BioMed Central in 2019: Sharp increase in article processing charge

by Hamid Pashaei and Heather Morrison

Update May 1, 2019:

Based on an inquiry from Christopher Pym from Springer Nature (owner of BioMedCentral) on the Global Open Access List I (Heather) have re-calculated the observed BMC pricing changes from 2018 – 2019, in GBP rather than USD. BMC reports pricing in 3 currencies (a common practice for large publishers). We use GBP for historical purposes. In brief, this re-analysis confirms our original finding of a sharp increase in APCs. 66% of BMC journals for which we have APC data in GBP for both 2018 and 2019 have increased their APCs; 61% have increased their APCs at far beyond inflationary levels, causing the overall average (including journals that did not change APCs or lowered APCs) to increase by 15%, a rate far beyond inflationary levels. We thank Christopher Pym for his interest in our research.

We have APC data for both 2018 and 2019 for 260 BMC journals. The average APC for these journals was 1,416 GBP in 2018, 1,555 GBP in 2019, an average increase of 139 GBP or an average 9% increase. The pricing changes are more complex, however, as some BMC journals have maintained or lowered their prices. In USD (using XE currency converter May 1, 2019), the average APC for these journals rose from 1,852 USD to 2,034 USD, an increase of 181 USD (note rounding error of $1).

Of the 260 BMC journals for which we have 2018 and 2018 APCs:

  • 172 (66%) increased in price
  • 55 (21%) maintained the same price
  • 33 (13%) decreased in price

Of the journals that increased in price, the range of percentage increase was from under 1% to 55%. 158 journals (61% of all journals) had APC price increases clearly beyond inflationary levels, ranging from 7% – 55%.

Because of this challenge, I have re-downloaded the BMC APC list from and checked GBP pricing for several journals, finding no difference from our data gathering date of April 4.

On the basis of this selective re-analysis of 260 BMC journals for which we have price data I conclude that the average APC price increase for BMC journals is 15%, (factoring in journals that did not change APC or lowered APC), a rate far above inflation, and that the majority of BMC journals (61%) increased their APCs. This confirms our original findings of a sharp APC increase for BMC in 2019. Please note that this re-analysis using the same basic dataset but slightly different methods. The re-analysis is limited to journals for which we have data in both 2018 and 2019, and is limited to GBP. When new journals and journals no longer published by BMC are factored in, this changes the averages; there can also be differences in findings based on which currency is selected for analysis.

A list of BMC APCs in GBP in 2018 and 2019 follows, in order by percentage change (highest price increase first).

