PLOS and Transparency (including Plan S Price & Service Transparency Framework) – The Official PLOS Blog

“As a non-profit, mission-driven organization PLOS abides by our commitment to transparency. We openly share information and context about our finances, including target revenue amounts in some of our emerging business models. The Plan S Price & Service Transparency Framework provided us — and other publishers — a clear, uniform structure to share information about the services we perform and a percentage breakdown of how these are covered by the prices we charge. Many of our mission-driven publishing activities go well beyond peer review and production services. We provide commentary on some of these services, including how the varied editorial setups of our journals contribute to different percentage price breakdowns per title. We encourage other publishers to be transparent and openly share their data via such frameworks. And, we remain confident in showcasing how our prices cover our reasonable costs for a high level of service, with some margin for reinvestment….”

Scholar-led Open Access Publishers Are Not “Author-Chutes” · punctum books

“Both Open Book Publishers (OBP) and punctum books recently shared publicly that their per-title cost for high-quality open access monographs hovers somewhere around the $6,000 mark. This number is markedly different from the findings of the the 2016 Ithaka report “The Costs of Publishing Monographs,” which found that open access monographs published by university presses cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

As both institutional libraries and funding bodies invested in a transition to a fully open access scholarly communications landscape are naturally seeking how best to spend their money in the public interest, it comes as no surprise that the disclosure of our numbers, and accompanying financial transparency, has elicited diverse responses from the scholarly publishing world….

Rather, we invite university publishers to transparently disclose their financial records, so that we can level the playing field and have a discussion on what is really important: how we can help the entire scholarly communications landscape to transition to a sustainably open and cost-efficient access model, with the freedom to read, write, edit, and publish, and where public knowledge is truly accessible to the public.”

Survey of Academic Library Use of Cost per Download Data for Journals Subscriptions

“This study looks at how academic libraries, especially research oriented institutions, develop and use cost per download data in collection decision-making.  The study is based on data from 52 institutions, predominantly from the USA but also from Canada, the UK , continental Europe and elsewhere. 

Data in the report is broken out by type of institution (i.e. research university, doctoral-level, etc.) and by overall student enrollment, tuition, for public and private institutions and for those located in the USA and all other countries.  Data is also presented separately for collections oriented towards healthcare and medicine, and for multidisciplinary collections.

The 54-page study helps its readers to answer questions such as: How precise an idea do libraries have about the cost per download of their subscribed journals?  How many libraries feel that they measure this cost well?  What tools, applications or programs do they use to obtain or develop this data?  What makes it easier or harder to obtain such data?  How much confidence do they have in the accuracy of the data often made available by journals publishers? Do some of these publishers produce more reliable data than others? If so , which ones? Does the library use benchmarking data from other libraries or consortia when developing or using their in-hour cost per download data?  Exactly what is the cost per download for the library’s most and least expensive journals subscription packages? Is the library making any special efforts to obtain or obtain better cost per download data as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing pressure on library budgets?

Just a few of the study’s many findings are that:

Approximately half of the institutions surveyed said that they had a very or extremely precise idea of the cost per download of journal articles from their university collections.
Public college libraries were much more likely than private college libraries to use benchmarking data from other institutions.

Cost per download was generally higher in the USA than abroad and private colleges and universities tended to pay considerably higher costs per download than their public sector counterparts.

The median cost per download for the highest cost “Big Deal” from the libraries sampled was $15.00.”

How much does Open GLAM cost? Budget and impact of Open Access Registration, Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite

“The impact that the COVID crisis is having on GLAM budgets is raising concerns among professionals and leadership. There is more demand for delivering and providing digital services and assets, but at the same time many budgets are shrinking. Digital departments are under increasing pressure to figure out how to connect the institution with users.


In this context, what does the future of Open GLAM look like? What strategies can be implemented for advancing Open Access to collections (“Open GLAM”) on a budget? How can people come up with new strategies and ideas to still open up their collections while maintaining healthy financial and human resources?


In this webinar, Effie, Nicole and Dafydd will talk about the value of opening up in times of crisis, different business models for providing open access to collections, and how its positive impact feeds back into the support for openness….”

Monitoring the effects of Plan S on Research and Scholarly Communication: an update | Plan S

“To initiate the dialogue amongst stakeholders on the effects of Plan S, cOAlition S has developed a monitoring framework by which funding agencies who are signatories of Plan S can track or monitor the most significant of these effects, both positive and negative. This framework has been primarily informed by the type of data funding agencies can collect and other available data sets, such that collated data against indicators from a cross-section of Plan S signatories will inform which effects are being realised and guide how cOAlition S might mitigate these effects….”


“Welcome to Primary Research Group’s survey of how academic librarians identify and monitor the cost per download for journal articles used by their library patrons, and how librarians then use this data. The survey should take less than 10 minutes and all participants receive a free PDF copy of the survey results….”

