SAGE Publications 2016 & 2017 Data Analysis (including Libertas Academica)

Abstract: SAGE, which defines itself as the “world’s largest independent academic publisher” on its website, bought Libertas Academica in 2016, which is one step in moving to the open access space. SAGE publishes more than 1000 journals and offer the possibility of hybrid gold open access publishing for almost all of them. 165 journal published by SAGE are in fully open access.

In 2016, around 86% of fully open access journals have an APC. The APC average is 1084 USD.

In 2017, around 84% of fully open access journals have an APC, but only 16% of those have an APC in DOAJ. Of the APCs available in DOAJ, around 33% varies from the APCs found in SAGE. Less than 2% of fully open access journals have an APPC.

Only 2 journals published by SAGE do not have publications fees.

SAGE Journals

The APC average for fully open is 1011 USD (excluding the journals from Libertas Academica). For SAGE Choice hybrid option, SAGE website says the APCs is 3000 USD. There are some pricing exceptions in the SAGE Choice hydrid option. The average for those journals is 1275 USD. The average for the journals previously published by Libertas Academica is 1784 USD

A comparison between 2016 and 2017 data for Libertas Academica journals, now owned by SAGE, show no variations in prices for the same journals. However, the 2016 data is missing 7 journals from its list that appear on the 2017 data. 6 of these journals are no longer in Open Access model. 1 journal has a 1085 USD APC.

Full text here.

APCs in DOAJ 2017: summary of 3 studies

The DOAJ application form requests information from journals and publishers about article processing charges: whether or not there are charges, if yes the amount and currency, and a URL for more information. Is DOAJ APC data sufficient for the purposes of our longitudinal study on APC charges? In brief, we compared the APCs on publisher website for 3 publishers and conclude that no, DOAJ APC is not sufficient. There are significant differences between APC data on the websites of publishers Hindawi, MDPI, and Taylor & Francis. Conclusion: APC details in DOAJ are not sufficient for the longitudinal study of APC.

Details in brief and links to substantive posts

We used the DOAJ metadata as of Jan. 31, 2017 (our DOAJ metadata set for the 2017 APC study) for these studies.

Widlyne Brutus compared journal and APC data for Hindawi on the Hindawi website and in DOAJ – not an easy task as the title lists in DOAJ and on the Hindawi website are quite different. DOAJ includes titles that Hindawi no longer publishes (a good practice but this makes research a challenge), but not all of the titles that Hindawi currently does publish. Hindawi titles have a high rate of APC listings in DOAJ, but only 9% of the titles have the same price in DOAJ and on the publisher’s website. 144 titles have higher prices on the publisher’s website, while 45 have a lower price on the publisher’s website. Details:

Arbia Ouerghi found that 107 MDPI titles listed in DOAJ have an APC according to the MDPI website. DOAJ has APC data for only 21 of these journals, and only 3 have the same price on the MDPI website and in DOAJ. APCs on the MDPI website are higher than those listed in DOAJ. Details:

Katherine Laprade found 150 fully OA titles on the Taylor and Francis website. 77% of these titles have an APC according to the Taylor & Francis website, but only 1% have an APC listed in DOAJ. Of these titles, 54% have a different amount in DOAJ as compared with the publisher’s website.

Comment (Heather Morrison): the question about whether journals charge an APC or not is a useful one, however the answer based on our research is more complex than a simple yes / no. DOAJ used to have a “conditional” charges option that I recommend re-instating. As we noted in 2014 (Morrison et al, 2015), the vast majority of fully OA journals (over 90%) have variations in pricing based on such factors as the status of the author (society member, editing contributions to the journal, location, perceived ability to pay), and the nature of the work (length, quality, type of article). A single flat-fee approach to APC does exist but is not that common. Collecting specific APC information and keeping it up to date will depend on publishers updating DOAJ every time there is a price change. It seems likely that DOAJ’s APC information will become more and more outdated over time. The yes / no / conditional information and link to where to find the information seem likely to be stable and useful, but DOAJ and its user community might want to reconsider the costs and benefits of capturing specific APC amounts.


Morrison, H.; Salhab, J.; Calvé-Genest, A.; Horava, T. Open Access Article Processing Charges: DOAJ Survey May 2014. Publications 2015, 3, 1-16. doi:10.3390/publications3010001

Taylor & Francis 2017 Data

Abstract: Taylor & Francis is one of several major, traditionally commercial, scholarly publishers that is moving to the Open access space. Taylor & Francis publishes 2,550 journals and now has a major part of them available for Gold Open Access. 150 journal published by Taylor & Francis are in fully open access.

Around 77% of fully open access journals have an APC, but only 1% of those have an APC in DOAJ. Of the APCs available in DOAJ, 54% varies from the APCs found in Taylor & Francis. Less than 3% of fully open access journals have an APPC.

At least 7 journals published by Taylor & Francis do not have publications fees.

The APC average for fully open is 794.55 GBP (including only the 106 journals with APCs), for hybrid is 1574.38 GBP and for subscription was not calculated because only three journals had APCs.

These averages are higher than the APC average for 2016 of 702.74 GBP (converted with the Bank of Canada currency converter (on March 21st, 2017)). (Excluding journals with an APC of $0).

T&F Pie Chart 2017

See full text here

27 Hindawi titles active in 2015, not found in 2016

The following 27 titles were available on the Hindawi website in 2015 but are not found on the publisher’s website as of 2016. As of May 2015, Hindawi listed about 408 active titles. This is a substantial journal attrition rate of 7% in less than a year. In theory, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) eliminates journals no longer active (more on DOAJ versus actual titles below). On surface, this seems like a good idea – but what about the many authors whose works become less visible because DOAJ has de-listed their journal? I do not think that this is a good practice for OA. DOAJ should have a means of indicating that a journal is inactive and continue to make journals and their content available and visible whenever possible. Until this is sorted out, this possibility is one of the reasons I argue that authors should always self-archive their work as open access, even when publishing in open access journals, and why funding agencies and universities should insist on archiving in open access policy.

Journals listed in Hindawi APC site in 2015 no longer visible as of February 2016

Advances in Anesthesiology
Advances in Biomaterials
Advances in Critical Care
Advances in Evolutionary Biology
Advances in Geology
Advances in Molecular Biology
Advances in Oceanography
Advances in Radiology
Advances in Regenerative Medicine
Conference Papers in Science
Developmental Biology Journal
International Journal of Chemical Physics
International Journal of Embryology
International Journal of Mineralogy
International Journal of Photochemistry
International Journal of Superconductivity
Journal of Aerodynamics
Journal of Calculus of Variations
Journal of Computational Environmental Sciences
Journal of Dental Surgery
Journal of Experimental Physics
Journal of Geochemistry
Journal of Mining
Journal of Probability
Journal of Viruses
Paleontology Journal
Structural Biology

More about DOAJ versus Hindawi OA journal lists

Our 2015 dataset (downloadable from the OA APC dataverse, described in MDPI’s Data journal) included 538 Hindawi titles. 130 of these were the then-obsolete ISRN series of journals. 538 – 130 = 408 journals, that’s how I calculated the total number of journals for 2015. The ISRN series, which has been obsolete for some time, was still included in the February 2016 DOAJ metadata. 28 titles are listed as current on the Hindawi website but were not indexed in DOAJ as of February 2016, of these 18 were on the Hindawi website with an APC as of 2015.