OpenAPC was established in June 2014 at Bielefeld University Library (initial commit on GitHub). In its early phase the project focussed on aggregating APC data from German Universities which operated publishing funds supported by the DFG’s (German Research Society) Open Access Publishing Programme. The technical groundwork was done by Najko Jahn, who also operated the project until the end of 2015.
In October 2015 OpenAPC became part of the DFG-funded INTACT initiative, together with the other two subprojects ESAC and OA Analytics. INTACT was aimed at establishing transparent and efficient procedures to manage article processing charges (APC) for open access publications. The initiative was established on the understanding that the transition from a subscription based market towards open access could only be achieved if higher education and research institutions and their libraries collaborate and work with publishers on both parameters and lean workflows.
To this end, the project addressed three aspects: First, INTACT would examine the distribution of open access publishing over German research institutions (OA Analysics). This would form the basis to predict future costs. Second, an open data service for article charges would be established. These datasets on fee-based publishing could be reused to make cash flows between research institutions and publishers more transparent (OpenAPC). Finally the project looked at the business processes of the evolving apc market and proposed efficient workflows while involving all parties such as funders, libraries, and publishers (ESAC).
The project collaborated closely with universities, research institutions and publishers.