Innovative workflows around APC management – Strathprints

Abstract:  The presentation describes a number of examples of innovative workflows around the management of Article Processing Charges (APCs) as implemented at the University of Strathclyde Library. It’s argued that a certain creativity may be applied to the area of institutional APC management with the two-fold purpose of (i) extending the funding eligibility beyond the default coverage provided by the RCUK and COAF block grants and (ii) paying lower APC fees whenever possible. The background strategy is to build a relation of trust with as many researchers as possible that will make it easier for them to remain aware of the need to meet the (Green) Open Access policy requirements. It’s also argued that there could be significant benefits to be reaped from the extension into this APC management area of the current cross-institutional collaboration within the Open Access Scotland Group.

The Research Councils UK (RCUK): Inviting applications for ‘Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF): RCUK Collective Fund’ to Address Intractable Challenges Faced by Developing Countries. | Fund for Bangladesh

“Research Councils UK invites proposals from eligible UK research organizations to establish and lead a number of challenge-led and impact-focused GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs which meet the aims of Official Development Assistance….Organizations that wish to be research partners (for example higher education organizations, public laboratories, or other non-profit research intensive organizations) must demonstrate compliance with the following criteria: …Public good and open publications – Organizations will need to demonstrate a track record of maximizing the wider impact and value of its research to the benefit of society and local economy and should have a commitment to the principle of open access publication….”

RCUK Open Access Block Grant analysis – Research Councils UK

“This document summarises the information that RCUK has collected as part of the ongoing financial and compliance monitoring of its Open Access Policy. For the first reporting period, which covered the period April 2013- July 2014, RCUK did not collect individual article level APC data but for the second and third reporting periods (August 2014 – July 2015 and August 2015 – July 2016) this information was collected and is reported on within….”

University of Manchester’s RCUK Open Access 2016-17 report | Library Research Plus

“The beginning of April marked the end of the fourth year of RCUK’s Open Access (OA) policy.  We submitted our finance and compliance report in May and have made our 2016-17 APC data available via the University’s institutional repository, Pure.

The headlines for us from this period are:

  • We have estimated 75% compliance for 2016-17 (54% Gold OA and 21% Green OA).
  • This is a significant increase in Green OA. In part this is due to the launch of HEFCE’s OA policy but it is also a consequence of the constraints of the block grant, ie, we have been unable to meet demand for Gold OA during the reporting period.
  • Despite the increase in Green OA, expenditure on Gold OA has not decreased. This is partly due to publishers that do not provide a compliant Green OA option but increased APC unit level costs are also a factor.
  • We have reported an 18% increase in the average APC cost in 2016/17 (£1869) against the 2015/16 average (£1578). To some extent this increase can be accounted for by foreign exchange rate differences.
  • Although we operate a ‘first come, first served’ model for allocating the block grant, it was necessary to impose restrictions for 3 months of this period. We limited expenditure to Pure Gold OA journals, non-OA publication fees and hybrid journals that do not provide a compliant Green OA option.
  • The level of Gold OA achieved has only been possible due to continued investment from the University (£0.2m) and credits/discounts received from publishers relating to subscription packages and offsetting deals (£0.1m).
  • We arranged Gold OA with 60 different publishers. Of these, we managed offsetting schemes and memberships with 11 and arranged Gold OA for only one paper with 20.
  • We continued to assess publisher deals to obtain best value from the block grant but are committed to engaging only with publishers that offer a reasonable discount and overall fair OA offer.
  • As in previous years, most APCs were paid to Elsevier (139), almost double the number paid to the next publisher, Wiley (75).
  • As in previous years, our highest cost APC (£4679) was paid to Elsevier.  The lowest cost APC (£196) was paid to the Electrochemical Society.
  • We reported expenditure of £72,297 on ‘other costs’.  This amount includes colour and page charges as well as publication fees associated with Green OA papers.
  • Despite reminders to authors that papers must be published as CC-BY, 8 papers were published under non-compliant licences and we were unable to identify licences for a further 16 papers.  We contact publishers to correct licences when we are aware of a non-compliant licence.
  • We continued to see engagement with Gold OA from Humanities researchers who produce outputs other than journal articles. We have supported Gold OA for one monograph and one book chapter during the reporting period, at a cost of £11,340 from the block grant.  A further monograph has been paid for from an institutional OA fund.
  • Despite a concerted effort on our part we continued to see inconsistency in the inclusion of grant acknowledgements on papers.  We act in good faith when approving payment from the block grant but believe a joined up approach from RCUK, institutions and publishers is needed to ensure all researchers are aware and fulfil this requirement consistently.”

