The German Science Foundation leads the way in the transition to Open Access

Post posted by Greta Franzini (not authored).

The German Science Foundation leads the way in the transition to Open Access
Gregory Crane
October 28, 2014

At Leipzig we are participating in a couple of proposals for the German Science Foundation Open Access program. Anyone interested in the future of academic publication might read through the request for proposals to see where Germany is going.
This sort of activity makes it a real pleasure to be a professor here in Germany.

The RFP as a whole can be accessed here.
The opening paragraph reads:

By providing this funding, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Re-search Foundation) aims to establish workable business models for the publication of academic and scientific Open Access monographs and series of monographs (individual works, collections and dissertations). Funding these formats in particular will help to ensure the more effective introduction of Open Access publication in those subject areas that tend to publish important research results in book form.

The conditions for project implementation and the requirements for project results are well worth reading — they really point the way forward for those who wish to create a sustainable infrastructure for open publication.

a) Conditions for project implementation

The funding is intended for projects designed to develop, pilot and document in detail reusable and workable business models for the publication of Open Access monographs by individual researchers or groups of researchers.  Proposals must include an outline of the concrete collaboration between information institutions (libraries, data centres, media centres, etc.), authors and possibly also pub-lishers or similar organisations. This should involve the development of workable and efficient concepts for the publication of Open Access monographs or monograph series, documented for reuse by others and immediately applied for the purposes of publication.

The concept and documentation must above all provide details of the individual phases in the publication workflow that enable the conditions for Open Access publication through effective collaboration between the various actors and must also outline the principles for costing and pricing that will help ensure that the individual contributions to the workflow are organised transparently. The knowledge and models developed in the funded projects must be published in such a way that they may be reapplied freely by third parties. The application must also show how the possibility of the Open Access publication of academic monographs will be actively made available to the academic/scientific community.

b) Requirements for project results

The following framework conditions apply to the Open Access monographs and monograph series that result from funded projects:

  • in the event of a hybrid publication, the publication of the Open Access monograph may coincide with, but must under no circumstances postdate that of the printed version;
  • the quality assurance of the publication must be guaranteed in accordance with the applicable standards for the specialist discipline or based on new high-quality methods to be developed within the framework of the programme;
  • the production workflow must enable prompt publication of the book and incorporate the effective inclusion of both the metadata and the publication in international discipline-specific and information verification systems (e.g. OAPEN Library, DOAB);
  • the publication must be compiled, indexed and promoted in a way that guarantees maximum findability on the internet. The publication metadata must meet library standards;
  • the development of innovative electronic formats and additional functionalities desired by researchers and academics is possible;
  • it must be possible for authors easily and clearly to verify requests for and the use of the publication and to measure this by means of a standardised method, for example one that corresponds to the current COUNTER Code of Practice for E-Resources;
  • the legal status of the publication and individual parts of it must have been cleared and the type of licensing must enable maximum reuse by the scientific and academic community, for example by means of CC-BY or CC-BY-NC licensing;
  • the long-term availability of individual titles must have been accounted for and guaranteed organisationally.

The processes and business models developed in the project must be transparent and documented in a way that may be used by third parties. The detailed description of the results will include at least the following aspects:

  • a description of the workflow and the distribution of tasks, possibly also including information on the contribution made by a publisher or similar organisation;
  • information on a transparent cost model, for example in the form of a checklist for services and their prices, including a transparent description of how these costs were derived and details of the discount and refund models that would apply to any retrospective recalculation. For hybrid models, this will also include the calculation for printed versions offered in parallel with the Open Access publication;
  • information on quantities and the specific profile of the monographs, as well as sales and usage figures;
  • ideas on transforming existing printed series into an Open Access model;
  • strategies for branding, marketing and incorporating the publication in web-based specialist information services and for maximising internet findability;
  • strategies for advising academics and scientists on licensing their work and documentation on types of licensing used;
  • information on the distribution of tasks for long-term archiving.

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