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Transparency of publication fees and the OpenAPC project

Christoph Broschinski & Andreas Czerniak





Introduction

OpenAPC: An Open Data project, tasked with the collection, processing and dissemination of data on APC expenditures

  1. What are APCs...
    • APC: Article Processing Charge
    • One-time fee to be paid to a publisher to have an article published Open Access in a scientific journal
    • Can either be mandatory (for fully OA journals) or optional (for hybrid journals)
    • Usually in the 1,000 - 3,000 Euro range (Average value in OpenAPC: 1,961€)
  2. ...and why are they important?
    • Transition process: Scientific publishing slowly (but steadily) shifting to Open Access.
    • At the same time, payments to publishers are transforming from subscription fees to APC-based models.
    • Monitoring/steering of the transition requires solid data on APC payments.

OpenAPC: Facts and numbers

  1. Overview
    • Established in mid 2014 at Bielefeld University Library
    • First participants: German universities taking part in the Open Access Publishing Programme of the DFG
    • Officially funded by the DFG from 2015 - 2018 (INTACT) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2018 (KOA)
  2. Basic principles
    • Maximum of transparency ("Open" not only applies to data, but also to code/workflows/history)
    • High degree of automation (scripts for data enrichment, testing, building)
    • Low entry barriers for new participants (no formal membership etc.)
  3. Current state (as of 03/2019)
    • Metadata collection on 75,334 articles with associated APC costs
    • Contributed by 231 institutions from 14 countries
    • Total reported APC amount: 147,640,205 €

Data format & processing

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Reported by institution

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Reported by institution

Crossref

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Reported by institution

Crossref

Europe Pubmed Central

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Reported by institution

Crossref

Europe Pubmed Central

ISSN Organisation

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Reported by institution

Crossref

Europe Pubmed Central

ISSN Organisation

Web of Science

Data format & processing

institutionperiodeurodoiis_hybridpublisherjournal_full_titleissnissn_pissn_eissn_llicense_refin_crossrefpmidpmciduturldoaj
Bamberg2013137210.2147...FALSEDove Medical...Journal of...1178-7090NA1178-70901178-7090http://creative...TRUE2378...PMC3...ut:00020...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2376...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE
Bamberg201396010.3389...FALSEFrontiers...Frontiers in...1664-1078NA1664-10781664-1078NATRUE2384...PMC3...ut:00033...NATRUE

Reported by institution

Crossref

Europe Pubmed Central

ISSN Organisation

Web of Science

DOAJ

Advantages:

OpenAPC infrastructure

Becoming part of OpenAPC

Let's say your institution wants to particpate in OpenAPC. What steps do you have to undertake?

  1. Prepare an intial data set according to our submission guidelines (Doesn't need to be large!).
  2. (Optional) Create a small README file providing some background information on your APC data.
  3. Designate a contact person at your institution (name + mail address).
  4. Mail everything to openapc@uni-bielefeld.de.
  5. Done.

If you are feeling adventurous (or technically inclined), you might also want to consider these two alternative ways of submitting your data:

  1. (Advanced) Go to our Github repository and initiate pull request so we can ingest your data directy.
  2. (VERY advanced) Modify your institutional repository so that APC costs can be directly attached as metadata to article records.

Obtaining APC data

Data submitted to OpenAPC usually originates from 3 different sources:

  1. Aggregated data collections from large funding organisations (Wellcome Trust, FWF...)
    • Funders usually require strict bookkeeping and reporting when paying for your APCs
    • This usually means they have some large Excel sheets floating around that OpenAPC can reuse.
    • If authors affiliated with your instituion received funding from an organisation, OpenAPC might have already ingested that data.
  2. Institutional publication funds
    • Some institutions operate local publication funds dedicated foster OA publishing
    • Just as with the large funders, there's probably collected data on funded articles that OpenAPC can use
    • Might be the easiest way to provide OpenAPC data for individual institutions
  3. Everything else (the "grey APC area")
    • APCs which are paid from other budgets: Individual persons, research groups, departments, faculties...
    • Largest of the three sources, and (unfortunately) the hardest to dig into
    • Requires bringing together two different worlds!
    • The APC amount is financial metadata (Accounting systems, billing, taxes...)
    • Everything else (DOI, title, journal hybrid status) is bibliographical metadata (Libraries, repositories...)
    • Obtaining and mapping these two pieces of information on each other can be difficult
    • No gold standard: Needs a solution tailored to the situation at your institution!

Example: University of Milan

  1. When paying APCs, departments can store additional metadata (publisher, author) in the institutional accounting system.
  2. Authors who submit articles to the institutional repository can fill out additional fields relating to article APCs (hybrid status, APC amount, currency).
  3. New article records are verified manually in regular intervals.
  4. If the submitting person turns out to be corresponding/first author of the article:
    • Check if they have filled out the APC information in step 2. If not, write a mail and ask them to do so.
    • Match and verify the information against the data entered into the accounting system in step 1 (double-checking).


OpenAPC data: Applications

As with all data, more insights can be obtained from the OpenAPC collection when combining it with other data sets.

In earlier projects, OpenAPC data has already been combined with...

Andreas will now demonstrate results of a combination between OpenAIRE and OpenAPC data.

Summary

Thanks for you attention!

Find this presentation at https://bit.ly/2U3pnoM