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Guides for OpenAIRE Services


Cost transparency of Open Access Publishing: Article and Book Publishing Costs, and Transformative agreements

  • What it is


    The OpenAPC ( initiative is to make processing charges on articles, books/monographs, called Article Processing Charges (APC) and Book Processing Charges (BPC) and as well as Transformative Agreements (TA),  transparent.

    OpenAPC aggregates and normalises cost data and bibliographic data on open access journal articles, open access books and on articles published under transformative agreements. OpenAPC is based on voluntary data submissions from libraries and library  consortia,  academic  institutions  and research funders. The data sets are made available under the Open Database License.

    The OpenAPC initiative collects and disseminates datasets on fees paid for open access publishing on GitHub under an open database license. Located at Bielefeld University Library, the project was set up in collaboration with the DINI working group Electronic Publishing and became part of the OpenAIRE-Nexus project in 2021.

    It helps authors, funders and libraries to make rational decisions on where to publish, how much it costs, and along with a combination of OpenAIRE services, can provide indicators and impact measures, like Return on Investment. Offers a cost transparent and empirical evident way to calculate average costs for Open Access publishing.


    • To release datasets on fees paid for OA journal articles and monographs by universities and funders under an Open Database License.
    • Enable transparent and reproducible reporting for institutions and funders and create cost transparency on the APC and BPC market.

    The APC data set is fully embedded in the OpenAIRE Research Graph and is used to build open science indicators in OpenAIRE MONITOR Dashboard (for funders and institutions) and in the Open Science Observatory portal

  • What it does

    OpenAPC aggregates data on Open Access journal articles (APCs), Open Access Books (BPCs) and data on articles published under transformative agreements (Like Springer Compact or Wiley DEAL). All data is provided voluntarily by Universities and other Higher Education Institutions, Funders or National consortia.

    The OpenAPC initiative releases datasets on fees paid for Open Access journal articles by Universities and Research institutions under an Open Database License.

    Data are disseminated via GitHub (raw and enriched data), treemaps visualisation and the OpenAPC blog.

    Who is it for?

    • Single institutions, national aggregators, national library consortia, national and international funders.

    Treemaps visualisation

    All the data can be easily reproduced and visualised on any website for public or internal for reporting use. The Treemaps tool offers an interactive way to explore the data. See at:

    Description: Open APC - Full Dataset

    Choose filters below or interact with treemap to see detailed data.

  • How can we use it?

    How to participate in OpenAPC initiative

    OpenAPC is an Open Data project on Open Access publishing charges, and all data is provided by academic institutions or funders on a voluntary basis. If you are considering contributing data on behalf of your institution for the first time, please take some time to familiarise yourself with the guidelines

    Minimal requirements

    • The data contains an academic institution's expenditures on Open Access publishing on a per-publication basis;
    • The data should be provided in a machine-readable, platform independent format (CSV);
    • The data is provided under an Open Data Commons license to ensure public access and reusability;
    • A contact person is designated at the contributing institution.

    Data schema

    The submitted CSV file should conform to a certain data schema to ensure it provides all the information needed. Every schema field is represented by a table column and every publication record conforms to a table row. The schema to use depends on the type of cost data you plan to submit

    Detailed data schema for APCs and BPCs:

    In order to provide cost data on both publication types, it is recommended to submit two different tables.


    There are two ways to provide OpenAPC data:

    1. By sending a mail to openapc [at]
    2. By initiating a pull request on GitHub (See how)

    Important note: For first-time submissions, the data should be sent only by email (submission path 1), so that an official email address and a contact person can be added immediately to your profile. The submission by pull request can be used from the second submission on, however, it’s also possible to continue submitting data by email.


    After receiving the files, OpenAPC will normalise the data and enrich it. The enrichment process consists of the following steps:

    • Journal and publisher names, ISSNs and license information are imported from CrossRef
    • PMID and PMCID are imported from Europe PubMed Central
    • The article is looked up in Web of Science, if found, the WoS identifier ut is stored
    • The journal is looked up in the DOAJ
    • A possible Linking ISSN (ISSN-l) is added

     You can find in detail the data submission requirements and steps in the “Data Submission Handout” here.

  • More information

    Support & Training:

    Article: OpenAPC: Answering the dilemma of Open Access Costs

    OpenAPC pages and social media channels:

    More detailed information about the service: OpenAIRE Catalogue: OpenAPC

    Contact email: openapc [at]