Hindawi publisher: 2016 findings and longitudinal comparison of APC rates

Hindawi is an Open Access (OA) publisher that follows the business model of Article Processing Charges (APC) in all its journals. This publisher charges APC only in USD, and it is known to often merge journals and provide free publishing on a rotating basis.

Hindawi is listed as the largest OA publisher in DOAJ with 540 journals.  Despite the fact that it lists only 406 journals on its website, mainly as a result of merging 130 ISRN journals into one journal, Hindawi is still considered the largest OA publisher and therefore needs to be observed to gain insight into the future APC trends.

2015-2016 comparison

A total of 389 matching journals are compared in years 2015 and 2016. The median and mode remain the same. The average, however, witnesses an increase of USD 65.


When removing all journals that charge no-APC in both years, 286 journals are compared and the following observations are noted:
More than two-thirds of journals charged the same price in both years, about one-third increased their prices, but not a single journal witnessed a price decrease.


As to APC increase in 2016 (91 journals), the range noted is between 4% to 108%. The majority of journals charged 25% (30 journals), 33% (29 journals) and 67% (30 journals) respectively.


2015-2016: Rotating No-APC journals:

When examining the no-APC journals in both years, we found that 57 journals charged no-APC in 2015 whereas the number went down to 51 in 2016.  Only 5 journals charged no-APC in both years.

What is interesting, however, is not the number of journals per se, but rather the price increase for most of those journals in 2016. For example, in 2015, 28 out of 2016 no-APC journals charged USD 600 and only 11 charged USD 800. However when examining prices in 2016, we find that only 11 of 2015 no-APC journals charged USD 600, 35 charged USD 800 and that 7 journals went further to charge USD 1000.


Hindawi: Comparing years 2010 & 2016

Unlike 2015-2016 comparison that showed that APC has either increased or stayed the same, comparing the year 2010 to 2016 proves that APCs are not always tending towards higher prices. A total of 121 journals were compared in both years where 57 journals increased APC, 45 decreased APC and only 19 kept the same price.


Hindawi: 2010-2016:

To examine APC prices in years 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016, we compared also 121 matching journals.  The data shows that APC in 2010 was higher than all other years with an average of USD 799. However, unlike the sample from years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 which include 41, 60, 17 and 13 no-APC journals respectively, the matching journals from 2010 does not include any no-APC journal. This explains the skewed distribution in years 2013 and 2014 with zero mode in both years. Nevertheless, the data shows that in this sample the APC used to be higher in 2010 than 2016 with an average of USD 799 compared to only USD 698 in 2016.


As we examine Hindawi APC pricing throughout the years, it is obvious that there is a lot of manipulation whether through price change or no-APC rotation policy.

Will Hindawi apply a gradual price increase while decreasing the number of no-APC journals as witnessed in years 2015-2016 or will it rather apply another round of huge shifts as in previous years? Here lies the importance of the longitudinal study in monitoring changes and hopefully predicting future practices.


Copernicus Publications: when length of articles and choice of templates matter

Copernicus Open Access publishing requires the author or a supporting institution to pay the Article Page Processing Charges (APPC). These cover the cost of the review process, typesetting, web publication and long term archiving, upon publication. Copernicus also gives the author the choice of customization, using a complex system for calculating its APPCs based on the number of pages published and the format of the material submitted. As Copernicus puts it, “authors can directly influence the price of the publication.”
Accordingly, what makes the financing models at Copernicus variant and flexible are charges that are based on article length and sources files (Word/LaTeX). For example, publishing a 10 page article (without calculating the additional tax) in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics could vary from €792 when using the publisher’s LaTeX template, to €1122 when using a different LaTeX template. Another option might be to use the publisher’s Word template and pay €957, or else pay €1287 when using another Word template. Surely, there is always the author’s choice between the publisher’s LaTeX and Word templates; i.e. between paying €792 or €957 respectively. Of course, fewer pages would cost the author even less.
In addition, Copernicus Publications provides several agreements where settlement of payments can be done directly between the publisher and the respective institution, given that members of those institutions opt to use Copernicus’s templates. For example, members of ETH Zurich, do not pay any publication fees for any of Copernicus’s journals if they use their LaTex or Word template. However, if an author does not use one of these templates, Copernicus will charge the difference to the author.
As to authors who lack financial support, Copernicus waivers policy provides another way to lower the price as they can benefit from the budget of free pages which is assigned by the chief editor of each journal.

Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) – Selected Bibliography on Open Access

Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) bibliography is a growing list of scholarly articles, books, book chapters, reports as well as primary publications. What began as a bibliographic list designated to the Open Access Article Processing Charges (APC), a project worked on by Heather Morrison, Tony Horava and Stephen Pinfield, has become a more general folder. It comprises the suite of projects under SKC, a concept aiming to remove barriers between all people, whether poor or rich, and the world’s scholarly knowledge. This  Zotero SKC folder will enable the users not only to access the metadata and abstracts of the sources, but also, when possible, provide links to sources that are freely available on the internet. Users will view, print, search by titles, authors, etc., export or generate a reference list to enable collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

This is a folder in progress and more reference recommendations are always welcomed. Please note that you are free to send us suggestions to improve the folder or to add to it.