what I learned at the Open Access Days

Under the motto “the plurality of open access” the Open Access Days brought together the German speaking open access community and beyond in Graz, Austria from September 24-26, 2018. My personal highlights include the following learnings:

  • France is strengthening its open access mandate, with a new implementation plan making open access mandatory as well as introducing flanking measures such as training and including open access in research assessment. A key element is the national repository HAL. The Jussieu call wants to draw attention to non APC based forms of open access.
  • In Germany a transformation index to evaluate institutional activities in the context of the transformation to open access has been developed according to four dimensions: (i) policies, (ii) implementation, (iii) infrastructure and (iv) key figures.
  • Schönfelder’s analysis of more than 20000 OA Article Processing costs/charges (APCs) concludes that they range mostly between 1000 and 3000 € but can also occasionally amount to 5000 to 6000 € (see box to the left). Important factors in determining APCs are (i) the impact of a journal, (ii) whether the journal is hybrid, (iii) who the publisher is and (iv) the scientific field. Impact is an important factor in determining the costs of full gold OA APCs but not with hybrid journals. Hybrid journals published by legacy publishers are the most expensive.
  • An analysis of the OA policies of 47 German universities and 5 universities of applied sciences concludes that nearly all refer to institutional repositories and the Berlin declaration. However, no policy mentions important issues such as embargo period, how to monitor compliance and how to integrate open access training into curricula.
  • An analysis of OA publication funds of German universities shows that the cap of 2000€ (mandated by the DFG who currently provides the money for these funds) is necessary to have enough money to pay for the articles submitted to the fund. A coalition of 9 technical universities (TU9) recommends the following principles for publication funds once DFG funding runs out: (i) cap of 2000€, (ii) no possibility to co-fund APC charges higher than 2000€ from other sources (iii) banning of hybrid.