The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has provided funding for a project entitled “The opportunities and challenges involved in the national implementation of an international Open Access transition project using the example of high energy physics (CHOAT-HEP)”, initiated by the TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology. With its idea for the project, TIB had applied for financial support within the “Funding programme for the free flow of information in science – Open Access”. Funding has been awarded for the period from 1 January 2018 through to 31 December 2019.
High energy physics (HEP) is a pioneer in the area of Open Science, and in particular when it comes to Open Access publishing. With the new addition of the American Physical Society (APS) journals in 2018, SCOAP³ – the worldwide Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics – now covers 87 per cent of all scientific publications in the field of high energy physics via Gold Open Access. The transformation of publishing from a system based on subscriptions to one financed by publishing fees (referred to as article processing charges, or APCs for short) therefore now enters a very important phase: firstly, all HEP articles are to be provided Open Access in future years, and, secondly, the contribution of costs by German higher education institutions must be changed to reflect their real number of publications.
The aim of the approved CHOAT-HEP project is to provide support to German higher education institutions in transforming this process. By 2019, the costs should be distributed fully according to the institution’s actual number of publications for the first time. This transition represents a major challenge for German higher education institutions, because it may result in major shifts in costs, among other things. Within the CHOAT-HEP project, TIB will communicate the cost developments to higher education institutions and bridge possible financing gaps that may occur in the course of a transition period. These measures should help secure these processes at German higher education institutions so as to enable the Open Access transition in the area of HEP to be established as the standard system at these institutions in future years. TIB will be able to use the experience gained from this process to transform other subject areas, enabling it to play a key role in Open Access transition.