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

Cite as: Merhi, S. (2018). AOSIS: A South African OA publisher with an interesting approach. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from


AOSIS 2015-2016 Comparison

AOSIS is a smaller South African based open access publisher, with 26 journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).  As of May 2016, the AOSIS website lists 28 open access journals. We found 27 matching journal titles when comparing our 2015 and 2016 data gathered from the AOSIS website.

The AOSIS website lists a per-page cost or Article Page Processing Charge (APPC) while the DOAJ’s Article Processing Charge (APC) figure is per-article.  The APC amount listed on DOAJ is likely based on an estimate of the average number of pages for an article.

From the AOSIS website in 2015, 11 out of 27 journals were sponsored by various organizations, therefore they did not require APPCs to be paid by authors.  Two of these titles are no longer sponsored in 2016.  18 out of 27 titles require APPCs to be paid by authors.  Most of these APPCs have increased since 2015.  The APPCs are listed in South African Rand (ZAR). The current conversion rate between ZAR and the US dollar (USD) is 1 ZAR equals 0.064 USD.  The average APPC in 2016 is about 617 ZAR, which equates to about 40 USD. The average AOSIS APC in DOAJ is 6050 ZAR or 388 USD.

The journal with the lowest APPC in 2015 and 2016 is In die Skriflig.  This journal charged 429 ZAR in 2015 and has increased to 44o ZAR in 2016.  The journal with the highest APPC in 2015 and 2016 is African Vision and Eye Health, which was charging 1191 ZAR in 2015 and is now charging 1250 ZAR. In 2015, only 4 journals charged over 1000 ZAR for APPCs.  In 2016, 10 out of 27 charge over 1000 ZAR.

According to AOSIS’ Copyright policy page, “The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.” All individual journals titles were checked to see if there are any other specifications regarding copyright.  After clicking through each title, we found that all journals provided a link to the main About Scholarly Journals page, which states “Rest assured: you always retain copyright of your work.”


AOSIS. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2016, from

Directory of Open Access Journals. (Mn.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2016, from

Cite as:

Wheatley, S. (2016). AOSIS 2015-2016 Comparison. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from