Recent APC price changes for 4 publishers (BMC, Hindawi, PLOS, PeerJ)

Following is a summary of recent APC changes for 4 publishers, prepared on request but posted in case this might be of interest to anyone else. In brief, each publisher appears to be following a different pricing strategy ranging from flat pricing over many years with one rare exception, to a tenfold increase from 2016 – 2017.

BioMedCentral: mixed picture

• 269 journals with numeric data 2017 and 2018 (April 4 sampling date both years)
• 20 with price increases of 2% – 83% (30 – 620 GBP)
• 5 with price decreases of 1% – 15% (15 – 205 GBP)
• Of interest: 25 journals with no publication fee (appears to be society / university sponsorship)
• Of concern: 44 journals with “title not found”: some will reflect earlier title drop

Hindawi April 2016 – November 2017: mixed picture, price increases a bit concerning

• 281 journals with numeric data for 2016 and 2017 (including 0 = free for now*)
• 99 journals have price increases ranging from 14 – 108% (100% = price has doubled), increases of 250 – 650 USD
• 115 journals have no change in pricing
• 45 journals have price decreases of 6 – 25%, 50 – 100 USD
• Of interest: 230 Predecessor journals (ISRN series): good practice
• Of concern: 186 title not found (not limited to 2017), excluding predecessor

*Rotating free journals: 5 of the 281 journals were free in 2016; 1 is still free, the other 4 have APCs of 1250 – 1750 USD. 17 journals that had an APC in 2016 were free in 2017. Paul Peters sent an e-mail explaining this strategy a few years ago.

PLOS ONE: flat pricing with one exception
From 2014 – 2018, there has been only one price change for PLOS journals: PLOS ONE was $1,350 USD in 2014 and is $1,495 USD today. The sample date was December 2017, a visual scan confirms the same prices are in effect as of April 13, 2018.

PeerJ: tenfold price increase from 2016 – 2017 (99 USD – 1,095 USD); new journal PeerJ Computer Science is 895 USD.

See also yesterday’s post Frontiers: 40% of journals have price increases from 18 – 31%.

Frontiers: 40% journals have APC increases of 18 – 31% from 2017 to 2018

Of the 56 active titles listed on the Frontiers website as of April 11, 2018, 22 or close to 40% have increased pricing for type A articles by 18 – 31% from a year earlier. These high percentage increases come on top of already high prices. For example, Frontiers in Psychology has increased from $2,490 USD to $2,950 USD, an increase of $460 USD or 18%, while Frontiers in Pediatrics has increased from $1,900 USD to $2,490 USD, an increase of $590 or 31%. One journal, Frontiers in Digital Humanities, has decreased in price, the others have not changed and there is one new title. The following table shows titles, APC pricing copied from the Frontiers website April 11, 2017 and April 11, 2018, and the change in pricing in $ and percentage. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems is new.

Title 2018 APC Type A article Frontiers website in USD 2017 APC Type A article Frontiers website in USD 2018 – 2017 2018 – 2017 percentage change
Frontiers in Endocrinology 2,490 1,900 590 31%
Frontiers in Genetics 2,490 1,900 590 31%
Frontiers in Neurology 2,490 1,900 590 31%
Frontiers in Pediatrics 2,490 1,900 590 31%
Frontiers in Psychiatry 2,490 1,900 590 31%
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Immunology 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Microbiology 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Neural Circuits 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Neurorobotics 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Neuroscience 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Pharmacology 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Physiology 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Plant Science 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Psychology 2,950 2,490 460 18%
Frontiers in Digital Humanities 950 1,150 -200 -17%
Frontiers in Communication 950 950 0
Frontiers in Education 950 950 0
Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics 950 950 0
Frontiers in Sociology 950 950 0
Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in Built Environment 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in ICT 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in Nutrition 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in Robotics and AI 1,150 1,150 0
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Chemistry 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Earth Science 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Energy Research 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Environmental Science 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Marine Science 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Materials 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Medicine 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Oncology 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Physics 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Public Health 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Surgery 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Veterinary Science 1,900 1,900 0
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 2,490 2,490 0
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 950