Last week we entered into an agreement with Public Library of Science (PLOS), one of the largest Open Access publishers, to establish a different sort of service, but one that still has an eye on greater efficiency. The service engenders a very simple payment process: firstly the author selects the University of St Andrews from a drop down list on the PLOS website, the Library will be notified and will then process the payment as necessary, in the meantime the article will be published. Simple!
The Library approval step in the process is a very welcome addition as currently much of our time is spent trying to reverse engineer APC requests. This process allows us to document the request as it happens and also to make sure costs are met by the correct grant or funding stream.
More information on the PLOS membership account can be found here. For a full list of the participating institutions see here.