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Institutional Open Access Program FAQ
1. You’re providing a free set of services for libraries and a 10% discount? What’s in it for you? What’s the catch?
There’s no catch. We recognize that those in charge of OA policies, institutional repositories (IRs), and scholarly communication in general are going to be increasingly important as universities go more and more to an open access world. For MDPI this means that we have to view librarians and others responsible for academic communication as an important community to serve. Our introduction of this Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP) is a way to create and build such a relationship. You already know the big subscription publishers because, frankly, the inflation in their subscription pricing has wreaked havoc with your budgets. We figure that we can offer this free 10% discount and free initial services as the free level of a ‘freemium’ model where additional services and deeper discounts will be available in the future in return for a modest recurring payment.
2. If this is a “freemium” model, when will we learn about “premium” options, and will we be able to continue with our inaugural free 10% discount for as long as we want?
With your annual renewal of your participation in this program you will be offered “premium” options which may involve additional services, but you will always have the option of continuing your free 10% discount as long as you wish.
3. What other benefits, apart from the APC discount, do we receive as a participant in this Open Access program?
Participants will all have access to MDPIs submission system, Susy. Through this system you can choose to have alerts on submissions, acceptances, and publications in any of MDPI’s journals. This will include those with corresponding authors as well as co-authors from within your institution. This will include MDPI journals which have APCs, as well as the many MDPI journals which have a zero APC.
In addition, any participant who has an I.R. (institutional repository) [compliant with SWORD 1.3] can sign up for the IOAP’s auto-archiving feature. Of course Open Access publishers have obviously published in a manner that allows I.R. managers or researchers themselves, to fetch open access articles when they are published. But we know that having a publisher take the initiative to automatically deposit published articles into an I.R. takes an administrative burden off some very busy people.
4. Does the discount apply for all authors or the corresponding author only?
The discount applies for authors affiliated with the institutional participant, regardless of whether they are corresponding authors or co-authors. For institutes with central invoicing agreements, we only invoice the institute’s central address if the corresponding author is affiliated with the institute.
Central invoicing means we invoice a central address of the library/institution for papers where the corresponding author is affiliated with the institute. This requires the institution to have a central budget for open access.
To support with simplifying the payment processes, we can adjust our invoicing procedure to meet the needs of each institution. We are able to customize invoices as required, bundle them, or issue them only on a specific day each month. We can continue to send invoices to the corresponding author (non-central: invoiced to author) or issue invoices centrally to an address of choice (Non-central: Invoiced to author).
5. We have a central fund for OA articles but there are several rules for which APCs are covered and by how much. How do you deal with the complexities involving partial central funding?
This goes with the territory of central funding. Rarely is there simply full coverage of all APCs incurred within the institution. You want a mechanism that first of all makes sure that those who might benefit from or are encouraged to draw from a central fund know about it before arranging for someone else to cover an APC. Lead authors who submit to any MDPI journal from the domain-name or IP-range of an IOAP participant will be alerted that there is funding that may be available to cover their APC.
Secondly you want to be sure that the authors meet any conditions necessary to qualify for such funding. Corresponding authors will be presented with a description of the criteria of the fund. If they assert that they meet all the requirements of the fund, only then will their request for funds be forwarded to you for consideration of payment.
6. Where can the list of APCs of MDPI journals be viewed? And are you looking, as well, at providing journals which have no APCs?
A list of the MDPI article processing charges (APCs) is available at the following page: http://www.mdpi.com/about/apc
As the Open Access world is evolving there is increasing interest in Open Access journals which have no APCs. MDPI views its business as providing the highest quality peer-review in the fields in which we publish at costs which are kept very low. Coverage of the costs of managing such operations can be done by APC, but could also be done by subsidies of one kind or another. We will continue to experiment with new business models as long as there is no compromise on the quality of the publishing operations and no compromise on the quality of the peer-review.
7. For institutions with central billing, how does MDPI check the eligibility of authors and how can the institution check?
During the submission process, authors are able to select the IOAP in the last step of the submission process. If the e-mail domain or the IP address of the institution is detected, then the IOAP is automatically preselected and the author confirms. In case the institute has chosen the central invoicing option, authors are also required to confirm that they are eligible for central funding by the institute.
8. Why do some participants receive higher discounts?
Upon completion of their first year, participants can choose to continue for free with a 10% discount on APCs (Option 1) or with a 25% discount for an annual fee (Option 2). We will provide participants a comparison of both options to show when Option 2 leads to more savings.
The calculation of the IOAP fee is based on three factors:
- The amount of papers published by affiliated authors in Web of Science journals in the last two years
- Articles published in MDPI journals during the last year
- The assumed MDPI average invoice rate from the previous year
9. Does the institute receive information on published papers by affiliated authors?
Yes, all information on published articles can be viewed and exported to Excel (*.csv file) by logging in to the MDPI Submission System.
10. Do participants get notified when an affiliated author submits a paper?
Yes, participants receive a notification email by default whenever an affiliated author submits a paper. The email alert settings can be changed according to the preferences of the participant by logging into their account in the MDPI Submission System.
11. How can we ensure that only affiliated authors receive the discount?
Authors are prompted, in the last step of submission, to determine if they are eligible for discounts under the IOAP program. If the institution provides the IP-range, then the IOAP is pre-selected if authors are submitting from within the network of the institute (IP range detection). Our staff cross-check all incoming submissions and participants receive notifications by email whenever a paper has been submitted. If a paper has been wrongly submitted to your institute, please contact our IOAP institutes support team and the respective editorial office by email.
12. Can participants receive promotional material (brochures, flyers, etc.,) to hand out to their researchers?
Of course. Just ask.
12. Central billing: What are the eligibility criteria for authors to qualify for central billing?
In principle, corresponding authors affiliated with the institute are eligible for central billing. However, in the UK, more stringent eligibility criteria are common for most open access funds. Therefore, participants can specify their eligibility criteria as part of setting up their IOAP with MDPI, and we then prompt authors to confirm these in our submission system.