Business process costs of implementing “gold” and “green” open access in institutional and national contexts

Authors : Robert Johnson, Stephen Pinfield, Mattia Fosci

As open access (OA) publication of research outputs becomes increasingly common and is mandated by institutions and research funders, it is important to understand different aspects of the costs involved.

This paper provides an early review of administrative costs incurred by universities in making research outputs OA, either via publication in journals (“Gold” OA), involving payment of article-processing charges (APCs), or via deposit in repositories (“Green” OA).

Using data from 29 UK institutions, it finds that the administrative time, as well as the cost incurred by universities, to make an article OA using the Gold route is over 2.5 times higher than Green. Costs are then modeled at a national level using recent UK policy initiatives from Research Councils UK and the Higher Education Funding Councils’ Research Excellence Framework as case studies.

The study also demonstrates that the costs of complying with research funders’ OA policies are considerably higher than where an OA publication is left entirely to authors’ discretion.

Key target areas for future efficiencies in the business processes are identified and potential cost savings calculated. The analysis is designed to inform ongoing policy development at the institutional and national levels.

URL : Business process costs of implementing “gold” and “green” open access in institutional and national contexts

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Open Access – the better access? Academic publishing and its politics

Open Access to scholarly literature seems to dominate current discussions in the academic publishing, research funding and science policy arenas. Several international initiatives have been recently started calling for a large-scale transformation of the majority of scholarly journals from subscription model to Open Access.

Such a massive transition would indeed affect not only business models and related cash flows but might be also expected to generate new inequalities in distributing resources among different regions or research fields.

Thus, the paper at hand aims to serve as an input statement for the upcoming discussion and to provide some background information on Open Access debates.


The OpenAIRE2020 FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot: Implementing a European-wide funding initiative for Open Access publishing costs

In the first half of 2015 the European Commission launched a new funding initiative to cover the Open Access publishing costs of publications arising from finished Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects.

This article addresses the opportunities and challenges faced by this FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot and discusses early project findings six months into this two-year initiative.

This new and wide-scoped funding initiative arrives at a timely moment when a number of Gold Open Access funds are already in place at institutions in different European countries, which offers opportunities for promoting a gradual technical alignment of Article Processing Charges (APC) management practices.

At the same time, there are rather large differences across Europe in the attitudes and researcher culture towards this emerging Gold Open Access business model which will need to be addressed within a swiftly evolving publishing landscape.

URL : The OpenAIRE2020 FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot

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Stratégie, politique et reformulation de l’open access

Auteur/Author : Ghislaine Chartron

Depuis 25 ans, le mouvement open access se déploie progressivement au croisement de revendications pour une circulation plus ouverte des résultats de la recherche et d’opportunités inédites introduites par l’Internet et le Web.

Les reformulations du mouvement furent nombreuses, portées par des acteurs différents, ne projetant pas les mêmes enjeux sur cette transformation. À l’appui d’une observation participante, l’article s’attache à retracer l’évolution des différentes modalités opératoires de l’open access à la fois dans une dimension diachronique et une dimension comparée pour les politiques nationales de différents pays.

Un tournant particulier semble s’amorcer, marqué par des négociations globales entre éditeurs, pouvoirs publics et financeurs de la recherche. Le contexte français est analysé, en particulier par l’intégration récente d’éléments réglementaires dans la loi Lemaire de 2016 et par les tensions croissantes avec les acteurs de l’édition nationale, majoritairement en sciences humaines et sociales.


Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information in Europe

Executive summary

An important aspect of open science is a move towards open access to publicly funded research results, including scientific publications as well as research data. Based on the structure of Commission Recommendation C(2012) 4890 final and its assorted reporting mechanism (the National Points of Reference for scientific information) this report provides an overview on access to and preservation of scientific information in the EU Member States as well as Norway and Turkey. It is based on self-reporting by the participating states as well as cross-referencing with other relevant documents and further desk research.

Concerning open access to scientific peer-reviewed publications, most EU Member States reported a national preference for one of the two types of open access, either the Green (self-archiving) or the Gold (open access publishing) model. Preference for the Green model is found in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. Those expressing a preference for the Gold model are Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Other Member States support both models equally, such as Germany, France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Finland. However, the expressed preferences for one of the two models are not pure models in which only one route is followed. Instead, there is generally a system of predominance of one model with the possibility of using the other model, so a mixture of both routes results.

While few Member States have a national law requiring open access to publications, a mandate put in place by law is not necessarily stronger or more effective than a mandate put in place by a single institution or funder. For example, an open access mandate is strong as it ties open access to possible withdrawal of funds in the case of non-compliance, or to the evaluation of researchers’ careers.