Four reports on the OA monograph: Review – Hill – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points


Increasing interest in open access (OA) monographs is reflected by the publication of four reports in 2019.
The cost of transitioning monographs to OA is a constant source of concern among all stakeholders.
Print remains an important medium for monographs – but for how long?
The fully OA licences used for journals are considerably less popular within the monograph ecosystem.
The technical interoperability taken for granted among journals is not yet evident in digital monograph publishing….”

cOAlition S announces price transparency requirements | Plan S

Adhering to Plan’s S key principle of transparent pricing, cOAlition S publishes today its guidance on implementing price transparency when Open Access (OA) publication fees are applied. Specifically, cOAlition S announces that from July 1st, 2022 only publishers who provide data in line with one of the two endorsed price and service transparency frameworks will be eligible to receive OA publications funds from cOAlition S members. This covers funder contributions to any model of financing open access publications including, but not limited to, non-APC journals or platforms, article processing charges (APCs), transformative agreements, and transformative journals.

Open-access science funders announce price transparency rules for publishers | Science | AAAS

Science journals will have to disclose the costs of publishing articles in order for them to be paid for by a coalition of research funders pushing for open access. The price transparency rules, which will take effect in July 2022, were announced today by cOAlition S, a group of 22 international organizations, European national research agencies, and foundations. In 2018, cOAlition S launched a scheme called Plan S that will require grantees’ work, beginning in January 2021, to be open access, meaning it can be read immediately upon publication, free of charge. One route to accomplish this is for authors to pay journals a fee for each article published this way.

Price and Service Transparency Frameworks | Plan S

“A draft pricing and service framework, developed by Information Power, was published in January 2020 and to help validate this – and ensure that the information sought could be provided – ten publishers (Annual Reviews, Brill, The Company of Biologists, EMBO, European Respiratory Society, F1000 Research, Hindawi, Institute of Physics Publishing, PLOS, and Springer Nature) participated in a pilot. Based on the outcomes of this – and informed by workshops and discussions – the framework has been updated and endorsed by the cOAlition S leadership. It consists of a data collection spreadsheet, an implementation guide, and recommendations.

Independent of this work, the Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) developed a Publication Services and Fees framework which, to date, has been implemented by Frontiers, MIT Press, Copernicus and MPDI.

Both frameworks have been endorsed by cOAlition S….”

Journal subscription expenditure in the UK 2010-2019 | Zenodo

“This dataset contains payments made by UK higher education institutions for access to academic journals from ten publishers from 2010-2019. The data was obtained by sending Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to institutions through the website What Do They Know. The requests, and all original source data, can be found at

The total expenditure with these ten publishers from 2010-2019 was over £982 million. This includes some gaps in the data, so the true figure is almost certainly greater than £1 billion.

The data was originally produced in three stages:

– Data for 2010-14 was published at

– Data for 2015-16 was published at

– Data for 2017-19 was published at

These three datasets contain direct links to the original FOI requests. The present dataset is a combination of these three datasets and contains no additional data….”

Letter to the editor in support of data sharing, with caveats – McDade – – American Journal of Physical Anthropology – Wiley Online Library

“First, deductive disclosure—discerning an individual’s identity and associated information in a dataset—is a major concern that needs to be taken very seriously. In human biology, we often ask participants to volunteer potentially sensitive or embarrassing information…

Second, we have to be careful about imposing expectations for data sharing that become overly expensive or burdensome. In particular, I worry about the potential impacts on students and junior scholars who are often short on time and money. Of the data repositories recommended in the article, many impose user fees. Furthermore, we should not underestimate the amount of effort it takes to prepare and upload datasets, codebooks, summary statistics, and analysis files for each publication….”

Copernicus Publications – APC information

“Copernicus Publications is committed to the open-access model of publishing. This ensures free web access to the results of research and maximum visibility for published papers. Authors retain copyright and works are distributed under the CC BY License. However, it requires the author or a supporting institution to pay the publisher’s costs of the administration of the review process, typesetting, image processing, language copy-editing, web publication, dissemination, and long-term archiving (via Portico and CLOCKSS) in the form of article processing charges (APCs). Copernicus Publications provides all its services in-house. The current page prices for the individual journals can be found at our APC overview page….

Most of the journals we publish are owned by learned societies and other scientific institutions. These journal owners can decide whether they want to subsidize their journal(s) by covering the costs of our services entirely or partly (no APCs for authors or APCs smaller than the costs of our services); they can forward the costs of our services to the authors and thereby break even (APCs = costs of our service); or they can decide to generate some income for their own community activities by adding an amount x to the amount of our service fee (APCs for authors higher than the costs of our services)….

The following APC breakdown represents an average of all journals we publish: …”