APC pricing that depends on how much work is involved

A number of the variations on pricing we see at can be summed up as variable pricing depending on how much work is involved (which seems logical when you think about it). The Journal of Venom Research provides a great example of this approach. The basic OA APC (per year) is GBP 475. This covers unlimited publishing for one year for articles within the recommended size limits. There are extra charges for:

  • extra pages
  • “if figures, line drawings or tables are of insufficient quality and standard, and do not conform to the journal style, and have to be re-drawn, re-sized or converted into the correct format by the Publisher (minimum charge GB £25 per item). In multi-part figures each part constitutes one item. Authors are generally notified of this at the time of manuscript revision”.
  • extensive reference formatting “Costs of extensive formatting of references will be passed on to the authors (minimum £50)”.

Comment: I like this approach. It gives authors and funders an opportunity to consider whether a little extra work to keep the cost down is worth it or not. Perhaps some of the extra pages can become supplementary material and deposited in the institutional repository rather than being included in the article. A busy author may find the optional work and charges convenient; a poor author may find it worthwhile to do the extra work to keep the costs down.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). APC pricing that depends on how much work is involved. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/28/apc-pricing-that-depends-on-how-much-work-is-involved/

OA APCs: no cost found

Similar to what we found last year, there were a number of journals that indicated “has charges” in DOAJ as of May 2015 where we have not been able to confirm that the journal actually has any kind of publication fee. In some cases, there is language clearly indicating that there are no fees. Of the sub-sample of 139 journals published by publishers with 9 or fewer journals using APCs (as of May 2014, we are updating based on this sample to look for trends), for 25 journals (18% of the sample) we either could not identify any charges, or we were able to verify that the journal actually does not charge. The “cost not found” category is separate from the “not specified” category where language on the journal website suggests that there are charges but the amounts are not given. One theory I have that might account for some of the discrepancy is the possibility of misinterpretation of author guidelines details for non-english-language journals. Many journals have a lot of numeric information in their author guidelines (number of words, pages, margin and text sizes). It would be easy for a non-native speaker casually suggesting a journal to DOAJ to assume that some of the numbers referred to APCs.

Here are the details:

no publication fees Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine http://www.mjssm.me
no cost found Conflict & Communication Online http://www.cco.regener-online.de/
no cost found Entomotropica http://www.entomotropica.org/
no cost found International Journals of Research Papers (title change 2015) http://gssrr.org/index.php?journal=JournalOfBasicAndAppliedi&page=index
no cost found Journal of Nippon Medical School http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jnms/-char/en
no cost found Magister Dixit http://md.islu.ru/
no cost found Métis : História e Cultura http://www.ucs.br/etc/revistas/index.php/metis/index
no cost found Modern Journal of Applied Linguistics http://www.mjal.org
no cost found Pixel-Bit http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=368
no cost found Revista de la Sociedad Química de México http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=475
no cost found Revista Lusófona de Educação http://revistas.ulusofona.pt/index.php/rleducacao
no cost found Cuadernos Geográficos http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=171
no cost found Matemáticas : Enseñanza Universitaria http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=468
no cost found Revista de Investigaciones Políticas y Sociológicas (RIPS) http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=380
no cost found Bulletin of Materials Science http://www.ias.ac.in/matersci/
no cost found Journal of Genetics http://www.ias.ac.in/jgenet/
no cost found Revista Brasileira de Administração Científica http://www.arvore.org.br/seer/index.php/rbadm
no cost found Academia Journal of Agricultural Research http://academiapublishing.org/ajar/index.htm
no cost found Academia Journal of Educational Research http://academiapublishing.org/ajer/index.htm
no cost found Contaduría y Administración http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=395
no cost found Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences : Zoology http://zoology.eajbs.eg.net/
no cost found Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales http://www.redalyc.org/revista.oa?id=421
no APC, subsidized Magazin erwachsenenbildung.at : Das Fachmedium für Forschung, Praxis und Diskurs http://www.erwachsenenbildung.at/magazin
cost not found Revista CROMA http://www.croma.fba.ul.pt/i_en.htm
cost not found Egyptian Academic Journal of Biological Sciences : Toxicology and Pest Control http://toxicology.eajbs.eg.net/

