Funding APCs from the research funder's seat : findings from the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot

de Castro, Pablo and Franck, Gwen (2019) Funding APCs from the research funder's seat : findings from the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot. El Profesional de la Información (EPI), 28 (4). e280413. ISSN 1386-6710

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    Abstract

    Some way already into the transition towards a fully Open Access scholarly communications landscape, it is useful to take a look at the findings arising from a pioneering pilot initiative launched by the European Commission to fund Article Processing Charges (APCs) associated to publications stemming from finished European FP7 projects. The article describes the methodology and results for the initiative. It also argues that beyond the flavour of the specific Open Access policy chosen by specific countries, this kind of supranational APC funding initiative could become a key element – alongside instruments like national-level offsetting agreements – to ensure a level playing field for researchers. It’s finally argued that the no-hybrid policy applied in the implementation of this APC funding initiative is a suitable mechanism to contain the costs and prevent further publishing market concentration. Detailed results are provided for the close to 3-year funding exercise, showing for instance the widespread uptake across EU countries albeit with significant differences across regions. Funded publishers and journal titles are analysed, together with the evolution of the average APC fee. A summary of lessons learnt is offered at the end of the paper, both for institutions and funders.