How a flat APC with no price increase for 3 years can be a 6% – 77% price increase

by Jihane Salhab and Heather Morrison

The purpose of this post is to explain the impact of currency differences on article processing charges. Over the past few years megajournal PLOS ONE has been a good model in at least one way, maintaining the APC of $1,350 USD with no price increase over several years. However, if you happen to be paying in Euros, the PLOS ONE APC rose 14% from March to December of 2014, or 23% from March 20, 2014 to March 20, 2015. In South Africa, the price increased 58% in the same 3-year period; in Brazil, the price increase was 77%. Click on the following link to view the PLOS ONE price rises from March to December 2014 and from March 2012 to March 2015 in 8 currencies.

The PLOS ONE APC 8 curr

Any scholarly publishing system that involves cross-border payments, whether demand side (subscriptions / payments) or supply side (APC, journal hosting or other production services) has this disadvantage of pricing variability almost everywhere. In this case, US payers benefit from the flat fee, but anytime an APC is paid for a US scholar publishing in an international venue the same pricing variations based on currency will apply. In contrast, any scholarly publishing system that involves local payments (e.g. hosting of local journals, paying local copyeditors and proofreaders) has the advantage of relative pricing stability that comes with paying in the local currency.

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

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