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Towards a collective open access publishing service

26 June 2023

From the Research Support Officers Working Group

On 14 June 2023, Coimbra Group represented by RSO WG members Ondřej Daniel (Charles University) and Börje Dahrén (Uppsala University) attended a R&I stakeholders‘ online meeting organised by the Commission’s DG RTD on the future of the Open Research Europe platform (ORE), “Towards a collective open access publishing service“. The main takeaways from the meeting are presented below.

Open Research Europe (ORE) was founded in 2020 to set an example for open science practices in academic publishing. Main features of ORE are open access publishing with no fees (APC:s), open peer review, and in general publishing policies that adhere closely to open science mandates related to ERC grants. Also, the platform has chosen to avoid journal-level metrics such as impact factors, which is more in line with the principles of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) initiative. Instead, ORE uses article level indicators and metrics largely based on altmetrics.  ORE publishes only original research, it is not a repository.. It is currently only available to authors involved in Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and Euratom projects for publishing their research stemming from such funding, but the long-term goal is to make it available to everyone and thereby make the platform more inclusive and truer to its core open science philosophy. However it will not become mandatory for EC-funded projects.

While ORE has enjoyed continuous support from the Commission since its launch in March 2021, this will soon come to an end as the EC wants to pass the ownership on to funders and institutions who will support ORE for public good. The future ownership structure could take the form of a contribution/membership approach that could possibly be proportional to committed organisations. In any case, ORE will remain non-profit and the mode of funding will not be APC-based, as this model is perceived as inherently flawed and tends to drive costs and quantity over quality. Rather, they envisage a more direct and cost effective funding model from member organisations. For reference, the current cost for publishing in ORE corresponds to about 10-30% of the median cost of the hyper-inflated APC:s charged by the major publishers. In conclusion, ORE now enters a highly dynamic phase of intense development and evolution which will be interesting to follow. The presentation is available on the intranet for CG members only.