Journal Title2019 APC  (GBP)2018 APC (GBP)2019-2018 change in GBP (amount)2019 – 2018 change in GBP (percentage)
Tropical Medicine and Health157070586555%
Molecular Cancer24901,4701,02041%
Acta Neuropathologica Communications157095062039%
Particle and Fibre Toxicology21701,37080037%
Molecular Autism 21701,37080037%
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research22901,47082036%
Journal of Hematology & Oncology24901,65084034%
BMC Pulmonary Medicine19901,37062031%
Immunity & Ageing19901,37062031%
Journal of Translational Medicine19901,37062031%
World Journal of Emergency Surgery19901,37062031%
Cardiovascular Diabetology21701,54063029%
Journal of Nanobiotechnology18701,37050027%
Pediatric Rheumatology18701,37050027%
Cell Division19901,47052026%
Genome Medicine25701,90067026%
BMC Veterinary Research15701,16540526%
Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials17901,37042023%
Behavioral and Brain Functions17901,37042023%
Cardiovascular Ultrasound17901,37042023%
Cell Communication and Signaling17901,37042023%
Diagnostic Pathology17901,37042023%
Genes & Nutrition17901,37042023%
Molecular Cytogenetics17901,37042023%
Reproductive Health17901,37042023%
Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling17901,37042023%
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 17901,37042023%
International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology 17901,37042023%
Thyroid Research 17901,37042023%
Clinical Epigenetics20401,56547523%
Journal of Physiological Anthropology12701,00027021%
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation17901,43036020%
Nutrition & Metabolism17901,43036020%
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine16901,37032019%
BMC Geriatrics16901,37032019%
BMC Medical Research Methodology16901,37032019%
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders16901,37032019%
BMC Neurology16901,37032019%
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health16901,37032019%
Clinical Sarcoma Research16901,37032019%
Conflict and Health16901,37032019%
Fluids and Barriers of the CNS16901,37032019%
Globalization and Health16901,37032019%
Head & Face Medicine16901,37032019%
International Breastfeeding Journal16901,37032019%
International Journal of Health Geographics16901,37032019%
Microbial Cell Factories16901,37032019%
Neural Development16901,37032019%
Patient Safety in Surgery16901,37032019%
Radiation Oncology16901,37032019%
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology16901,37032019%
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy16901,37032019%
Virology Journal16901,37032019%
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice 16901,37032019%
Journal of Ovarian Research 16901,37032019%
Breast Cancer Research 22901,86043019%
Genome Biology23801,95043018%
Cancer Cell International17901,47032018%
Journal of Inflammation17901,47032018%
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery16901,39030018%
Stem Cell Research & Therapy16901,39030018%
BMC Research Notes99082516517%
Biological Procedures Online18701,56530516%
Biotechnology for Biofuels18701,56530516%
Human Genomics18701,56530516%
International Journal for Equity in Health16901,42027016%
Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy16501,39026016%
Nutrition Journal17901,51028016%
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology16901,44524514%
Gut Pathogens17901,54025014%
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases17901,54025014%
BMC Cancer15901,37022014%
BMC Health Services Research15901,37022014%
BMC Public Health15901,37022014%
BMC Medicine21701,88029013%
AIDS Research and Therapy16901,47022013%
Biomarker Research16901,47022013%
Archives of Public Health15701,37020013%
Basic and Clinical Andrology15701,37020013%
BMC Anesthesiology15701,37020013%
BMC Biotechnology15701,37020013%
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders15701,37020013%
BMC Evolutionary Biology15701,37020013%
BMC Gastroenterology15701,37020013%
BMC International Health and Human Rights15701,37020013%
BMC Medical Genetics15701,37020013%
BMC Medical Imaging15701,37020013%
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making15701,37020013%
BMC Microbiology15701,37020013%
BMC Palliative Care15701,37020013%
BMC Pediatrics15701,37020013%
BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology15701,37020013%
BMC Psychiatry15701,37020013%
BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation15701,37020013%
BMC Surgery15701,37020013%
BMC Systems Biology15701,37020013%
Clinical Proteomics15701,37020013%
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation15701,37020013%
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes15701,37020013%
Infectious Diseases of Poverty15701,37020013%
International Journal of Mental Health Systems15701,37020013%
Population Health Metrics15701,37020013%
Thrombosis Journal15701,37020013%
Epigenetics & Chromatin17901,56522513%
Harm Reduction Journal17901,56522513%
Journal of Neuroinflammation17901,56522513%
Biology of Sex Differences  17901,56522513%
Molecular Medicine17901,56522513%
Critical Care19901,75024012%
Experimental Hematology & Oncology16901,49519512%
Molecular Brain15701,39517511%
Implementation Science16901,51018011%
Respiratory Research17901,61517510%
Journal of Biological Engineering15701,4301409%
Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice15701,4301409%
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer16901,5401509%
BMC Infectious Diseases14901,3701208%
Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine13701,2651058%
Asthma Research and Practice14801,3701107%
BioData Mining14801,3701107%
BMC Biochemistry14801,3701107%
BMC Bioinformatics14801,3701107%
BMC Clinical Pathology14801,3701107%
BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders14801,3701107%
BMC Ecology14801,3701107%
BMC Hematology14801,3701107%
BMC Nephrology14801,3701107%
BMC Nursing14801,3701107%
BMC Ophthalmology14801,3701107%
BMC Oral Health14801,3701107%
BMC Physiology14801,3701107%
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth14801,3701107%
BMC Structural Biology14801,3701107%
BMC Urology14801,3701107%
Cancers of the Head & Neck14801,3701107%
Clinical and Molecular Allergy14801,3701107%
Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology14801,3701107%
Contraception and Reproductive Medicine14801,3701107%
