An independent report published today by Information Power aims to improve the transparency of Open Access (OA) prices and services. The report is the outcome of a project funded by Wellcome and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on behalf of cOAlition S to inform the development of Plan S. During the project funders, libraries, publishers, and universities worked together to inform the development of a framework intended to provide information about OA services and prices in a transparent, practical, and insightful way.

Imperative need for customer-centric approach

The framework provides opportunities for publishers to build better awareness of and appreciation by customers of the value of their services, and to demonstrate publisher commitment to open business models and business cultures.

And a collaborative, pragmatic approach

 cOAlition S aims to help make the nature and prices of OA publishing services more transparent, and to enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that prices are fair and reasonable. Addressing cOAlition S, the report emphasises that the introduction of a new reporting requirement needs to be organised with clear implementation guidelines, and a proper plan for testing, development, release, review, and refinement. It also recommends an iterative approach to implementation, with a pilot as the next step.

 cOAlition S has accepted the recommendation that such a framework needs to be piloted before implementation and agreed a project extension to pilot and refine the framework during the first quarter of 2020. Participants include Annual Reviews, Brill, The Company of Biologists, EMBO Press, European Respiratory Society, Hindawi, PLOS, and SpringerNature. Other publishers are welcome and are invited to express interest in joining the pilot via info@informationpower.co.uk.

 Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome and interim cOAlition S coordinator, said “On behalf of cOAlition S we are delighted to see all stakeholders engage in the development of this transparency pricing framework and support the idea of road-testing it through a pilot.  Based on the outcome of this pilot, cOAlition S will decide how to use this framework, or a refinement of it, together with other models for inclusion in the requirement for those journals where Plan S requirements apply.”

About cOAlition S:

cOAlition S is an international consortium of research funders. It launched Plan S, an initiative for Open Access publishing, in September 2018. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. https://www.coalition-s.org/

About Wellcome Trust:

Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. We support researchers, we take on big health challenges, we campaign for better science, and we help everyone get involved with science and health research. We are a politically and financially independent foundation.  https://wellcome.ac.uk/

About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI):

UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK, and Research England. https://www.ukri.org/

About Information Power:

Information Power Ltd provides consultancy services in the research information space with special expertise in Open Access. The team works with funders, libraries, consortia, publishers, agents, vendors, and universities to advance learning, research, and scholarly communication. http://www.informationpower.co.uk/

About the Project:

The project is guided by a steering group which provides expert advice and support. Members are: 

  • Ivy Anderson, University of California, University/Library consortium
  • Chris Banks, Imperial College London, University
  • Rachel Bruce, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Funder
  • Liam Earney, Jisc Collections, Library consortium
  • Sarah Greaves, Hindawi, Publisher
  • Steven Inchcoombe, Springer Nature, Publisher
  • Robert Kiley, Wellcome, Funder
  • Jasmin Lange, Brill, Publisher
  • Falk Reckling, FWF (Austrian Science Fund), Funder
  • Arthur Smith, Cambridge University, University