The project “openCost: automated, standardized delivery and open provision of publication costs and publishing agreements” was launched by Bielefeld University Library, the German Electron Synchrotron DESY (Hamburg) and Regensburg University Library.

The project aims to create a technical infrastructure that allows publication costs for open access publications to be comprehensively recorded and made openly accessible using standardized interfaces.

Standardized Metadata schema

The aim of openCost is therefore to develop a metadata schema that enables the recording and retrieval of publication costs in a structured form. This metadata format serves to cover all publication costs incurred by a scientific institution. These include Open Access publication charges, so-called Article Processing Charges (APCs), but also costs from transformation contracts, memberships and the like.

Such a standardized data format makes it possible to use the data to automatically evaluate costs. This promotes both cost transparency within an institution and a comparison of costs between different institutions. The metadata format for publication charges will be developed in cooperation with national and international partners, as it needs to meet different requirements depending on the purposes of cost evaluation. For this purpose, there is a plan to hold an expert workshop.

Public interface

Another priority is to implement an OAI interface in the systems of the submitting institutions, in which the publication costs are included. This OAI interface is intended to be utilised by other systems, e.g. institutional repositories of other institutions. Through such an interface, data can be consolidated within and across institutions or queried for different purposes. Via OAI-PMH, aggregators, such as the OpenAPC service based at Bielefeld University Library, should also be able to collect publication costs directly from the institutions and make them available for queries or cost comparisons by third parties.

Extending the Electronic Journals Library (EZB)

The third focus of the project is the extension of the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) with new functions for managing and displaying information on OA publication costs. For this purpose, we are implementing an interface between OpenAPC and the EZB. The data model of the EZB will be expanded so that institution-specific agreements such as memberships or regulations from transformative agreements can be collected and displayed in the EZB. In addition, we want to create the function that allows institutions to enter information on the assumption of publication costs for specific journals as well as institution-specific agreements such as memberships in the EZB Administration. Furthermore, this information will be made available in a machine-readable format in an API. Thus, all participating institutions can use the EZB as a central platform for communicating this OA information to researchers.

Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) – grant number 457354095