Overall, policies on open access to research data are less developed across EU countries than policies and strategies on open access to research publications. However, individual Member State feedback shows a general acknowledgement of the importance of open research data and of policies, strategies and actions addressed at fostering the collection, curation, preservation and re-use of research data. Based on the self-reporting of the EU Member States and participating associated countries, the following classification is proposed.

  • Very little or no open access to research data policies in place and no plan for a more developed policy in the near future: Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland.
  • Very little or no open access to research data policies in place, but some plans in place or under development: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey.
  • Open access policies/institutional strategies or subject-based initiatives for research data already in place: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, the United Kingdom.

Concerning the curation and preservation of scientific information (another issue covered by the 2012 Recommendation), institutional repositories are very well developed in most Member States although some NPR reports stress that, in many cases, institutional repositories are not certified to properly guarantee the long-term preservation of scientific information.

NPR reports also show that many Member States have made a clear effort to become more efficient and transparent regarding scientific information and research activities in general. This being said, some Member States underline research information purposes rather than the objective of open access to research results, with most CRIS systems containing meta-data and not necessarily full results.

Nevertheless, a tendency can be observed among the latest wave of EU enlargement countries that they are focusing efforts on developing centralised national repositories for preservation to be connected to the existing national CRIS systems and to be inter-operable across the EU with, for example, OpenAIRE protocols.

Many Member States have devised global policies and strategies for developing e-infrastructures in a comprehensive way. Such strategies often contain specific chapters or sections addressing scientific information, research and innovation, covering storage and high-performance computing capabilities as well as the appropriate dissemination, access and visibility of research results. As is the case in other areas, the stage of e-infrastructure development varies greatly among Member States, and it is worth noting differences in funding capabilities in this area. The support provided by EU-funded projects and initiatives is of significant importance here.

Concerning participation in multi-stakeholder dialogues and activities, several countries have set up national coordination bodies or networks (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, Portugal). Other countries rely on a university or a university library (or an association of libraries) to coordinate national stakeholders (Czech Republic, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta) or on their research promotion agency/research councils (Cyprus, Sweden, the United Kingdom) or their academy of science (Slovakia).

Specific events, such as open-access workshops or activities during the annual open-access week, have also been identified as a way to galvanise stakeholder interaction at the national level (Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Romania). Additionally to EU fora (such as ERA, ERAC, the NPR, the Digital ERA Forum and the E-IRG), EU funded projects such as OpenAIRE FOSTER and PASTEUR4OA as well as PEER, Dariah and Serscida were mentioned as important support mechanisms. Furthermore, Belgium and the Netherlands have established bilateral cooperation and among the Nordic states (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) part of the dialogue on open science is conducted within the framework of the NordForsk organisation.

URL : Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information in Europe

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Acceptance and Adoption of Open Access Publication (OAP) in University Libraries in South East Nigeria

This study examines the kinds of open access scholarly publication or information resources accepted and adopted by federal university libraries in South East Nigeria. The purpose was to determine the factors that affect open access scholarly publication or information resources acceptance and adoption in university libraries.

The study adopted descriptive survey research design. Findings revealed that university libraries accepts and adopts open access such as  institutional repository, open journals, subject repository, e-books, personal websites among others with the use of computers, internet facilities and services among others.

Inadequate internet facilities and services were identified as a major factor that affects open access acceptance and adoption in university libraries. The study concluded that open access scholarly communication or information resources are vital tool of solving not only financial problems in libraries in general and university libraries in particular but also enable university libraries to keep pace with information explosion or changing trends in libraries.

Based on this, it recommends that university libraries should ensure that users are provided with adequate and quality open access information resources for there is a need for access and use of information materials in all formats and acceptance and adoption of open access information resources could incite users to quickly access and utilize university library resources to a high extent.

URL : Acceptance and Adoption of Open Access Publication (OAP) in University Libraries in South East Nigeria

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Opening the Black Box of Scholarly Communication Funding: A Public Data Infrastructure for Financial Flows in Academic Publishing

« Public access to publicly funded research » has been one of the rallying calls of the global open access movement. Governments and public institutions around the world have mandated that publications supported by public funding sources should be publicly accessible. Publishers are experimenting with new models to widen access.

Yet financial flows underpinning scholarly publishing remain complex and opaque. In this paper we present work to trace and reassemble a picture of financial flows around the publication of journals in the UK in the midst of a national shift towards open access.

We contend that the current lack of financial transparency around scholarly communication is an obstacle to evidence-based policy-making – leaving researchers, decision-makers and institutions in the dark about the systemic implications of new financial models.

We conclude that obtaining a more joined up picture of financial flows is vital as a means for researchers, institutions and others to understand and shape changes to the sociotechnical systems that underpin scholarly communication.