OA article processing charges (OA APC) research webliography and overview

This page is not up to date as of December 6, 2019. Watch for another approach in 2020. In the meantime, the best place to look for current information on this topic in this blog is the OA APC longitudinal survey 2019, particularly the data documentation (background and limitations section, which includes alternatives).

This page is designed to provide an overview of major research, reports and data, starting with tracking new reports from September 2016.

Shamash, K. (2017). Article processing charges in 2016. Jisc scholarly communication. Retrieved August 31, 2017 from https://scholarlycommunications.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2017/08/23/article-processing-charges-in-2016/

  • in brief: in-depth report on JISC (UK) spend on article processing charges in 2016. Spend has increased dramatically both because of increase in APCs paid and because of reported increase in APCs. Discusses cost offsetting. Important context: the UK has a gold policy approach to open access, seeking open access via publishing and the RCUK has provided block grants to support APCs.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) (2017). RCUK APC returns analysis. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/openaccess/rcuk-open-access-block-grant-analysis/ (open data available as well).

Piron, F. (2017). Le libre accès aux publications scientifiques. Policy Options 28 juin 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017 from http://policyoptions.irpp.org/fr/magazines/juin-2017/le-libre-acces-aux-publications-scientifiques/

Piron argues for open access, but, among other things, that article processing charges are not in the best interest of science.

Eve, M.; de Vries, S. & Rooryck, J. (2017). The transition to open access: the state of the market, offsetting deals, and a demonstrated model for fair open access with the Open Library of the Humanities. In: Chan., L. & Loizides, E. (eds.) (2017) Expanding perspectives on open science: communities, cultures and diversity in concepts and practices. IOS Press. Retrieved June 29, 2017 from http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/18914/1/STAL9781614997696-0118.pdf

Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) (2017) has published a summary of publication charges offerings by their publisher partners.

OA 2020 – the initiative: https://oa2020.org/

White paper:

Schimmer, R., Geschuhn, K. K., & Vogler, A. (2015). Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access. doi:10.17617/1.3.  Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0026-C274-7

STM response to OA 2020


Eigenfactor.org list of open access fees. Viewed May 9, 2017 at http://eigenfactor.org/projects/openAccess/oa.php

Vrana, Radovan (2016). Is open access still open: the case of article processing charges. Central European conference on information and intelligence systems September 21 – 23, 2016, pp. 177 – 184. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2017 from http://www.ceciis.foi.hr/app/public/conferences/1/ceciis2016/papers/ICT-3.pdf

Comment: the author compares % of journals with APC using DOAJ data as of 2016 and finds 17% of journals with an APC as compared to the 26% we found in 2014. It is assumed that this is a decrease in % of journals with APC. I suggest that this is likely an artefact reflecting incomplete data on this point in DOAJ, either journals that have not updated information or that have updated but not provided APC information. DOAJ as of September 2016 did not differentiate between journals with no APC and journals that have not provided information on APC. [HM]

Funder reports and data

Nassi-Calò, L. (2016). Challenges for sustainability of the open access model: Brazilian health journals.Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem Dec. 8, 2016. Editorial.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1518-8345.0000.2827

In brief: of the 94 Brazilian health journals listed in DOAJ, only 17 journals (18%) have APCs. Those that have APCs have wildly varying amounts, from $45 USD – $910 USD. Even the highest APC is lower than the cost of PLOS ONE at $1,485 USD. “The scenario of open access publishing in Brazil and Latin America is one of the most favorable worldwide. The characteristics of its business models – small non-for-profit publishers funded by educational and research institutions and funding agencies not only ensure the region’s very low index of predatory journals, but also enable countries in the region to adopt the fastest growing form of publication in the world.”

Open APC From the website: “The Open APC initiative releases datasets on fees paid for open access journal articles by universities and research institutions under an open database license. Open APC, which is also supported by the DINI Working Group Electronic Publishing, is located at Bielefeld University Library. Since October 2015 Open APC ist part of the INTACT project.” Retrieved September 18, 2016.

Kingsley, D. (2016). Cambridge APC spend – RCUK report 2015-2016 and all reports dating back to 2009 are now publicly available. Global Open Access List September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016 from http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/pipermail/goal/2016-September/004187.html

Includes links to APC data collection in Apollo (institutional repository): https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/260180and a brief blogpost of Cambridge’s 2015-2016 RCUK report: https://unlockingresearch.blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/?p=899

Danny Kingsley’s highlights from the GOAL post:

The headline figures for the 2015-2016 RCUK fund are:

  • In total Cambridge spent £1,288,090 of RCUK funds on APCs
  • 1786 articles identified as being RCUK funded were submitted to the Open Access Service, of which 890 required payment for RCUK
  • 785 articles have been invoiced and paid
  • The average article cost was ~*£2008*

For a list of library open access publishing funds see the Open Access Directory.

Nature list of open access book funders: http://www.nature.com/openresearch/funding/funding-for-open-access-books/ (Viewed Jan. 5, 2017)

Last updated January 5, 2017

This page is part of the Open Access on-the-fly webliography and overview series of pages. Comments / suggestions for additions may be added below. Please indicate if you appreciate attribution (inclusion on a list of contributors for links and citations,  in-text attribution for substantive contributions) in your comment.