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Releasing open data about the Total Cost of Ownership

In order to support Jisc Collections’ work on the Total Cost of Ownership, which means negotiating with publishers on both journal subscription licenses and article processing charge (APC) payments at the same time, we decided to collect some data. This was undertaken by Information Power Ltd on behalf of Jisc Collections earlier this year.

The data that was collected from 24 UK higher education institutions included financial information about both expenditure on journal subscriptions and expenditure on APC payments. All institutions which took part in the data collection have agreed that we can release anonymised aggregated data regarding APC payments. One output of this work is the Report for Jisc Collections on Total Cost of Ownership Project: Data Capture and Process written by Information Power about the data collection process. It may of interest to any institutions which are managing APC payments.

Download Jisc Collections on Total Cost of Ownership Project: Data Capture and Process as a PDF.

The aggregated APC data is available in raw form through two spreadsheets available on figshare: Jisc Collections aggregated APC data 2014 and Jisc Collections aggregated APC data by publisher. A brief analysis of this data is also available. Many institutions have struggled to collect accurate data on expenditure due to time constraints and the complexity of this new area, so we recognise that this data on APC is far from perfect. However, we hope that releasing it will be useful to give an idea of the scale of current expenditure on APCs and highlight where this money is going.

Some institutions have agreed to go further and release detailed spreadsheets of their APC expenditure: so far University of Warwick, University of Sussex, University of Liverpool, and Imperial. This adds to earlier data releases from University of Cambridge and Queen's University Belfast. The more institutions release data, the more we can learn about the market for APCs, which publishers are being successful in it, and whether full open access journals or hybrid journals are becoming more popular.

The original purpose of collecting this data was to help Jisc Collections to model different APC offsetting schemes which have been developed for our negotiations with publishers. By working with institutions to release it more widely, we hope to add greater value to this work and encourage debate about hybrid open access publishing.

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