Open access publishing requires new workflows and systems in order to track costs, particularly the article processing charges (APCs) that are paid to publishers to make articles open access via the ‘gold’ route. Any new systems and processes themselves incur administrative costs.
How we can help
We provide support and shared services to help you improve your processes, and negotiate with publishers on behalf of the sector, in order to save you money.
What you can do
Streamline workflows and processes
The costs of implementing OA face any institution involved in publishing research. These include investment in cross-institutional technical systems that support effective implementation, and in the human resource required to apply, manage and advocate potentially new OA workflows and processes.
Implementing ORCID, a unique researcher identifier, could help you streamline OA processes.
Our OA good practice pathfinder projects have a number of resources that you may find useful:
- The Northumbria pathfinder's cost modelling tool can be used to establish an internal business case to set up an APC fund for OA publishing
- The Bath pathfinder's reporting checklist and sample APC payment workflows for institutions will help promote good practice in OA management and administration
- Their guide to using credit cards for APC payments outlines issues, workflows and good practice tips
Monitor your costs
Your institution needs reliable methods for monitoring research publications, and related APCs, in order to track the costs involved in implementing OA.
Institutions vary in how in this is managed. Some have existing research management systems adapted for this purpose. Others have more bespoke solutions involving spreadsheets or databases.
Recording APC information in a standardised way aids reporting and analysis – our guide to implementing open access has more detail.
The administrative process for APC payments itself incurs costs. One case study explains how using functional cost analysis to evaluate the APC payments process helped identify the most resource-intensive functions with a view to later improvement.
Share your cost data
By sharing your data you can enable Jisc to better help your institution and the sector. Our Monitor UK service aggregates APC data, which enables institutions and funders to explore and evaluate UK cost and compliance data relating to OA publishing.
Through their total cost of ownership project, Jisc Collections uses APC data collected from the sector to get a clearer picture of trends and inform negotiations with publishers.
Our study on APCs and subscriptions gives a summary of the current situation in the UK.
Take advantage of publishers’ payment options
Open access is leading to the emergence of various new payment models.
One model involves ‘offsetting’, where APC and subscription payments are managed together. The publisher agrees to ‘trade off’ APC payments against a reduction in the subscription, in order to avoid paying twice for the same content.
Many publishers offer pre-payment options for APCs which can offer savings. This survey of the literature describes the benefits and disadvantages of pre-payment.
Jisc Collections has expertise in negotiating and procurement on behalf of the sector and is working with publishers to broker deals for the sector.
We're funding four UK institutions to explore the viability of publishing their own e-textbooks.