The publisher engagement plans for the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot involve signing pre-payment agreements with publishers as a means of improving the dissemination of this funding initiative towards eligible researchers and projects. Moreover, pre-payment agreements will very much simplify the invoicing workflows, making the funding of APC payments much quicker and easier for authors.
Following these plans, OpenAIRE has signed a first contract for a pre-payment agreement with Ubiquity Press as of February 1st, 2016. Ubiquity Press is an OpenAIRE-compliant publisher and has agreed with OpenAIRE to openly share this contract for the sake of transparency.
The pre-payment agreement includes specific technical workflows for collaboration between the publisher and OpenAIRE. These cover specific data exchanges on funding information that will allow the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot to confirm the eligibility for funding of specific publications. Information on funded outputs will also be periodically delivered into the OpenAIRE system, thus relieving researchers from the need to directly provide their funding requests for these manuscripts. Following the official signing of the contract earlier this month, the next step will be to test these data exchange workflows.
Fig 1.- Funding requests for Ubiquity Press books and book chapters in the OpenAIRE system
A discount is also offered by Ubiquity Press within this agreement on their Article and Book Processing Charges (APCs/BPCs). This discount, which is standard policy for the publisher upon drafting pre-payment agreement contracts, is a natural consequence of the time-saving simplification of the invoicing procedures.
This first pre-payment agreement falls within a wider strategy for publisher engagement whereby the contract is made publicly available so that other publishers may look into it and consider the possibility of applying for similar agreements. The FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot has been holding conversations since May 2015 with a number of additional publishers such as Copernicus, PLoS, Frontiers or Wiley – these ones are now on top of the list for signing further agreements, but any additional expression of interest will be taken into consideration.