The scholarly publication market is currently in a state of transition from the conventional “reader pays” subscription system to an “author pays” model which is closely linked to Open Access publishing.
Figures collected by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) in 2013 indicate that the number of articles published under a CC-BY license by eight of the association’s largest members had grown to 252 418 in 2012 from approximately 55 000 the preceding year. While 400% growth rates are unlikely to be sustained over the long run, growth in gold OA, and notably fee-based gold OA, is expected to expand rapidly over the medium term.
Faced with the need to establish administrative routines quickly and without past experience of managing, many institutions have turned to manual systems of processing payments and/or established routines that may not be sustainable as the uptake of pure OA among their researchers grows twofold, threefold and beyond. Embedded in these short-term solutions are hidden costs that can have major consequences upon the broader economics of scholarly publishing when multiplied across institutions.
To encourage a thoughtful and constructive dialogue amongst stakeholders the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Max Planck Digital Library, in cooperation with the Public Library of Science and Co-Action Publishing, held a Forum and Workshop on November 18th, 2013 in Berlin under the title “Towards an Efficient System for Managing APCs “. The aim of the event was to take steps towards defining best practices for the administration of APCs across stakeholder groups, through sharing of knowledge and experiences, and a practical discussion on solutions.
The ESAC initiative evolved from this workshop in order to communicate its results, to preserve the discussion and to establish a platform where practical solutions can be proposed.
To encourage a thoughtful and constructive dialogue amongst stakeholders on the challenges of APC management the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Max Planck Digital Library, in cooperation with the Public Library of Science and Co-Action Publishing, held a Forum and Workshop on November 18th, 2013 in Berlin under the title “Towards an Efficient System for Managing APCs “.
The aim of the event was to take steps towards defining best practices for the administration of APCs across stakeholder groups, through sharing of knowledge and experiences, and a practical discussion on solutions.
AGENDA & PARTICIPANTS
As a result of the workshop the following conclusions have been drawn with the intention to establish a common understanding of the key challenges and next steps required to improve APC handling.
Invoicing & Payment Handling
- We must clarify and define which data must be shown on an APC invoice.
- We must set up an invoice standard (“COUNTER-like”) accordingly together with the publishers.
- Together with the publishers a submitting system should be developed featuring all necessary queries in order to capture the needed data for a complete reporting and data processing.
- We should check possible partners involved in the standardization of non-bibliographic metadata like authors, funders, institutions (ORCID, FundRef, Ringgold etc.) in terms of sustainability, business models, and current status in order to find out whether they can be integrated in the submitting system.
- We should agree upon our rejection of split invoices.
- We should define criteria for applying memberships and prepayment schemes or further discuss the reasonableness of memberships.
- We should address the idea of indicating paying institutions in articles to publishing organizations (e.g. ICMJE , COPE).
APC cost development
- We should further discuss strategies to avoid increasing APCs.
- We should start an exchange on how negotiations on APCs could look like and on mechanisms and calculation models to predict an institution’s publication output.
- We should develop mechanisms and models to merge subscription budgets and APC budgets.
- We should further discuss whether there can be market competition on the “APC-market” and if so which services in detail do underlie competition up to which extend? Are there ways to stimulate competition?
- We should continue a discussion on how to include quality check in the process.
- We should establish a broad discussion involving authors, publishers, and libraries to raise awareness of the costs for Open Access and the associated requirements. We could set up an internet site as central forum.
- We support funders to establish ways to check compliance.