Overview of content related to 'wellcome trust' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/15088/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=theo%20andrew&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Gold Open Access: Counting the Costs http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue70/andrew <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue70/andrew#author1">Theo Andrew</a> presents new data on the cost of Gold OA publishing at the University of Edinburgh.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Research Councils UK (RCUK) have recently announced a significant amendment to their open access (OA) &nbsp;policy which requires all research papers that result from research partly or wholly funded by RCUK to be made open access [<a href="#1">1</a>]. To comply with this policy, researchers must either; a) publish in an open access journal, termed Gold OA, which often incurs an article processing charge (APC); or, b) ensure that a copy of the post-print is deposited in an appropriate repository, also known as Green OA.</p> <p>A subsequent clarification from RCUK stated that Gold OA is the preferred mechanism of choice to realise open access for outputs that they have funded and have announced the award of block grants to eligible institutions to achieve this aim [<a href="#2">2</a>]. Where a Gold OA option is unavailable, Green OA is also acceptable; however, RCUK have indicated that the decision will be ultimately left up to institutions as to which route to take [<a href="#3">3</a>].</p> <p>Since RCUK are the major funder of research in the United Kingdom, this new policy will not only have a major impact on how researchers publish their work, but also huge implications for their budgets. Many research institutions funded by RCUK are currently investigating how they will implement this policy and are looking at the costs for open access publication, and how they can support the adoption of open access within their organisation. The ball is very much in the court of institutions to decide how to play the open access game.</p> <p>One of the key factors that will affect institutions is the cost that publishers will set for their APCs. So far RCUK have steered clear of suggesting an appropriate fee, leaving individual publishers to determine the market level of the APCs as per the current situation. Meanwhile there seems to be a huge variability in costs. There is a general expectation that over time APCs will settle to a reasonable rate and similarly journal subscriptions will lower to reflect the gradual change in business model from subscription fees to APCs. Most publishers have not yet been upfront about what impact they will have on journal subscriptions, if any, and it is hard to access and assess real-life data. RSC Publishing is one notable exception since it has introduced a system of waiving a proportion of APC fees based on institutional subscription costs.</p> <p>Much of this transition period to full open access will have to be navigated through uncharted territory, where no one has a clear handle on the costs involved. The rationale of this article is to present data on article processing charges gathered over the past five years, report on trends seen within this data, to suggest some approaches and to generally contribute to and inform the policy discussion.</p> <h2 id="The_Problem">The Problem</h2> <p>To put some rough-and-ready figures on the table, the University of Edinburgh publishes in the region of 4,000-4,500 peer-reviewed journal articles per year; this figure does not include other publication types like working papers not affected by the RCUK policy. Assuming an average Article Processing Charge (APC) of £1500 [<a href="#4">4</a>], the total publication costs to make all of these outputs Gold would be in the region of £6m. It is clear that even with guaranteed funding from HEFCE, and other funders of research, large research-intensive universities will not be able to pay for all of their research to be published under Gold OA. How to allocate funding to researchers will be a difficult choice that many institutions are currently asking themselves - will it be on a first-come-first-served basis, funder-specific, or will REF-submitted material take priority?</p> <p>Equally problematic are the difficulties we face in fully assessing an institution’s total spend on open access. Whilst it is possible to find out through aggregate sources like Web of Science how many articles are published in fully open access journals. It is virtually impossible to find out the number of open access articles published in hybrid journals as there is currently no flag in the metadata which indicates the open status of the paper. A hybrid journal is a traditional subscription journal that offers open access to individual articles upon payment of an APC. Of course it is possible to find hybrid open access content through EuropePMC.org; however this will only give a snapshot for the biomedical and life sciences. With current systems and processes it is virtually impossible to gauge this spend accurately.</p> <h2 id="Cost_Data">Cost Data</h2> <p>Unfortunately, financial data about open access publishing is scarce. The University of Edinburgh (UoE) has recently implemented account codes to allow the finance systems to track this spend going forwards; however, finding out costs retrospectively remains problematic. Furthermore, institutions are not typically in the habit of publishing this data with others. The institutions that have shared data show a degree of variability. In 2010, the foremost initial supporter and enabler of Gold Open Access publishing in the UK, the Wellcome Trust, found that the&nbsp;average cost of publication under the author-pays model was $2,367 (approximately £1,500) [<a href="#4">4</a>]. RCUK in their recent press release on block grants for open access estimate the average APC as £1,727 plus VAT [<a href="#2">2</a>], whilst, based on figures in the Finch Report, the University of Nottingham paid on average £1,216 [<a href="#5">5</a>].</p> <p>All these figures are useful as they give a ballpark figure upon which further estimates can be based. The precise cost of individual APCs levied by publishers is generally unavailable in a form which easily enables further analysis. Typically this information is available from publisher’s Web sites; however, aggregating the data is cumbersome as there is no consistent way to interrogate the Web sites and APCs commonly vary from title to title in the publishers’ portfolio. There have been some commendable attempts to gather this information, for example the SHERPA RoMEO listing of Publishers with Paid Options for Open Access [<a href="#7">7</a>]. Here about 100 publishers have been surveyed and their APCs are listed. A large cost variance exists for some publishers’ records as individual journals often have different APCs, and also institutional subscriptions/memberships can reduce costs in a non-uniform way. It takes a lot of effort to gather these data and keep them it up to date. Other approaches have tried to crowd-source this activity, for example Ross Mounce’s survey of open access publishers, publications, licences and fees. Here approximately 130 publishers’ web sites were surveyed to find out what licences are being used on the open access content; the cost being a secondary focus of the survey. Analysis of these data shows less than 5% of publishers claiming 'open access' are fully compliant with the Budapest Declaration on Open Access [<a href="#7">7</a>].</p> <p>The data we present here is an attempt to enrich the data available to interested parties and make them available in a reusable format for further analysis. It comprises articles funded by the Wellcome Trust at the University of Edinburgh between 2007 and 2012. In total there are 260 articles published in a mixture of open access journals and traditional subscription journals with an open access option (sometimes known as hybrid). All of the journals charged an article processing fee. Overall, the total cost incurred was £452,713.40. The mean article processing charge was £1,741.21, with the median value £1,644.22. The full data can be accessed online at the Edinburgh DataShare repository [<a href="#8">8</a>].</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue70/andrew" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue70 feature article theo andrew hefce university of edinburgh university of nottingham wellcome trust datashare sherpa romeo accessibility altmetrics blog creative commons data data management data set digital library licence metadata open access portfolio repositories research Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:23:29 +0000 lisrw 2393 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk