AOSIS: a South African OA publisher with an interesting approach

African Online Information Systems (PTY) Ltd. (AOSIS) is a South African private company (PTY) registered under the number 2002/002017/07. AOSIS is an Open Access publisher with a portfolio of 39 journals as of July 21st, 2018. The journals can be divided under three categories: Fully Sponsored, Partially Sponsored and Non-Sponsored. The partially sponsored journals are interesting for several reasons: 1) unique transparency in explaining that the journals are “sponsored until the money runs out”, a model that creates some uncertainty for authors as to whether they need to pay or not, and how much; 2) differential pricing for members of society sponsors (support for the society as well as OA publishing); 3) and the use of per-page rather than per-article charges. These complexities result in differential pricing for articles for good underlying reasons (sponsorship and its limitations, societies’ needs to provide benefits to members, the variation in work that goes with differences in article length).

AOSIS is using Article Processing Charges by Page (APPC) method for publication in its journals. The APPC varies from a journal to another. Partially sponsored journals receive limited funds from organizations to cover partially the APPC during a calendar year. Authors publishing in partially sponsored journals are responsible for payment of the difference between the APPC full amount and the sponsor’s contribution per page. If the funds allocated by the sponsor for APPC are used before the end of calendar year, authors would have to cover the full APPC. In the case of the Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management, APPC is listed as R1002.00/page (R = South African Rand, currency code: ZAR) equivalent to USD 76.00/page (Exchange rate Aug. 1, 18 at while the sponsor contribution is R398.00/page ($30.00) which leaves the author with the responsibility to cover the payment of the difference (R604/page) ($46.00).

The South African Journal of Communication Disorders applies, however, different APPC method: the first author receives full subsidies for APPC if he is a paid member in the South African Speech-Language-Hearing Association (SASLAH), while the second author receive 50% subsidies of APPC. If the author is not a member of SASLHA he would have to pay the full APPC. The subsidy for APCs is valid until the limit of the annual SASLHA sponsorship has been reached. Author wishing to publish after the funds are completely used would have the cover the full APPC.


AOSIS (2018). Retrieved July 21st, 2018 from


Springer Nature

Springer Nature 2017 APC Report

Springer Nature was formed in 2015 through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media. The company is a leading global research, educational and professional publisher. It describes itself as “the publisher of the world’s most influential journals and a pioneer in the field of open research”. It claims to have over 3000 journals and 7 million articles.

The company offers three publishing platforms;, and open access journals BioMed Central (BMC) and Springer Open platforms.

Analysis of 2017 open access journals does not reveals major changes in reported APC, except for Nature Research open access journals where 22 journals saw reduction in APC and one reported an increase. Average APC at Nature Research was $3103.00 a decrease of 11% from 2016. BioMed central APC increased on 4 journals and decreased on two journals, with average APC of $2189.00. Springer Open APC saw an increase on 8 journals and decrease on one journal with average APC stand at $1301.00

Average APC 2017

In 2017, Nature Research added 4 new journals and removed 2 journals. BioMed Central added 15 new journals and removed 17, while Springer Open added 12 new journals and removed 20. Over 40% of Springer Open journals are fully sponsored.

Number of Journal

Nature Research open access journals 2017


On April 30th, 2017, the webpage listed 87 journals under four categories: Multidisciplinary (3), Nature Partner Journals (25), Academic and Society Journals (20), Journals with hybrid open access options (39). APCs for all journals were posted in US dollar, British Pound and European Euro.

For consistency purpose, we compared journals from the first three categories (48) with journals from the same categories analysed in 2016 (46). Journals with hybrid open access were not compared. Our APCs comparison was based on US Dollar.


  • 4 new journals were added in 2017 to Nature Partner Journals category
  • 2 Journals were removed in 2017 from Academic and Society journals category
  • APC increased on one journal in 2017
  • APC decreased on 22 journals
  • APC remained the same for 20 journals
  • Lowest APC:       US$ 1350.00 for Scientific Data (same as in 2016)
  • Highest APC:      US$ 5200.00 for Nature Communications (same as in 2016)
  • Average APC:     US$ 3103.00 (Decreased by 11% from 2016)

The chart below shows a sample of the journals that were compared.

Nature Research OA 2017 APCs

BioMed Central 2017

On April 4th, 2017, BioMed Central listed 305 open access journals on its website under 14 categories: Biomedicine, Chemistry, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Environment, Life Sciences, Materials Sciences, Mathematics, Medicine & Public Health, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Physics and Psychology.

The 2017 journals APCs were compared with the 2016 list consisting of 306 journals. APCs were posted in US Dollar, British Pound and European EURO. Our comparison is based on the posted US Dollar.


  • 15 New journals were added in 2017
  • 17 Journals from 2016 are removed from 2017 list
  • APC increased for 4 journals
  • APC Decreased for two journals
  • APC remained constant on remaining journals
  • APC for 3 journals were removed in 2017
  • APC for 3 journals were added in 2017
  • APC for 3 journals were increased in 2017 and posted in Euro only
  • One journal posted no APC
  • Lowest APC:       US$ 860.00
  • Highest APC:      US$ 2975.00
  • Average APC:     US$ 2189.00

BMC 2017 APCs

The chart below shows a sample of the BMC journals that were compared.

BMC 2017 APCS in Posted currencies

Springer Open 2017

SpringerOpen listed 228 journals on its website under 26 categories: Biomedicine, Business and Management, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Dentistry, Earth Sciences, Economics, Education, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Geography, History, Law, Life Sciences, Linguistics, Materials Science, Mathematics, Medicine & Public Health, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Statistics.

The 2017 posted APCs were compared with 2016 APCs. APCs were posted in three currencies; British Pound, US dollar and European Euro. We performed the analysis using the US dollar currency.


  • 12 new journals were added in 2017
  • 20 journals existed in 2016 are not included in 2017 list
  • APCs increased for 8 journals
  • APCs decreased for one Journal
  • APCs remained constant on 114 Journals
  • APCs was added to 5 journals in 2017 that had no APC in 2016
  • APCs were removed in 2017 from 3 journals that had APC value in 2016
  • 98 journals are fully sponsored (42.9%)
  • Lowest APC:       US$ 645.00
  • Highest APC:      US$ 2500.00
  • Average APC:     US$ 1301.00

Spinger Open 2017 APCs

Chart below represent a sample of Springer Open 2017 APCs in posted currencies

Sample of Springer Open 2017