openCost: Automated, standardized delivery and open provision of publication costs and publishing agreements

Within the scope of openCost we are creating a technical infrastructure that allows us to comprehensively record all costs involved in scientific publishing and subsequently make them freely accessible by means of standardized interfaces. This is supposed to enable cost transparency on an institutional, national, and international level.

Therefore, we are developing a standardized metadata schema to record, retrieve and map all publication costs of a scientific institution in a structured form. In addition to OA publication charges (APCs), it also includes costs from transformative agreements, memberships, etc.

We are proposing the established OAI-PMH interface for an automatic exchange. As first applications, we are using it exemplarily on the publication servers of the universities of Bielefeld and Regensburg as well as the partner institutions of JOIN². Via OAI-PMH, service providers (e.g., aggregators and research funders) can harvest their publication outputs directly from the institutions. Within the framework of OpenCost, this will be realized exemplarily by the OpenAPC service based at the Bielefeld University Library.

A third focus of the project is the extension of the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) with special functions for displaying publication costs. For this purpose, we are implementing an interface between OpenAPC and the EZB. In addition, we want to provide a 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. Thus, all participating institutions can use the EZB as a central platform for communicating this OA information to researchers.

Project focus

  • Development of a standardized metadata schema for the collection/recording and transfer of data on publication costs
  • Implementation of an open interface for harvesting and querying this data
  • Extension of the EZB with special functions for displaying information on open access publication costs and on the assumption of costs

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – grant number 457354095