamond Open
Access  (which  already  sounds  as  cool  and
valuable as it is). This also means that POL
fulfills the highest standards with respect to
the ongoing discussions about Open Access
(OA) including the claims of ‘cOAlition S’ and
the associated funding agencies.

But let me go one step back and start with an
explanation of Diamond OA. While Gold OA
and  Green  OA  might  be  a  household  name
for one or the other within the color naming
system  of  OA  types,  Diamond  OA  (or  also
referred to as Platinum OA) is maybe lesser
known. For Diamond OA, the article must be
immediately open access right after publica-
tion  without  any  embargo  period,  and  nei-
ther the reader nor the author needs to pay
anything. Furthermore, the author retains the
copyright, while an open license can remove
most restrictions on distribution, use and re-

In Sept. IFAC Council voted in favor of mov-
ing POL towards this Diamond Open Access
model  and  the  transition  started  on  the  1st
of  October.  Of  course,  authors  will  only  ex-
perience this change after their next paper is
accepted to an IFAC conference: Instead of
transferring the copyright to IFAC, a Creative
Commons (CC) license will be issued. A CC
license enables the free distribution, sharing
and reuse of an otherwise copyrighted paper,
or more general pieces of ‘work’. Therefore,
these licenses are typically used for all kinds
of  open  access  work.  More  specifically,  we
offer the CC BY-NC-ND license as this keeps
the most rights with the author. This license
requires attribution, i.e. citation of the original
author when copying, it does not allow others
to copy and distribute the paper for commer-
cial  purposes  and  prohibits  others  to  make
derivate works e.g. by remixing the content.
However, due to my missing law degree and
the shortness of this column, I highly recom-
mend the interested reader to look into one of
the many well-explained websites describing
the creative commons licenses.

To summarize: You don’t pay to read any pa-
pers on POL, you don’t pay to publish on POL
and  all  authors  retain  the  copyright  of  their
paper from now on. All related fees are cov-
ered by IFAC (and not by the IFAC events!),
making this the perfect deal for our commu-
nity, not to say ‘the best deal ever’ (as some
self-proclaimed deal-makers would put it).
So, don’t hesitate, the next IFAC ‘freebie’ is
just around the corner: Submission deadline
of contributions for the IFAC World Congress
is 31 October 2019!

With best regards from Stuttgart
Frank Allgöwer