Disaster and Military Medicine14801,3701107%
Fertility Research and Practice14801,3701107%
Journal of Clinical Movement Disorders14801,3701107%
Lipids in Health and Disease14801,3701107%
Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology14801,3701107%
Movement Ecology14801,3701107%
Proteome Science14801,3701107%
Translational Medicine Communications14801,3701107%
Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines14801,3701107%
Women’s Midlife Health14801,3701107%
Addiction Science and Clinical Practice 14801,3701107%
Annals of General Psychiatry16901,5651257%
Cancer & Metabolism16901,5651257%
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine16901,5651257%
Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders16901,5651257%
Arthritis Research & Therapy18701,7501206%
Veterinary Research 11751,150252%
BMC Biophysics13901,370201%
BMC Genetics13901,370201%
Cerebellum & Ataxias13901,370201%
Fungal Biology and Biotechnology13901,370201%
Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Disorders13901,370201%
Research Integrity and Peer Review13901,370201%
Sleep Science and Practice13901,370201%
Irish Veterinary Journal 13901,370201%
Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters13901,420-30-2%
World Journal of Surgical Oncology15701,650-80-5%
Research Involvement and Engagement14801,565-85-6%
Bioelectronic Medicine14801,565-85-6%
Big Data Analytics12901,370-80-6%
Marine Biodiversity Records12901,370-80-6%
Porcine Health Management12901,370-80-6%
Source Code for Biology and Medicine12901,370-80-6%
Journal of Biomedical Semantics 12901,370-80-6%
Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki13901,510-120-9%
Pilot and Feasibility Studies13901,565-175-13%
Systematic Reviews13901,565-175-13%
Environmental Evidence12901,470-180-14%
BMC Dermatology11801,370-190-16%
BMC Emergency Medicine11801,370-190-16%
Journal of Congenital Cardiology11801,370-190-16%
Diagnostic and Prognostic Research 14801,745-265-18%
EvoDevo  16901,995-305-18%
Agriculture & Food Security12901,565-275-21%
Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome  14201,810-390-27%
Sustainable Earth690900-210-30%
Animal Biotelemetry11801,565-385-33%
European Journal of Medical Research 14801,995-515-35%
BMC Medical Ethics9901,370-380-38%
BMC Nutrition9901,370-380-38%
BMC Obesity9901,370-380-38%
Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine9901,370-380-38%
BMC Psychology8601,370-510-59%
Canine Genetics and Epidemiology8601,370-510-59%
Journal of Eating Disorders8601,370-510-59%
BMC Zoology7901,370-580-73%
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica15101,5100 
Advances in Simulation15651,5650 
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology13701,3700 
Biological Research14301,4300 
Biology Direct13701,3700 
Biomaterials Research13701,3700 
BioPsychoSocial Medicine13701,3700 
BMC Biology17801,7800 
BMC Developmental Biology13701,3700 
BMC Endocrine Disorders13701,3700 
BMC Family Practice13701,3700 
BMC Genomics13701,3700 
BMC Immunology13701,3700 
BMC Medical Education13701,3700 
BMC Medical Genomics13701,3700 
BMC Molecular Biology13701,3700 
BMC Neuroscience13701,3700 
BMC Plant Biology13701,3700 
BMC Women’s Health13701,3700 
Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation13701,3700 
Cell & Bioscience13701,3700 
Chinese Medicine13701,3700 
Clinical and Translational Allergy14701,4700 
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology13701,3700 
Environmental Health14201,4200 
European Review of Aging and Physical Activity13701,3700 
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences13701,3700 
Frontiers in Zoology15101,5100 
Genetics Selection Evolution11751,1750 
Gynecologic Oncology Research and Practice13701,3700 
Health Research Policy and Systems15651,5650 
Human Resources for Health15651,5650 
Infectious Agents and Cancer13701,3700 
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity16501,6500 
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance16001,6000 
Journal of Ecology and Environment13701,3700 
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research13701,3700 
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition13701,3700 
Journal of Medical Case Reports8258250 
Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences14201,4200 
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition13701,3700 
Malaria Journal14301,4300 
Mobile DNA13701,3700 
Molecular Neurodegeneration16501,6500 
Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine13701,3700 
Parasites & Vectors13701,3700 
Perioperative Medicine15651,5650 
Plant Methods14301,4300 
Public Health Reviews13701,3700 
Revista Chilena de Historia Natural12401,2400 
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine14851,4850 
Cancer Imaging 13701,3700 
Journal of Otolaryngology : Head and Neck Surgery13701,3700 
The Italian Journal of Pediatrics13701,3700 
Cancer Communications13701,3700 
BioMedical Engineering OnLine13751,3705 
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research15701,5655 
Skeletal Muscle 15701,5655 
Algorithms for Molecular Biology13901,37020 

Our recent analysis of BioMed Central publishing company journals reveals a sharp increase both in number of open access journals and also article processing fees.

BMC currently publishes 330 open access journals that comparing to 2018 data shows an increase of 11% in number of journals. While 25 journals have no article processing fee for authors to publish their articles, there has been a 57% increase in average article processing charge comparing to the last year, as the average processing fee was $1402 in 2018 and now it is $2200.

Comparing to the last year, 264 journals have increased and 5 journals have decreased in APC (article processing charge). The average APC increase for journals is $917 and the average decrease is $124.

The raw data for BMC in 2019 is provided below:

Similar posts:

Ceased and transferred publications and archiving: best practices and room for improvement

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

Cite as:

Pashaei, H., & Morrison, H. (2019). BioMed Central in 2019: Sharp increase in article processing charge. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from


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