Knowledge Exchange Report on Submission Fees

According to a report of Knowledge Exchange publishers can benefit from a model in which an author pays a fee when submitting an article.

It reads: “Overall there seems to be an interest in the model but the risks, particularly those involved in any transition, are seen by the publishers to outweigh the perceived benefits. There is also a problem in that the advantages offered by submission fees are often general benefits that might improve the system but do not provide publishers and authors with direct incentives to change to open access. To support transition funders, institutions and publication funds could make it clear that submission fees would be an allowable cost. At present this is often unclear in their policies.”

The website of Knowledge Exchange continues explaining that “one model in particular is regarded as the most suitable way to meet the current requirements (i.e. to strengthen open access to research publications). In this model authors pay a submission fee plus an Article Processing Fee and the article is subsequently made available in open access. Both fees are set at levels that balance acceptability with the author community with securing a meaningful mix of revenues for the Publisher.”

Mark Ware Consulting (MWC) was commissioned to undertake the study into the feasibility of submission fees in open access journals. To this end he performed a literature survey and held several interviews primarily with journal editors and publishers. In total some 40 interviews were conducted.

Download the report ‘Submission Fees – a tool in the transition to open access?’

About Knowledge Exchange

KE is a very interesting initiative even though it is only a temporary effort (started in 2008, ending in 2011). Based upon a partnership of four important national institutes, it aims to improve the digital infrastructure for information and communication technology as it relates to the research and university library sectors. The partners are:

Basically the partners want to have a layer of scholarly and scientific content openly available in the internet. To this end it is investigating different routes. One of these involves exploring new developments in the future of publishing, such as alternative business models which could contribute to the transition to open access.

For more information check the website of Knowledge Exchange, and make sure you don’t forget the ‘documents’ section


I am not sure what to make from the conclusions. As the report also says, author acceptance of submission fees is critical to its success. I personally can’t escape from the feeling that it is quite odd to ask an author for a fee… how in heaven’s name can you explain that one has to pay to make his/her findings publicly available?? Any views on this?


Open Access Publishing takes off in European Research Community

Today a publisher-run Open Access online library filled with freely available academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences from across Europe is officially launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair. And that’s not all – the same people who made this possible are busy developing an OA-publishing platform that can be used by academic publishers and research funding institutes, based on their respective needs. And, yes, you guess it, all was started at the request of the European Commission.

Finally some serious attention for researchers and publishers working in the social sciences and humanities. That is the first thing that came to my mind when I read about OAPEN, the project of the European Union that is facilitating all these developments.

The official website of the project reads: “OAPEN aims to achieve a sustainable publication model for academic books in Humanities and Social Sciences and to improve the visibility and usability of high quality academic re-search in Europe. OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) is the first inter-national Open Access project in the area of academic book publishing and is supported by the European Union.”

According to the project team, it is great for all stakeholders:

  • For authors, it extends the reach of their work, by ensuring worldwide access and retrievability.
  • Researchers benefit through direct access to publications, improved search mechanisms across collections and ease of use.
  • Research funders can not only guarantee the publication of peer reviewed research results, but also ensure free and unrestricted access, thereby improving the return on their investment in research.
  • Libraries can improve the service to their customers.
  • For academic publishers Open Access publishing offers a more effective and sustain-able approach to the dissemination of scholarly knowledge, and the monograph more in specific.

The network includes impressive names and organizations among others the Association of American University Presses and Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition – SPARC Europe, and invites more stakeholders to join. When you do you will be informed about the project and its results, involved in the development of models and standards, and invited to take part in discussions.

More information:

European Commission project description

press release

project website

online library OAPEN

article in Dutch ‘Amsterdam University Launches European Open Access Library’

follow the developments via or or

Eelco Ferwerda, coordinator of the OAPEN-project, receiving SURFshare Open Access Award

Who and What Drives Driver?

Fleur writes: A small warning….This is a long post about (open source) e-Infrastructure and (Open Access) digital repositories. It has a somewhat techie feel to it and infrastructure is not one of my favorite topics, but when one goes a bit below the surface, some interesting developments pop up.

Having established the necessary network of people and institutions, the Driver network is now working on an actual pan-European infrastructure for digital repositories.

Uhm, come again…?

According to the Driver website, the main aim is to build a Digital Repository infrastructure: “Digital Repositories form an integral part of the e-infrastructure for research. They provide the content as a third layer to the existing data network (GEANT2 and NREN’s) and Grid-middleware infrastructure layers.

The repositories contain today the full spectrum of scholarly materials, from theses, technical reports and working papers to digitised text and image collections and they can contain sets of primary research data.(…)

A future, Europe wide Digital Repository Infrastructure will be a virtual network of physically distributed and decentrally maintained repositories from all countries in Europe. The plan is, to organise in an incremental process networks of institutional repositories on the national level, exploit them and take them from there to the European level, similar to the organisation of GEANT. State-of the-art middleware will be implemented to offer researchers a virtual single content resource, which can be used for highly effective information access and exploration.”

So basically, Driver wishes to build up a critical mass of research materials (as they underline, “a powerful demonstration of research output in Europe”, and inspiring “innovation in a wide variety of sectors and communities”) and make it available via a new infrastructure. Once it is ready, each repository will maintain its own identity and will be clearly marked with a label of the providing repository host.

“DRIVER is integral to the suite of electronic infrastructures that have emerged in the worldwide GÉANT network and is hence funded under the e-Infrastructures call of the European Commission’s 7th framework programme.”

Recently they announced the software release D-NET v. 1.0. “this open source software offers a tool-box for deploying a customizable distributed system featuring tools for harvesting and aggregating heterogeneous data sources. A variety of end-user functionalities are applied over this integration, ranging from search, recommendation, collections, profiling to innovative tools for repository manager users.”

The press release continues: “A running instance of the software, namely the “European Information Space”, maintained by the DRIVER Consortium to aggregate Open Access publications from European Institutional Repositories, can be accessed online at: (Search the Repositories Portal).”

So who is involved…?

DRIVER involves many major (institutional) players from different European countries. It is driven by a forum – termed “confederation”. To a large extend, the organisation makes use of national correspondents.

The Advisory Board Members are:
Norbert Lossau, DRIVER Scientific Co-ordinator (Chairperson)
Dale Peters, DRIVER Scientific Manager (Organiser)
Michele Kimpton, DSPACE Foundation
Sandy Payette, Fedora Commons
Tom Baker, DCMI / W3C
Suzanne Dobratz, DINI
Herbert VanDeSompel, OAI-PMH / -ORE
Kat Hagedorn, OAIster
John Wilbanks, Creative Commons
Lars Björnshauge, DOAJ
Tony Hey, Microsoft Technical Computing
Hans Geleijnse, LIBER
David Prosser, SPARC Europe
Melissa Hageman, Open Society Institute
Rima Kupryte/Iryna Kuchma, eIFL
Sijbold Noorda, European University Association
Paul Ayris, Director, UCL Library Services / Co-Director DART Europe
Alma Swan, Consultant, Key Perspectives
Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, CNI
Leo Waaijers, OA activist, former SURF manager


Additional Information:

“Towards one e-Infrastructure”: BELIEF’s portal allows you to explore everything about e-Infrastructures and the global virtual research communities that they empower. The related Digital Library you can find at