Following the call for proposals issued early May to fund APC-free Open Access journals and platforms under the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, 17 bids were received before the June 30th deadline. Once these bids have been assessed by the Pilot team in collaboration with the OpenAIRE technical colleagues, the following 11 bids have been selected for funding:
Internet Policy Review – Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (Germany). €16K
Annals of Geophysics – Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (Italy). €20K
Hrčak – University of Zagreb Computing Centre (SRCE, Croatia). €28K
SCIndeks: The Serbian Citation Index – Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON, Serbia). €17K
Scientific Journals Online – Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (Finland). €10K
Revistas CSIC – Spanish National Research Council (Spain). €35K
Information Bulletin on Variable Stars – Konkoly Observatory (Hungary). €14K
Open Praxis – International Council for Open and Distance Education (Norway/Spain). €10.4K
EKT ePublishing – National Documentation Centre/National Hellenic Research Foundation (Greece). €14.8K
Hungarian Educational Research Journal (HERJ) – University of Debrecen (Hungary). €15K
International Journal of Digital Curation (IJDC) – Digital Curation Centre (DCC, UK). €17.2K
These eleven bids provide a wide geographic coverage for the funding initiative. They also show a rather well-balanced distribution across European regions. The technical improvement plans included in the funded proposals make emphasis on specific areas such as OpenAIRE compliance, providing article-level information to the DOAJ, systematically collecting and exposing the funding information whenever it’s made available by authors, producing XML versions of the published articles and implementing ORCID.
Moreover, the degree of overlapping across improvement plans offers clear opportunities for information exchange and eventual collaboration across proposals, and this is an aspect that the initiative will be keen to promote. An email list will be created for the purpose with all the funded stakeholders in it. This list will first be used to share the required details to formalize the funding agreement with OpenAIRE, and then for any potentially useful information to be shared across the funded stakeholders. A workshop to offer parties the opportunity to meet and discuss the work they’ve carried out by then is currently under consideration. This workshop, which would be held in The Hague towards the end of the year, would also provide a good opportunity for the project coordination to do the mid-term progress assessment for the implementation of the improvement plans that is featured as part of the description of work for this funding initiative.
One specific workline that was not included in the original suggestions for technical improvements but that has frequently appeared on the collected work plans is dissemination. This area mainly applies to APC-free Open Access journal platforms that need to first explain the advantages offered by the proposed technical improvements to the editors of the journals they host. The opportunity to compare dissemination strategies across countries and initiatives and the results of their application is again a very interesting feature of this funding call.
Once the improvement plans are completed, short case studies will jointly be produced by the funded stakeholders and the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot describing the enhancement work that has been done with the support of OpenAIRE. These case studies may be released individually or be added as a whole to a report on opportunities for improving the APC-free Open Access publishing infrastructure in Europe. The final goal is that the work carried out under this initiative may eventually benefit all APC-free Open Access journal publishers, including particularly those who submitted bids that were not selected for funding.