Managing Open Access publication

In the current phase of Jisc Monitor (running up until Christmas 2014), we are looking at the financial and cost aspects of Open Access publishing, with a particular focus on APCs. The work is split into two parts:

  1. Prototyping a system which can aggregate and report on cost information from across institutions
  2. Writing a specification for a system which could help institutions manage aspects of Open Access publishing at a local level

This blog post describes the second of these pieces of work.

The aim of this work is to write a system specification for an application to support data and workflows related to the costs of OA publishing and/or funder mandates. Such a system would be aimed at supporting individual institutions in their work. By the end of this work we aim to have:

  • A data model
  • Descriptions of supported workflows
  • Wireframes illustrating the key aspects of the user interface

From an institutional system perspective, managing the financial aspects of OA publishing is a task that falls at the intersection of several existing systems and services including Financial management, Research Management/CRIS and Repositories. However none of these systems currently address the need of managing payments, usually APCs, in relation to OA publication.

As the need to manage APCs is a relatively new requirement for institutions, it is unsuprising that many of the current working practices and systems (often in the form of spreadsheets) have been created in a relatively ad hoc way. As the amount of OA publication increases across the sector, these systems may not scale well, but many institutions are not in a position to build their own ‘APC Management’ systems.

This piece of work will start by looking at systems that have been built, what data is being recorded (in spreadsheets or elsewhere) and which workflows are already in place. This will be done in collaboration with institutions and existing Jisc Open Access Good Practice Pathfinder projects such as “End to End Open Access” (E2EOA) and the GW4 OA pathfinder. As part of this process, we are running a workshop on the 28th October to which a variety of institutions have been invited to gather detailed user requirements which we will then use as the basis for designing a data model and specifying functionality and workflows to be supported.

Following the workshop on the 28th, we will draft the initial specification and will be presenting this work at the online workshop which runs at 2pm on the 5th November. You can join this workshop to get feedback from the wider community. In the meantime we would welcome information from institutions about their current management of APCs, in particular:

  • Lists of data elements or column headings used currently in local systems or spreadsheets
  • Documentation on workflows in operation at your institution

If you want to join the online workshop, you can click on the embedded link above just on the day; if you have any trouble logging in to the Blackboard room or if you have documentation about your APC management processes, you can share with the Monitor project by contacting Frank dot Manista at manchester dot ac dot uk.

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