Wellcome Trust and Michelle Brook say thank you to all who are helping hack the WT APC data and highlight major issues

A mail from Michelle on the OKFN open-access list:

Hey all,

The Wellcome Trust has just said thank you to the community for the work we’ve been doing on the author processing charge dataset they released: https://twitter.com/wellcometrust/status/451659293801340928:  where WT said:
                            @ernestopriego @MLBrook Thank you for all your hard work looking through the data. We’re so grateful for the work the community has done.
Back to Michelle:
That’s so awesome!
The work we’ve done led to an incredible statement from the Wellcome Trust late last week, that you should certainly read if you’ve not seen it yet (found here). It includes some awesome quotes, such as:
[WT] “We expect every publisher who levies an open access fee to provide a first class service to our researchers and their institutions.”
[WT] “The bigger issue concerns the high cost of hybrid open access publishing, which we have found to be nearly twice that of born-digital fully open access journals. We need to find ways of balancing this by working with others to encourage the development of a transparent, competitive and reasonably priced APC market.”
While debates may rage about whether journal led or repository led open access is the best way forwards, I think we can all agree that high APCs charged for papers published in hybrid journals (meaning these journals are also supported by library subscriptions) is not what we really want to see.
They couldn’t have made this statement without the effort of many people on this list – so many thanks to all of you who spent time working on it. I actually had a couple of nightmares about the spreadsheet… which probably says something about me. I’ve written a quick post thanking people  publicly, because the effort we’ve all put in is certainly worth recognising 🙂
(Let me know if I’ve missed your name off, as there were many people editing the document anonymously – I’ve already had one case flagged to me – so please don’t feel bad about reminding me).
Work is still on going with the dataset… but I still can’t believe how much we’ve done in such a short time! And still amazed that we’ve enabled the Wellcome Trust to make the statement they did…
And my own views.
In the wake of BOAI , The Wellcome Trust has been one of the top three leaders in true Open Access (the others are BMC and PLoS). I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mark Walport who has driven this fearlessly, for the benefit of humanity. The apostolic succession has included Robert Terry and Robert Kiley- here’s a diagram from RT in 2006 which I found highly useful:
The WT has been unwavering in the following:
  • publication is a critical part of scientific research.
  • publication costs money and funders (and universities) should be prepared to pay reasonable costs
  • publication is more than just digital paper

and it has launched and supported EuropePMC, which I am proud to be on.
The WT APC data is much more than a list of charges.
It’s part of the bibliographic map of science.
Now we need the rest – so other funders please follow.

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