Open Access in 2019: Original currencies for article processing charge

by Hamid Pashaei and Heather Morrison

The original currency to charge article processing charge (APC) for more than 50 percent of world open access (OA) journals in 2019 recorded in our study is USD (for documentation of our procedures see Morrison et al (2019), while GBP and EUR are in the second and third place. 5 currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, CHF – Swiss Franc, INR – Indian Rupee) account for over 90% of the journals.

The following table and chart depict the original currency for OA journals in 2019.

When looking at the average APC in each original currency, it could be seen that the journals that their original currency is GBP charge the highest amount of APC. The top 10 most expensive APCs in original currency are listed below (all amount are converted to the USD).

Cite as: Pashaei, H. & Morrison, H. (2019a). Open Access in 2019: Original currencies for article processing charge. Sustaining the knowledge commons.

Morrison, H. et al. (2019). OA Main 2019: Dataset, documentation and open peer review invitation. Sustaining the knowledge commons.

Morrison, Heather, et al. 2019, “OA APC longitudinal study dataset 2019”,, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1

Directory of Open Access Journals 2010 – Metadata. Retrieved at various dates from

2 thoughts on “Open Access in 2019: Original currencies for article processing charge

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for your study. Would you be able to know where APCs are paid? As OA is a digital business (no physical presence in each country, no national distributor), we could expect that APCs are directly paid on an account of where publisher headquarter is implanted?
    In Sweden (France, Portugal, Germany, etc), APCs or a Taylor & Francis OA journal are directly paid on UK bank account?
    In Spain (Sweden, France, Portugal, Germany, etc), APCs of Elsevier OA journal are directly paid on UK bank account?
    In UK, (Sweden, France, Portugal, Germany, etc), APCs of Springer or Nature OA journal are directly paid on German bank account? (except BMC OA journals originally bought by SpringerNature and still implanted in UK)

    -> As you know, fiscality of digital industry is a European challenge. Digital scientific publication is a part of digital industry. How do states recover taxes on benefit if money is directly transfer outside country ?

    – > The question is: are legacy publishers and new OA players contributing to Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, as does digital industry in EU?

    Any information available on this? If you could access to money currency on bills, you should be able to extract if APCs were directly paid abroad? Would it be possible to work on this topic, as a starting picture of legal, abuse, or non legal fiscal optimization of scientific digital publishers?

    Thank you

    • Thank you for your questions, Sylvie. Our data is publisher list price as recorded on the publisher’s website, in DOAJ or by Walt Crawford who does a similar type of research. Many publishers provide details about tax on their website, but we do not collect this data as it is outside the scope of this project. The phrase “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” is new to me so I looked it up at OECD and now I understand that this refers to international companies using different tax regimes to avoid taxes – more on this problem here:

      If anyone is aware of research in this area please let us know.

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