Collecting and sharing APC data

Here, Stuart Lawson of Jisc Collections describes what we have been doing, and plan to do, to collect and share APC data from HEIs.

As a part of its work on negotiating the Total Cost of Ownership with journal publishers, earlier in 2014 Jisc Collections collected and released some data on article processing charge (APC) payments paid by a sample of UK higher education institutions (HEIs). Since the community felt that this was valuable and has encouraged us to continue this work, Jisc Collections is now extending its APC data collection to be something that we can help all HEIs with on an ongoing basis.

This data collection, which also ties in with the Jisc Monitor project, will allow HEIs to benchmark their APC data. We want to ensure that the data collection is done in a way that is both straightforward for libraries to participate in, and also has openness built in as default. The aim is to produce a template which can be used by HEIs to record and monitor their APC payments. Using a standard template will help to produce comparable data between institutions which can be more easily aggregated. The data fields to be completed are being chosen from careful analysis of HEI needs. This means that the spreadsheet can be used for both internal reporting and also external reporting to RCUK and the Wellcome Trust for compliance monitoring. HEIs are free to add further fields in addition to the ones provided, allowing the template to remain extensible while also being standardised and interoperable.

Any UK HEI which has paid any APCs may participate in the data collection (institutions outside the UK are welcome to make use of the template as well). Each HEIs’ spreadsheet will be viewable by anyone but can only be edited by the institution itself. Transparency of APC payments helps us to understand the current state of expenditure on APCs, so as well as being free to view, all data will be published under a Creative Commons CC0 license.

If you have any questions or are interested in participating in the data collection, please contact for further information.

By Neil Jacobs

JISC Programme Director, Digital Infrastructure (Information Environment)

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