Restriction in the use of the RCUK Open Access Block Grant. | Library News

“Due to increased demand for ‘gold’ open access and a significant reduction in the University’s RCUK open access block grant allocation, the Open Access Team has introduced a restriction on the use of the fund for the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs).

The Open Access Team has ring-fenced the remaining allocation for the following types of costs:

  • APCs for fully Open Access journals (i.e., journals which do not sell subscriptions and in which all articles are Open Access, e.g., BioMed Central, PLOS One, Nature Communications)
  • APCs for journals that do not offer a Green Open Access option that complies with RCUK’s Open Access policy

In most cases it is possible for RCUK funded authors to comply with its Open Access policy by making papers Green Open Access (i.e., uploading your Accepted Manuscript to Pure which will be made freely available after a specified embargo period).

The restriction in use of the block grant will commence from the 1st June 2017 onwards.”

The Lancet journals welcome a new open access policy – The Lancet (April 2013)

“The Lancet journals welcome and support all efforts to make research more widely accessible and useable in ways that continue to sustain our broad mission to serve clinical medicine and global health. We will, in accordance with the new RCUK policy, offer either a “gold” open access choice with a creative commons license after payment of an article processing charge of US$5000, or a “green” open access solution—where authors can deposit the final accepted version of their paper in any repository they choose 6 months after publication—for all RCUK-funded research papers submitted after April 1. In addition, for the “green” open access solution we will also make the published paper free to access on our websites 6 months after publication.

These options and a choice of three different creative commons licenses (CC-BY, CC BY-NC-SA, or CC BY-NC-ND) will be open to authors of all research papers supported by those funders with whom we currently have payment agreements….”

The Lancet journals welcome a new open access policy – The Lancet (April 2013)

“The Lancet journals welcome and support all efforts to make research more widely accessible and useable in ways that continue to sustain our broad mission to serve clinical medicine and global health. We will, in accordance with the new RCUK policy, offer either a “gold” open access choice with a creative commons license after payment of an article processing charge of US$5000, or a “green” open access solution—where authors can deposit the final accepted version of their paper in any repository they choose 6 months after publication—for all RCUK-funded research papers submitted after April 1. In addition, for the “green” open access solution we will also make the published paper free to access on our websites 6 months after publication.

These options and a choice of three different creative commons licenses (CC-BY, CC BY-NC-SA, or CC BY-NC-ND) will be open to authors of all research papers supported by those funders with whom we currently have payment agreements….”

The UK – edging ever closer to open access to research publications – Universities UK blogUniversities UK blog

“This morning, Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science, made the government’s latest foray into Open Access (OA) policy, perhaps the most significant since the now distant – but nonetheless enthusiastic – interest of David Willetts, back in 2012. The intervention came in the form of a response to independent advice by Professor Adam Tickell, Provost and Vice-Principal, University of Birmingham. Professor Tickell is widely respected and experienced in the field of OA – having previously been part of the Finch working group. He is also Chair of the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group, which brings together expert representatives from the main stakeholder communities and has a central role in monitoring and reporting progress. The group’s most recent report was published in September 2015. Both the expertise and the evidence base available to the group have undoubtedly been very useful resources, and form the foundations of Professor Tickell’s advice. I think this, as with many other examples, is testament to the ability of the higher education sector to galvanise around important issues, with a collaborative and open approach. It’s a group I’m pleased to support. Professor Tickell’s advice is therefore well formed, and the Minister’s response is satisfyingly supportive – all recommendations appear to have been accepted. There will be long discussions on the many elements of Mr Johnson’s response, but I will draw out a few comments that strike me as interesting on first reading …”