OA APCs in 2016: average $840 USD, price skew at low end of range

Here is another early result from the 2016 OA APC project. Of the 3,282 journals for which we have APC data, the average is $840 USD, and the media $600, illustrating a skew towards the low end of the price range. That is to say, half of the APCs are below $600. Excluding journals with an APC of $0 (journals that clearly  use the APC model but are currently free to publish in), the average is $877 USD. This year’s average of $840 is $124 or 13% less than the average of $964 USD the team found in 2014. This finding should be interpreted with caution as pricing for specific journals may have increased substantially, with the global total offset by large numbers of journals that are small, new, or from the developing world with relatively lower APCs. The 3,282 journals are all journals for which we were able to confirm pricing and specify a particular APC. Journals using article page processing charges (APPC) are considered as a separate model and not included in this analysis. The full dataset and documentation are in progress.

The following chart and table illustrate the pricing by bands of $500.

OA APCs by price range in 500s.jpg

APC in USD by range by 500’s # of journals
0 – 500 1,486
501 – 1,000 739
1,001 – 1,500 278
1,501 – 2,000 599
2,001 – 2,500 101
2,501 – 3,000 33
3,001 – 3,500 10
3,501 – 4,000 26
4,001 – 4,500 5
4,501 – 5,000 2
5,001 – 5,250 2
Total (missing one) 3,281

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