APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model? Regression analysis.

This blog post is part of a series that explains the study “APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model?” of OA2020-DE.

In the last blog post, we analyzed the relationship between the variables with the help of simple, statistical measures. The results indicate that there is positive relationship between APCs, the citation impact (SNIP) and whether the journals is hybrid (costlier and with more impact) or open-access (cheaper and with less impact). However, to state a causal relationship, one needs to run a careful regression analysis.

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SUB Göttingen and Copernicus Publications will start the National Consortium for Central Payment Processing of Article Processing Charges on 1.1.2019

Press Release

Göttingen. 14 scientific institutions have joined the national opt-in consortium for the central payment processing of APCs for articles of all journals of the open-access publishing house Copernicus Publications. This is an important signal for the open-access community and libraries because it makes it clear that open-access transformation – in this case of acquisition funds – includes open-access publishers.

Based on the concept of the National Contact Point Open Access OA2020-DE, the Lower Saxony State and University Library Göttingen and the publisher Copernicus Publications have jointly developed and set up the consortium. The term is for two years (2019–2020), and eligible are all universities and scientific institutions that are also eligible for participation in a national or alliance licence.

The consortium enables corresponding authors affiliated with the participating institutions to publish free of charge for them in the 43 gold open-access journals in the fields of geography, engineering and life sciences for two years. The articles are financed by a prepayment deposited at the beginning of each year. They will be published under a CC-BY license, including the automatic delivery of the repositories of the consortium participants with the XML metadata and the full-text PDF.


Lower Saxony State and University Library Göttingen, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany; nationallizenzen@sub.uni-goettingen.de

Copernicus Publications, Bahnhofsallee 1e, 37081 Göttingen, Germany; publications@copernicus.org

Press Release

1st DEAL done – All German research articles in Wiley journals to be published open access under new transformative agreement

(This blog post was published first by Kai Geschuhn at the ESAC blog).

Germany’s Projekt DEAL and the publisher John Wiley & Sons have entered a ground-breaking transformative agreement, in line with the objectives of the Open Access 2020 initiative.

Under this new agreement, all authors affiliated with 700 academic institutions in Germany will retain copyright and their accepted articles will be published open access in Wiley journals. Almost 10,000 articles by German researchers are published a year in Wiley journals, constituting around 9% of the publisher’s total output. The agreement also grants students and faculty read access to the full Wiley journal portfolio including backfiles starting with 1997. The national-level agreement is based on a “publish and read” model in which fees are paid by institutions—not for subscriptions but for open access publishing services.

The agreement will be made public in a month’s time and an English-language FAQ will be released by the Projekt DEAL working group.

Read the official press release.

APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model? Descriptive statistics.

This blog post is part of a series that explains the study “APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model?” of OA2020-DE. After discussing the summary statistics of each variable separately, we present several plots and simple statistical measures showing relationships between two variables. However, keep in mind that finding correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply causality. To state a causal relationship, one needs to run a careful regression analysis, which will be presented in the next blog post.

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APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model? An introduction.

OA2020-DE prepared a report that is a first step forward to answer the question whether the large-scale open-access transformation of scientific journals is a financially viable way for German research and higher-education institutions. Usually, article processing charges (APCs) are charged to the submitting/corresponding author’s account for publishing scientific articles in open access. In Germany, the DFG-funded publication funds accept the costs for APCs up to EUR 2.000. With the ongoing open-access transformation, APCs are gaining importance as relevant business model for open-access journals. For a financial assessment, it is of utmost importance to predict the APC-levels after a comprehensive journal flipping — both the average APC and the distribution of APCs. To predict APCs, we need to know the factors determining APC-levels today. This is the core of the paper.

With data from OpenAPC, which is part of the INTACT project at the Bielefeld University Library, Germany, we analyzed the determinants for APCs actually paid (in contrast to catalogue prices). Price-determining factors could be the reputation and quality perception of a journal proxied by its citation impact, whether the journal is open access or hybrid, the publisher and the subject area of the journal. We are going to present and discuss the core results of the study in several blog posts. For the statistical and technical details, we refer to the full report.

