Wellcome and UKRI back project on OA ‘transparent pricing’ framework

Wellcome and UKRI back project on OA ‘transparent pricing’ framework

The Wellcome Trust and national funding agency UK Research & Innovation are backing a project to push “more transparent” communication around the nature and prices of OA publishing services.

The project is being run on behalf of the international research consortium cOAlition S, with consultancy Information Power leading the venture.

Taking place between September and December 2019, the project is planned as a collaboration with publishers, funders and universities, seeking “to develop a framework which enables publishers to communicate the price of services in a way that is transparent, practical to implement, and insightful for users.”

Information Power will consult with stakeholders and try to identify categories of services provided in exchange for APCs or transformative arrangements, working “to gain the voluntary support of members of these groups to deliver greater pricing transparency, and in ways that can be maintained and monitored.” Specific costs, and current and future pricing, will not be explored. 

Publishers Steven Inchcoombe of Springer Nature, Jasmin Lange of Brill and Sarah Greaves of Hindawi are all on the project steering group, which also includes representatives from Jisc Collections, UKRI, Wellcome, Imperial College London, Cambridge University, the University of California, and the Austria Science Fund.   

Alicia Wise, Lorraine Estelle and Hazel Woodward comprise the project team at Information Power.

cOAlition S's so-called Plan S aims to make all government-funded research available Open Access immediately on publication from January 2021. One of its prime principles is: "The Funders support the diversity of business models for Open Access journals and platforms. When Open Access publication fees are applied, they must be commensurate with the publication services delivered and the structure of such fees must be transparent to inform the market and funders potential standardisation and capping of payments of fees."