Summary of ARMA Pre-Conference Workshop
Open Access Publisher: Funding Mechanisms and Institutional Collaboration
(Cardiff, June 6, 2007)
The workshop began with an introduction from Natasha Robshaw, BioMed Central, who gave an overview on:
- the routes to open access
- BioMed Central article-processing charges
- cost comparison of open access publishing options
- funders and their open access policies
3 major UK funders already provide additional funds specifically to cover open access publication costs: Arthritis Research Campaign, British Heart Foundational and Wellcome Trust. The other 5 UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) funders allow authors to include OA publication charges on their grant applications. The RCUK funders also indicate that institutions are entitled use part of the indirect cost contribution from the funder to cover OA publication costs. We need to make it even easier for authors by setting up central funds and promoting these funds.
Dr. Ian Carter, Director of Research, University of Liverpool gave a presentation on the role of the research administrator in an open-access world. Dr Carter discussed how a departmental or institutional fund can support the cost of open access publication, with budget allocation coming from Quality Related (QR) or indirect cost funding, and/or explicit contributions from the funder (e.g. Wellcome). He recommended that funds are set up centrally while recognizing that this OA funding would take money from elsewhere. Dr. Carter called for librarians and research administrators/managers to collaborate.
Dr. Stuart Taylor, Head of Publishing, The Royal Society gave a presentation on the journals that they publish which all offer the hybrid author-pays model and shared data on the take-up of open access in The Royal Society Journals. The journals offer a rather complicated open access charging structure: currently charge £200/£300 per page up to 6 pages and then £50 per page. Dr. Taylor reported low uptake of open access to date with only 21 articles now open access (1.5%) . All but one of these articles are in biology. The Royal Society does, however, see this as a workable model and believes that funders just need to “step up to the plate”.
Wellcome Trust representatives Kathryn Lallu, Funding Policies, Liaison and Support Manager, and Andy Harris, UKPMC Project Manager, gave a two-part presentation. First Kathyn Lallu summarized the Trust’s OA policy and how grantees comply, gave an explanation of the funding that the Trust makes available for open access publication and how it can be claimed, and provide details of the Trust’s reporting requirements. This was a clear and practical presentation, explaining that, to comply with the Trust’s OA policy, researchers need to follow either
route 1 – publishing in an OA or OA-hybrid journal
route 2 – publish anywhere but self-archive the author’s manuscript version in UKPMC
The message was clear that Wellcome Trust-funded investigators must comply with the Trust’s OA policy and that funding for publishing in Open Access/hybrid journals that auto-deposit article in UKPMC is available. The Trust has budgeted for the cost of open access by taking the number or Wellcome Trust funded papers published multiplied by 3000 USD (estimated typical charge), but long-term they anticipate that the cost per article will come down, driven by competition between publishers.
Andy Harris then went on to give an overview of UKPMC. He reported that 90% of the biomedical research that is funded in the UK comes from the UKPMC funders. All the UKPMC funders requiring deposition of articles published by funded-investigators into UKPMC.
The final presentation was given by Stephen Pinfield, Chief Information Officer, University of Nottingham, who discussed how libraries and research administration can and should work together to set up central funds and processes for open access publishing. The presentation started with an overview of the funders’ policies and the routes to open access via open access journals and repositories. It is hoped that, soon, all UK institutions will have repositories in place, but as an interim measure JISC has launched the Depot, a national repository to which any UK author can submit their research articles. Stephen went on to discuss the need for institutions to put in place arrangements to manage Wellcome funding and similar allocations from other funders to cover OA charges. He noted that clear policies, publicity and support need to be associated with these funds. Stephen announced that Nottingham University has set up a central fund for any author to apply for when publishing in open access journals. This fund covers all Nottingham University authors, no matter who they are funded by, and in its first year is set at £20,000 from FEC income. The fund is expected to grow significantly in future years. Their library’s periodicals budget is currently £2.7 million so, as open access publishing grows to account for a larger fraction of all publications, it is likely that the money from this subscription budget will also be transferred to supplement the open access publishing fund.
The afternoon finished with a discussion on a) raising awareness of publication funds to all relevant stakeholders and b) administrating central funds for open access publication charges.