The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) is calling for greater clarity from research funders and institutions on the payment of open access publication fees. With an ever growing number of high quality open access journals available to authors there is still confusion regarding the funding streams that authors can use to pay publication charges. OASPA therefore welcomes the publication of a recent guide from the Research Information Network (RIN) and Universities UK (UUK): Paying for Open Access Publication Charges.
The Guide makes a number of helpful recommendations to both research funders and institutions. In particular, the existence of funds out of which open access publication charges can be made should be communicated to authors and the criteria under which these funds may be used should be clearly defined.
Alerting authors to the existence of publication funds allows authors to exercise greater choice in deciding which journals to submit their work to and ensures that publications compete on quality, services to authors and readers, and value-for-money. A recent series of studies by Professor John Houghton and co-authors has suggested that open access may provide greater returns on the investment tax-payers make on research than other access mechanisms. To realize these benefits funders and institutions should work on removing the barriers to the free uptake of open access.
OASPA will work towards providing greater clarity and transparency on the payment of open access publication charges and this is one topic that will be discussed at the First Conference on Open Access Publishing to be held in Lund, Sweden in September.