Schönfelder, Nina (2018). APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model?. Universität Bielefeld. doi:10.4119/unibi/2931061

Blogpost 2 - APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model? The database.

Blogpost 3 - APCs — Mirroring the impact factor or legacy of the subscription-based model? Descriptive statistics.

Recommendations on quality standards for the open access provision of books [Update]

Quality standards in science and research are important, as the reporting on fake science (better: junk science) has made clear once again (see here). This not only applies to journals and conferences, but also to books. Therefore we developed "Recommendations on quality standards for the open access provision of books" together with Knowledge Unlatched and the publisher transcript. The aim is to provide authors, publishers and libraries with a practical guideline describing criteria for the production, distribution and financial participation in the open access provision of books. It is important to know which services can be offered or expected, both for publishers who provide open access services for books and for libraries who want to enable an open access position for books through financial participation.

In order to facilitate the entry into this process, especially for smaller publishers, we propose implementing the recommendations in two phases. Above all, quality standards in the areas of formats, metadata, accessibility, licenses, costs and distribution are relevant in the entry phase to the open access position of books. Phase two expands these standards and adds quality inspection criteria (peer review), as well as text and data mining.

The updated recommendations are available in German and English:

Many thanks to the representation of German-speaking university publishers, which has actively contributed to the further development of the standards and also deals with the topic itself.

Budgetary concerns over open access

Open access and budgetary law

In discussions about the pilot projects of the National Contact Point Open Access as well as the open access transformation in general, budgetary concerns are often voiced. Central to this is the question of whether a payment to an open access infrastructure or for an open access publication, a specific consideration can be assigned. In principle, only those expenses are permitted that are necessary for the fulfillment of the tasks. The expenditure would also have to follow the principle of economy and thriftiness.

We would like to take a stand:

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OA2020-DE provides an overview of frequently cited open access journals

We used the International Open Access Week and the article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Predatory Publishing as an opportunity and installed a new feature on our homepage:

From now on there is an overview under the category Resources about 700 frequently cited open access journals from nearly all scientific disciplines. The aim of this review is to make established and relevant open access journals visible to researchers and to increase their discoverability. In this way, we help researchers to select suitable and influential open access journals from their discipline for submitting their manuscript.

Furthermore, we suggest that academic libraries that inform their scientists about open access link to the list of "frequently cited open access journals" on their homepage. For example as follows:

Frequently cited open access journals compiled by the National Contact Point Open Access OA2020-DE

Link to the list

OA2020-DE supports cOAlition S

"After 1 January 2020 scientific publications on the results from research funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or compliant Open Access Platforms."

This core message from cOAlition S, a consortium of 11 European research funding organizations, illustrates the growing pressure on publishers to completely switch their business model to open access in a timely manner. Support is also available from the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC). The initiative was born from the cooperation between the Heads of the participating Research Funding Organisations, Marc Schiltz the President of Science Europe, and Robert-Jan Smits the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission. It also drew on significant input from the Scientific Council of the ERC. After them also the plan S is named, which contains beside the cited core message 10 points, with which the open access transformation should be accelerated. This includes, for example, the establishment or support of high-quality Open Access ournals and platforms, the coverage of publication costs by the funder / institution of the author, and the strict rejection of hybrid Open Access.

Particularly noteworthy is the standardization and capping of the Open Access publication fees across Europe, even if the amount is still discussed.

Europe is strongly in favor of the immediately, freely accessible publication of publicly funded research results, but not at any price. The research funders involved in cOAlition S will now collaborate with other stakeholders (like universities, research organizations and libraries) and work towards swift and practical implementation of these principles. Other research funders from across the world, both public and private, are invited to join cOAlition S.

The National Contact Point Open Access OA2020-DE supports the cOAlition S and the Plan S, as they are important components for the Open Access Transformation.
At the same time, we recommend that the implementation and further development of the 10 points include non-APC-based models as well as the special features of publishing in the humanities and the relevance of open infrastructures more than ever before.

More information on cOAlition S: