Wits University partners with ChronosHub to implement an automated APC management system

Over the last decade, Wits has more than tripled the number of research outputs published annually, with the share of Open Access (OA) publications increasing even faster. Today, about 50% of Wits’ more than 3,000 research articles are gold or hybrid OA, which require complex processes for handling payments of Article Processing Charges (APCs). 

Through the ChronosHub platform, Wits will automate much of the otherwise manual work required to manage the APC invoices. Data collection is facilitated through many integrations with publisher systems combined with AI-technology for scanning invoices. This gives Wits an overview of all APC funding requests across all publishers on a single approval dashboard directly highlighting which approval criteria that are met or not for each invoice. Upon approval, ChronosHub also pays the publishers directly instead of the authors going through a complicated reimbursement process.

“An important part of our vision is that our staff and students should thrive at Wits in that we drive innovation throughout the University, and excellence should underpin everything that we do. With ChronosHub, we have found the platform and partner we need to fulfill that promise seen to our publishing and reporting processes. Effective open access management is key to securing our researchers’ success in this rapidly evolving research ecosystem. It’ll save significant staff time, optimize our funding from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and keep our publishing expenditure under control.” Dr Robin Drennan, Director Research and Innovation at Wits

“We are pleased to welcome Wits to the rapidly growing global community of institutions, funders, and publishers that streamline their OAM through the ChronosHub platform.
This way, we automate otherwise time-consuming and often frustrating manual routine work. The researchers have more time for research, and the library and research office teams can spend more time on qualitative work.” Christian Grubak, co-CEO & founder

Furthermore, the collaboration also includes a journal finder featuring more than 45,000 journals. Here the researchers get guidance on which publishing routes comply with different funding policies and can see if they need to pay any publishing fees, considering Wits’ publisher agreements and conditions for the central APC fund. “Chronoshub is beneficial as an intermediary between librarians and researchers and serves as a one-stop tool that guides researchers with identifying reputable and accredited Open Access journals in which to publish,” says Dr. Daisy Selematsela, University Librarian at Wits Libraries.