The inaugural post

Welcome to the inaugural post of our blog for the Jisc funded Open Access Good Practice Pathfinder Project lead by the University of Bath Library.

Aims, objectives and final output(s) of the project:

The aim of this project is provide guidance to HEIs on strategies to reduce the administrative burden of OA implementation.

There is an expectation of increased costs, both financial and administrative, during the transition from journal subscriptions to Gold OA and APC payments.  HEIs will need to consider staffing costs, payment outsourcing options and sources of information for reporting on OA implementation, all of which contribute to the administrative burden on services that are often already stretched.

We wish to investigate efficiencies in the administrative overheads involved throughout the lifecycle of OA implementation, specifically:

a.  The use of pre-pay bundles and voucher / waiver codes to reduce workflows and finance transactions.
b. Streamlining administrative processes by providing guidance on reporting requirements for RCUK and HEFCE Open Access reporting, particularly mapping points of overlap between various submissions to funders.
c. Drawing on the work of the Jisc APC project, we’ll be investigating whether the use of payment intermediaries such as OAK/Jisc APC represents a significant reduction in the administrative burden on HEIs.

Wider benefits to the sector and achievements for the host institution

APC payments are relatively new on the scene for HEIs, and many of us find ourselves struggling with systems for dealing with these efficiently and effectively.  It makes for an interesting landscape, particularly when widened to include the strain of changes on publishers, authors and other stakeholders.

This is a rapidly evolving environment, and it is possible that solutions and recommendations from this project are overtaken by developments in APC charges, methods of payment, requirements from funders, etc.  We need to be agile in responding to these changes.  We also need to ensure that any guidance or solutions we develop is scalable so as to be relevant to as wide a community as possible

Project team relationships

All team members are from the GW4 University Libraries.

The project lead is Kara Jones, Head of Library Research Services at the University of Bath.
Representatives from Bristol, Exeter and Cardiff will introduce themselves and their roles in forthcoming blog posts.

Projected timeline

The project runs from June 2014 to June 2016.  We have a number of milestones along the way, and we’ll report on key areas such as:

  • Requirements gathering – methodologies and next steps
  • Options for APC payments (case studies and workflows)
  • Evaluation and possible extension of Jisc APC best practice guidelines
  • Development and pilot of research recommendations
  • Findings from the project