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  1. App Ideas
  2. APPIDEAS-14

Supporting OA business models in Folio. Creating an app for the management of Article and Book Processing Charges (APC/BPC) as well as Transformative/Offsett agreements



    • New Feature
    • Status: In PC Review (View Workflow)
    • P3
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • None


      The Leipzig University Library sees a large and growing demand for the administration of Article and Book Processing Charges (APC/BPC) to support new business models arising from the global transition to Open Access (OA). In the past decade OA business models have become a significant part of scholarly publishing wherein fully OA (gold) journals represent the fastest-growing segment. In addition, we are observing large scale shifts towards licencing contracts with OA components such as the so called DEAL negotiations in Germany with the scientific publishers Wiley, Springer/ Nature and Elsevier and other Read and Publish or Offsetting contracts, leading to pricing models based on publication output rather than licencing cost also in closed access journals (hybrid journals). Although these models have a limited perspective for the transition period into a pure OA publishing model, the administration of these contracts will affect a relevant part of electronic resource management and requires similar administrative tools as Gold OA models.

      In contrast to traditional toll access where publisher charge subscription fees (managed in ERM suite and around) OA publishing includes membership fees and conditions as well as processing fees paid by authors - or on behalf of authors by their institutions, most often libraries. These fees are generally termed Article Processing Charges (APCs) or in the case of a monographs Book Processing Charges (BPCs). The expansion of this model leads to the establishment of funding mechanisms for open access publications (e.g. Open Access publication funds) at scientific institutions, some of which are also supported by national funding streams to approach OA transition. Contracts concluded between publishers and scientific institutions contain various individual billing and discount models for the respective institution. The gradual transition from closed to open access articles, journals and books may also influence the costs of subscription-based contracts, as more and more open access content is included. With initiatives such as ESAC (Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges) or Open APC, efforts are being made to record the costs incurred in a transparent and comprehensible manner in order to investigate the effects of financing models and practices on the scientific community.

      While existing and currently developed Folio apps can already be used to manage aspects of Gold OA business models (e.g. Finances, Invoices, ERM Agreements and others), OA still needs additional features that do not yet exist in Folio. At a high level this includes functions to support:

      • Management of submission requests
      • Author & article identification & verification
      • Approval workflow
      • Author communication (interfaces)
      • Funding acknowledgement & metadata
      • Copyright, licenses
      • Invoicing APCs/BPCs
      • Reporting and monitoring
      • External systems connectivity

      The following more detailed aspects would (at least) need to be examined:

      • Author affiliation, author identifier and re-use of metadata (e.g. ORCID)
      • Automated submission alerts (not yet standardized)
      • Linking corresponding authors, documents, processes, invoices, agreements
      • Checking eligibility criteria
        • multiple authors
        • price cap based on value
        • other criteria, e.g. journal quality
      • Record and apply membership conditions / agreements
      • Offsetting agreements, hybrid journals (look at both APCs and subscriptions together)
      • Budgeting
        • manage university's publication funds
        • support other third-party funding
        • faculty contingents
      • APC Invoice processing
        • payment by invoice
        • prepayment
        • payment splitting, co-payment
        • avoid double payment
        • discounts
        • consortiums
      • Pre-print, secondary publications
      • Embargo periods
      • Enhanced publications fees
      • 'Flipping' subscription journals to full OA
      • Metadata and knowledge bases
      • article identification, DOI, crossref
      • open access, peer-reviewed journals
      • title instances
      • Usage and exploitation rights, copyright, licenses
      • Author communication
      • Publisher communication
      • Reporting and Monitoring
      • support external (national) data aggregators
      • System relationships and interfaces:
        • Publication management systems
        • Repositories
        • Research information systems
        • Finance systems
        • Discovery systems
      • Stakeholder relationships:
        • Consortiums
        • Authors
        • Publishers
        • Institutes
        • Library
      • Intermediaries
      • Metrics: Citation rates, Altmetrics, Impact Factor, Journal Rank

      Whether, in what extent and how exactly these aspects are to be considered is subject of my current Master's thesis. This will include one or more group interviews to be conducted with the Folio community to determine the functional scope and requirements.

      This is not (yet) an official app proposal, but it is already more than an idea. The Leipzig University Library will receive third-party funding to have these functionalities developed by an external software company (public tender procedure). All steps will be discussed with the Product Council, which is already informed, and the process would of course be accompanied by a (Sub-)SIG. In the meantime you can leave comments or questions here in the Wiki or contact me personally.

      We think this App will not only save working time and make the management of APCs more transparent, but it will also add another unique selling point to Folio.

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                peter Peter Murray
                bjoern_ubl Björn Muschall
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