2.6 APC processing services

We find ourselves in a very similar situation to that of the early days of the big deal. With the big deal, publishers tried to go direct to libraries and cut out the middle man,  in the open access workflow, a similar situation is developing, where publishers are encouraging universities, libraries and individual authors to deal direct. In some case, the larger publishers are even offering a big deal experience, where a lump sum deposit earns a discount on individual articles, others, such as Biomed Central and the Royal Society offer a membership scheme in order to give similar discounts. However, the thought of having to deal with gold open access payments with each publisher (and journal) are daunting.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, new gold open access workflows and resulted in new intermediaries (and old ones) looking broker services for libraries and publishers.


One such intermediary is Open Access Key (OAK). In the UK, OAK is being piloted as part of the Jisc APC pilot – “a pilot project that aims to assist UK higher education institutions and publishers worldwide in managing Gold OA article processing charges. Managed by Jisc Collections, the pilot engages representatives from academic institutions, publishers, funders and intermediaries to explore key issues and respond to a changing global Open Access landscape”

    With thanks to Niel Jacobs at Jisc for use of the slide from the 2014 ASA conference
With thanks to Niel Jacobs at Jisc for use of the slide from the 2014 ASA conference

Going forward, Jisc Monitor will continue on from the pilot, offering services and tools to ease the pain points in these new workflows

In addition to these new services, a number of familiar faces are also launching APC services, such as Swets and EBSCO.

See also the video from the University of Calgary Library describing how they have successfully setup and implemented an Open Access Authors Fund, which was mentioned in section 1.5.


2.1    The ‘traditional’ green model

2.2    Gold Open Access

2.3    Funder mandates/policies for green and gold

2.4    The effect of gold on workflows and staffing

2.5    Pure gold vs. hybrid journals

2.6    APC processing services

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