Understanding the source of funds used by authors in Australian

peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-02-14


Abstract:  BACKGROUND: Read & Publish (R&P) deals with publishers consolidate the cost of subscription access and open access publication into a single payment. This is a significant shift in the way access to research outputs is managed, and has implications for university acquisition budgets. Currently funds used across institutions to pay for Article Processing Charges (APCs) are unquantified and their sources unidentified. 

OBJECTIVE: The study aims to identify the sources of funding for APCs across Flinders University. The findings are intended to stimulate debate across the sector to potentially replicate the study at other institutions.  METHOD: The research outputs of Flinders University during 2020-2021 were filtered for a Creative Commons license on the assumption that these were available open access, and articles where the corresponding author was a Flinders University academic were identified. A survey tool was developed to understand the amount the author paid for the APC and the source(s) of that money. 

The amounts reported as payment for APCs were converted to AUD using a point in time exchange rate. The figures were extrapolated across the two years of research outputs of the university. The authors acknowledge this method provides a raw assumption, however this analysis is sufficient to identify the general scale of the issue.  FINDINGS: A significant proportion of respondents did not pay any APCs for their article. Those that did funded their APC directly from the university, or from grants, consultancy funds or in rare cases, personal payment. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: R&P deals shift the responsibility of payment for open access from external funds to the university acquisition budget. It is essential that the extent of this financial shift be quantified and negotiation occur with funding bodies to ensure they contribute directly to supporting these deals.  This work indicates the need for evidence-based discussions about the risks associated with the sector embracing R&P deals and the value of reinvigorating the path to open access using repositories and strong rights retention polices.



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Date tagged:

02/14/2023, 09:37

Date published:

02/14/2023, 04:37