Towards a framework to enable more transparent communication of Open Access publishing services and their prices

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Project Update | 4 September 2019

cOAlition S aims to help make the nature and prices of OA publishing services more transparent, and to enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that prices are fair and reasonable.

Wellcome – in partnership with UKRI and on behalf of cOAlition S – have appointed Information Power to lead a collaborative project with publishers, funders and universities to develop a framework for these communications. The project team – including Alicia Wise, Lorraine Estelle, and Hazel Woodward – see this as an exciting opportunity to facilitate stakeholders working together to accelerate the transition to Open Access. 

We will:

  • consult widely with stakeholders to understand concerns and needs,
  • focus on identifying high-level categories of services provided in exchange for APCs or transformative arrangements
  • work to gain the voluntary support of members of these groups to deliver greater pricing transparency, and in ways that can be maintained and monitored

The project will not explore costs, nor current or future pricing.

Ultimately, we seek to develop a framework which enables publishers to communicate the price of services in a way that is transparent, practical to implement, and insightful for users.

The project will run from September through December 2019.

Notes for Editors

A steering group has been established for this project to provide expert advice and support to help ensure its successful delivery. Members include: 

Name Organisation Stakeholder type
Ivy Anderson University of California University/
Library consortium
Chris Banks Imperial College London University
Rachel Bruce UKRI Funder
Liam Earney Jisc Collections Library consortium
Sarah Greaves Hindawi Publisher
Steven Inchcoombe Springer Nature Publisher
Robert Kiley Wellcome Funder
Jasmin Lange Brill Publisher
Falk Reckling FWF (Austrian Science Fund) Funder
Arthur Smith Cambridge University University

About cOAlition S:

cOAlition S is an international consortium of research funders. It launched Plan S, an initiative for Open Access publishing, in September 2018. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.

About Wellcome Trust:

Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. We support researchers, we take on big health challenges, we campaign for better science, and we help everyone get involved with science and health research. We are a politically and financially independent foundation.

About UKRI

UK Research and Innovation is a body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UKRI brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.

About Information Power:

Information Power Ltd has provided consultancy services in the research information space since 1985. The team works with funders, libraries, consortia, publishers, agents, vendors, and universities to advance learning, research, and scholarly communication.