Open APC

Creating transparency

Appeal for disclosure of publication fees

August 08, 2016

The Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany recommends scientific institutions to disclose payments of Open Access publication fees to make the cost structure of the Open Access publication market clearly recognizable.

Journal publishers have reacted to the demand for Open Access with business models in which scientific institutions and funding organizations reimburse publishers for their services by the payment of “Article Processing Charges” (APC).

The transformation process from the traditional subscription system to Open Access makes it necessary for scientific institutions to take into account the costs for the licensing of digital contents together with expenditures for scientific publishing. For this, the costs of Open Access publishing must be accounted for – and at a broader level than that of an individual institution. If different institutions make their payments for Open Access publishing publicly accessible, the financial flows from the institutions to different publishing houses, for example, can be compared and the time history of the costs observed and analyzed. This will make financial flows more transparent and comprehensible, and promote competition in a future Open Access publication market. For this reason, confidentiality clauses in framework agreements for Open Access publishing fees should be avoided.

The “Open APC Initiative” already provides a platform which allows publication costs to be aggregated and publicly documented, and cost structures analyzed. The corresponding data is entered there in machine-readable form and made available under open licences (Open Data), so that the costs can be compared and investigated across institutions.

Open Access publication fees paid from the central budget of the Max Planck Digital Library are shown below.
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