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). OA APCs: No cost found. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/25/oa-apcs-no-cost-found/

Two-thirds of DOAJ journals do not have article processing charges

Update December 2019: for the most current percentage of non-charging journals, use the DOAJ Advanced Search, limit to journals, then expand the Article Processing Charges tab. As of December 16, 2019, the ratio of the 14,079 journals in DOAJ that are non-charging can be determined from the following result:

No (10,253) (10,253 / 14,079 = 73%, that is, 73% of DOAJ journals do not have APCs.
Yes (3,776)
The following information is retained for historical purposes, and reflects a time of transition from DOAJ, a major change in interface and a required re-application process for all journals.

64% of the journals added to DOAJ after March 2014 do not have article processing charges, while 36% have article processing charges. As of today, the total is 1,123 journals of which 720 do not have article processing charges (based on an ISSN count of journals with no charges supplied by DOAJ) and 403 have charges (from the DOAJ website / advanced search / journals / expand article processing charges). However, this does support the statement that two-thirds of fully open access journals do not have article processing charges.

The difference between the 26% with charges and 5% with conditional charges we found last year (total 31%) and this sub-sample could reflect differences in the samples and should not be considered indicative of a trend. This sub-set of journals includes journals recently added to DOAJ and journals that have gone through the DOAJ re-application process (only a minority of journals have done this, less than 12% the last time I checked). It is possible that journals with conditional charges, or old-fashioned print-based base page charges rather than OA APCs, would be less likely to fill out the new DOAJ form which forces a choice between Yes or No to article processing charges.

The text file supplied by DOAJ staff has been posted to the OA APCs dataverse. The number of journals was calculated using a simple ISSN using the Excel find and replace function. If anyone with a bit of programming skill would like to take the text file and transform it into .csv (or other spreadsheet – manipulable file), that would be helpful. The SKC team may well get around to this, just not sure where this will fit in our priority list.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). Two-thirds of DOAJ journals do not have article processing charges. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/25/two-thirds-of-doaj-journals-do-not-have-article-processing-charges/

Language editing

Language editing is one of the processes involved in publishing that can take more or less work. Some articles are submitted by writers highly skilled in the language of publication that have taken the time to ensure high quality of their work that require little or no editing. Other articles are submitted by writers that are less skilled, too busy for proofreading, or for whom the language of publication is not their native language.

There are different ways to approach language editing. For example, this service can handled by the publisher, by the author, or a choice can be offered.

The Journal of Prenatal Medicine site offers some interesting language (that follows) on their directions for authors requiring language editing. Guidance is provided to authors on expectations and referral to services; however the journal itself does not take on this work. I see advantages to this author-centric language editing service. Authors who are just busy may decide it’s worth the time to proofread carefully to save a bit of money. Authors who need services can find the best deal economically, and may develop a relationship with a copyeditor who gets to know their work, the terminology used and stylistic preferences. If universities and funders expect authors to publish in international journals with a different language, shouldn’t they provide authors with language editing services? This type of work may fit very well with other types of work that is needed by universities. A copyeditor that gets to know an author’s work could also help with preparing grant applications and university communications services. Food for thought.

From the Journal of Prenatal Medicine site:

Pre-acceptance English language editing service

Authors for whom English is a second language should have their manuscript professionally edited or edited by a fluent English speaker before submission. This service is aimed to:
• improve grammar, spelling, and punctuation;
• improve clarity and resolve any ambiguity caused by poor phrasing;
• improve word-choice and ensure that the tone of the language is appropriate for an academic journal.
Please contact www.serviziscientifici.it if you would like to receive the economic details of such services.
The service is paid for and arranged by the author, and use of these service does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges and the resource requirements projects.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). Language editing. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/22/language-editing/

The subsidy model and APCs

Brill’s open access article processing charges page includes 5 journals that are fully sponsored and therefore the APC is waived and 2 for which fees are reduced due to partial sponsorship. Two examples of this commercial / sponsor partnership model follow.

Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of South East Asia This journal is fully sponsored by the learned society Vereniging KITLV (NL), therefore the APC is waived.

