Development and Launch of New Institutional Membership Offering

The Hindawi Institutional Partnership - Hindawi Blog

Open access journal publishing is a relatively simple proposition but it has become increasingly complex to manage at the institutional level.  There are numerous reasons for this, from differing funder mandates and reporting requirements to inconsistent tagging by publishers.  The whole situation is made more complex by the lack of consistent institutional identifiers which makes the process of identifying what has been published by researchers at a single institution difficult and incomplete.

Here at Hindawi we spent our Summer talking to librarians and institutions to work out whether we could help alleviate some of these issues for our journals.  Could we create an Open Access Membership that would provide them with the visibility and control they needed whilst reducing the burden on researchers by automating parts of the process.

Hindawi have had an institutional membership offering for several years providing institutions with two different options – an Annual membership or a Prepaid membership – which essentially focused entirely on APC payments coming through the institution so that researchers could publish at a cheaper cost with Hindawi. Our goal was to see if we could come up with something additional, while maintaining the ability for institutions to provide financial support on APC’s to their researchers.

From our early conversations (thanks to the RLUK Open Access Publishing Processes group) it was clear that libraries were being put under more and more administrative pressure to handle the OA process. The output of this working group was the JISC OA Publisher Compliance Document which seemed a great place for us to start. This document outlined 12 different parts of the article journey where publishers could, or should, adhere to a standard practice to make life easier for the researcher and the institution. As it turned out, Hindawi were already pretty good at complying with many of the recommendations made, and only had to focus on a few areas where improvements could be made.

With this in mind, we started to develop features that would support institutions in a much more robust way.  We developed new features in our Membership Management System (MMS) such as improved alerting (at submission, acceptance and publication stages), and updated oversight and management of articles (including the ability to include or exclude submitted articles from being covered by central funds), as well as building the capability to directly deposit the final published article and its metadata directly into the institutional repository without requiring researcher intervention. All of the work was aimed at improving the visibility of OA articles at institutions, while reducing the administrative burden that was being placed on them by researchers, funders & government mandates.

Once we had the internal functionality worked out we then had to tackle the fact that no two institutions manage open access in exactly the same way.  We ended up with three options; Associate Membership, Deposit Membership and Unlimited Membership that worked with every university scenario that we encountered.  For two of these membership options we now have an approved JISC collections Open Access Membership Agreement which is open to all JISC members and offers special discounts.

We now feel that the new Hindawi Institutional Partnership provides institutions with the best administrative solution for helping them manage OA research at their institution, while also providing three different cost options to allow any institution, regardless of size or resource to find a membership package that suits them.

The text of this blog post is by Hindawi and is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Library image copyright Thorsten Rust/Shutterstock. Other images are by Hindawi and are also distributed under CC-BY.