COAR and UNESCO – joint declaration on APC in Open Access

COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories) and the UNESCO recently release a joint statement warning against the dangers of a too systematic implementation of APC (Article processing charges) for publications in Open Access.

The statement

They wanted to address a certain number of issues, such as :

  •        “Consider institutions with smaller budgets”: especially for developing countries where the authors do not have the funds to support APC, even with reduction
  •        “Avoid further concentration in the international publishing industry” : A consolidation of APC will reinforce the  monopole of the big commercial publishers and will reduce the possibilities to implement alternatives publication's models
  •       “Explore ways to reduce costs” : Going from the actual economic model – where the scientific community pays billions to publishers -  to the APC model will not reduce the cost of scientific publications. On the contrary, it will stop the innovation and will limit the capacity for the scientific community to use new models and new tools.

The statements also point the implication and complementarity of open archives and repositories with the Open access publication model, without APC.

“ There are numerous high quality and economically viable journals that do not rely on APCs. Additionally, while journals play an important role, repositories have been established around the world and they represent the primary mechanisms for implementing open access in the vast majority of countries. Individual repositories are linked via national and regional discovery services like OpenAIRE and LA Referencia, and regional services are entering into agreements about data exchange that will ensure truly international and cost-effective coverage of publication output, and support the development of innovative, value added services on top of the global network.”

The statement