This is the 5th bi-monthly progress report for the EC FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot. Ten months into the project, the number of approved funding requests has already reached 300, which already makes this Gold Open Access funding initiative one of the largest of its kind. The average APC fee paid for the 283 approved requests for journals articles (which currently make up 95% of the total funded publications) is €1,432. This is nearly the same value that was collected for the previous report, which may mean that the initiative is reaching some kind of plateau.
Besides providing an update to classifications included in previous reports such as the distribution of approved funding requests by country, publisher, journal and FP7 project type, this report also takes a look at the list of hybrid journals we have so far collected (and turned down) requests for. This 115-strong list of hybrid titles is nearly as long as the list of funded journals which is also being maintained, and it shows a strong concentration around the biggest publishers. The report includes some considerations on the availability of suitable alternative titles to submit to in order for a manuscript to become eligible for funding.
The list of countries where at least one approved funding request has been received from keeps increasing, and shows Bulgaria and Luxembourg as new EU member states that have joined the list during the last two months. Colleagues in Serbia and Iceland are already working hard to collect at least one request from those countries for the next report, and the sole five EU nations that remain to be added — Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Malta and Romania — will also hopefully join it soon.
In the meantime, preliminary estimations on the number of post-grant FP7-funded manuscripts jointly carried out with publishers like BioMed Central or Wiley in the process towards signing pre-payment agreements with them shows that most of the potentially fundable journal articles by the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot are not applying for funding from the initiative upon manuscript acceptance. This shows the shortcomings of the current dissemination strategy — together with presumably a degree of overlapping with other funding opportunities, mainly at institutional level — which mainly relies on institutions and the OpenAIRE NOADs. Once the scoping work for eligible manuscripts starts to be carried out in collaboration with publishers as well as institutions, the figures for funded publications should sharply rise.