November 15, 2021

University of Copenhagen: Setting the Stage for Success

ChronosHub and Faculty of Science at UCPH joined forces in a collaborative pilot project – a journey toward green OA and ensuring compliance in the university’s research community.

 

About

Meet a World-Class Research University 

Driven by intellectual creativity and critical thinking since 1479, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is the oldest university in Denmark. With its 5,0000 researchers, 40,000 students, and 10,000 employees, the university boasts an international research and study environment. The university produces over 9,000 publications every year across all scientific disciplines positioning the university as one of the leading research institutions in the world. 

 

Challenge

More Open Access, More Complexities 

For the publishing of research results, it becomes increasingly important to make them openly accessible. This should among other reasons serve to increase the use of the results as they can be accessed freely by anyone. In line with the Open Access (OA) movement, more and more funders and research institutions are adopting publishing policies for their funded research and encouraging their researchers to publish their findings in OA journals.

For UCPH, there were a couple of essential OA concerns that needed to be addressed. Firstly, there was a strong need for creating a much better overview and clarity of OA compliant and non-compliant research. Secondly, to be able to comply with all funders’ policies, especially the European Commission as their main funder, live up to the Danish National Open Access Strategy, and comply with Plan S, the university needed to adopt a green OA approach. Why? Although it’s free to read OA articles, publishers still need revenue and one of the most common OA business models is based on paying a so-called Article Processing Charge (APC) to get the article published. The global average APC is around $1800 per article, varying from a few hundred dollars up to seven thousand dollars. UCPH is already spending a staggering 2M € a year on APCs  this cost can be minimized tremendously for UCPH if using the green OA route that doesn’t require any APC payments. 

 

Solution

A Step in the Right Journal Direction 

Last year, Faculty of Science at UCPH and the Royal Danish Library took the first step and joined forced with ChronosHub to ensure compliance in a collaborative pilot project. 

With access to the ChronosHub Journal Finder, researchers at UCPH can easily identify journals that are compliant with institutional agreements and their funders’ OA publishing requirements. The Journal Finder includes more than 45,000 journals and enables authors to indicate their funding source(s) and for each journal, see if it is compliant with the funder’s open access policies. For each journal, the author can also see what the Journal Finder allows and offers as author choice (e.g., self-archiving rights and type of OA), as well as any specific conditions and APC amounts based on any institutional agreement between the publisher and the university. 

UCPH has access to all data and analytics on accepted articles in ChronosHub and doesn’t need to go to the publishers’ different OA dashboards – and can monitor their agreements in one place. 


“ChronosHub will enable The Royal Library – the National License Consortia to clearly communicate specific negotiated deals with publishers and to possibly strengthen the road towards the goals in the national OA strategy,” said Kira Stine Hansen, Deputy Director and Head of Copenhagen University Library.  

 

Results

Lessons Learned 

The implementation process led to several new learnings and aspects, including:  

  • Open Access does cost money – UCPH realized that their APCs amount to 2M € per year.
     
  • The work needs to be done hands-on, not only on paper, to see what truly works and what doesn’t.
     
  • Possible to mandate a service like ChronosHub, but it’s important to drive uptake by clearly communicating benefits and incentives for the researchers such as no redundant reporting, no compliance issues, no admin for payments, etc.
     
  • Identify and close the gaps systematically by integration of other sources and stepwise get closer to 100% automation and 100% coverage of all articles. 

Universities are often quite decentralized – and UCPH is no exception. The ChronosHub solution required a stepwise roll-out, starting with the launch of the public Journal Finder that’s freely accessible – a great step for driving the university toward green OA which is free of APCs. 

 

Looking ahead

The next steps in the process will be a natural progression toward introducing APC management, compliance checks, providing analytics, and populating the local repository – this will require a longer process involving all departments. Ultimately, UCPH becoming a full member of ChronosHub is expected to result in a further reduction of the overall publishing costs for the institution.