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The many different systems of handling article processing charges (APC) -- a fee used by many open-access journals -- are "fractured and inefficient" and threatens to undermine the progress of the open-access movement, according to the summary of a roundtable hosted by the Copyright Clearance Center last October. The event, held at University College London, brought together representatives of British universities, companies and publishers to discuss how to make open-access publishing simpler for authors, publishers and readers.

Participants at the roundtable focused specifically on the need to engage authors early on, collect metadata, simplify the billing process and adopt common standards to encourage data sharing. The roundtable also produced a "future narrative" to guide that work:

"We should work towards simplifying and standardizing processes to move towards a sustainable and scalable OA ecosystem which preserves academic freedom and author choice in publishing and makes the research as valuable as possible for the end user," the narrative reads.