Fascism  The APC is reduced for this journal because of the generous support of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). The subsidy model and APCs. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/22/the-subsidy-model-and-apcs/

Student discounts

From the Fascism site: MA and PhD students a 50% discount. Not many journals have language specific to students at this point in time, although student discounts may often be subsumed in the category of discounts for authors who cannot afford to pay.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). Student discounts. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/22/student-discounts/

APC waivers for outstanding quality

From the Fascism site:  “Authors of articles of outstanding quality are eligible for a waiver, to the discretion of the editors of the journal”.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:  Morrison, H. (2015). APC waivers for outstanding quality. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/22/apc-waivers-for-outstanding-quality/

Temporary discounts and special offers

Pre-impact-factor discount: Nature Conservation

Note: Open access fees will be waived for all submissions published in the first four issues of Nature Conservation and will be reduced with 25 % until the journal will be covered by the ISI Web of Science.  All papers published in the first issues will be later ISI covered and will have an Impact factor when the journal receives it.

Introductory discount: Brill‘s language for 4 new open journals is introductory discount. (Brill Open Biology, Brill Open Humanities, Brill Open Law and Brill Open Social Sciences). This terminology is a good practice as it will help to avoid future shocks when journals become successful and publishers increase prices. For medium to long-term budgeting purposes it is important to note that for journals like this today’s price may be very different from tomorrow’s price.

Brill’s Fascism: The APCs (Article Publication Charges) for this journal are reduced to EUR 645 / USD 855 (excluding 21% VAT) for CC-BY-NC licenses in 2015.  The 2014 price was 1,700 USD, so this is about half-price. I wonder if this is really temporary or if it reflects that Brill’s original pricing was too high for authors in this area?

Science Domain International is offering 80 – 95% discounts on their base APC of $500 USD for all of their journals from April to the end of May 2015. Low or free-for-now pricing is a common strategy for new publishers aiming to build their repertoire and reputation. These are great deals while they are available, but for long-term budgeting purposes it may be best not to assume that this will continue.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). Temporary discounts and special offers. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/22/temporary-discounts-and-special-offers/

Notable APC price increases

This post is for journals and/or publishers with notable price increases from 2014 to 2015.

Journal of Vision: 25% increase in page charge from $100 to $125 USD effective for submissions after Jan. 1, 2015

Libertas Academica: average 18% to 56% price increases from 2014 to 2015 (separate post)

Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Online: price increase from 7,000 PKR in 2014 to 12,000 PKR in 2015, a 70% increase.

Research in Applied Economics: price doubled from $100 to $200 USD.

Research Revolution: 25% increase from 1,000 to 1,250 INR for a single author  (1,500 if co-authors)

Review of Research: 30% increase from 1,000 to 1,300 INR

Scientia Agricola: 16% increase from $60 US to $70 US per page for non-subscribers

Theranostics: 32% increase from 1,250 AUD to 1,650 AUD

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Morrison, H. (2015). Notable APC price increases. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/22/notable-apc-price-increases/

Negotiating authors and the loyalty discount

Libertas Academica offers a 20% discount for authors publishing a second paper in the same journal in the same year. In their words:

Discounts for former authors: Authors who have published a paper in the past 12 months and paid an undiscounted fee may receive a 20% discount on the full fee of their next paper. Authors must complete an application and receive an email confirming application acceptance before manuscript submission.

. From: http://www.la-press.com/author_resources.php?folder_id=121 viewed July 3, 2015.

The following language from the International Journal of Innovative Research and Development makes it easy to picture the author negotiations that must have led to this FAQ. It’s also a good example of something I’ve just noticed this year, a loyalty discount for authors publishing more than one paper in the same journal. I’ll add another column to our list of variations for the loyalty discount.

from: http://www.ijird.com/index.php/ijird/pages/view/faq


No, the publication fee is fixed.


If yes, what is the condition for availing a discount?
Yes, we give a discount of 10%.
In this case, the contributing author has to publish two papers in two consecutive issues (conforming to all the norms of the IJIRD) without availing the IJIRD membership program. When for the third time he/she will publish his/her paper, will unquestionably get a reduction of 10%.
NB: In this case the concerned author has to be one of the contributors and declare his copyrights in all particulars.

This post is part of the open access article processing charges project.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). Negotiating authors and the loyalty discount. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/21/negotiating-authors-and-the-loyalty-discount/