Hikari- favor some disciplines?

Hikari is a publisher of journals in science, technology and medicine founded in 2005. They used to be in the DOAJ 2015, but in 2016 the publisher isn’t mentioned in the directory. The publisher didn’t change the amount of their OA APC. The majority of the journals still charge processing fees but they no longer charge publication fees in the fields of medicine and economics. This means that of their 20 journals, 4 of them no longer have publication fees. 25 percent of their journals have no publication fees. The journals that still have publication fees charge 200 EUR per page up to 8 pages and an extra 25 EUR per pages for the additional pages.

Medknow 2016: it’s complicated!

by Widlyne Brutus and Heather Morrison


Medknow is an emerging commercial scholarly journal publisher based in the developing world (India) that is owned by one of the oldest and most traditional western-based commercial publishers, Wolters Kluwer, that publishes in partnership with many long-standing traditional society and university journals. Even though the publisher is for-profit by nature, the majority of journals do not charge APCs. Of the journals that do charge APCs, most have not changed price between 2015 and 2016; some journals are adding or dropping APCs, and a few have lowered their APC. However, we identified 16 journals that did raise APCs from 2015 to 2016, in some cases by substantial amounts (over 50%, some even doubling or tripling in price).



Medknow is a commercial publisher of peer-review medical journals that originated in India. This publisher has partnerships with many associations, societies and universities and its publications include many long-standing not-for-profit journals. Of the 141 journals published by Medknow, more than half (83 journals) are published in partnership with universities and learned societies.

A traditional commercial scholarly publisher, with a history dating back to 1836, Wolters Kluwer, acquired Medknow in 2011. The reason for mentioning this is as one example of how the distinction between traditional and open access publishers may not be as relevant today as it used to be.

The partnership with the not-for-profit societies and universities likely explains why less than half of Medknow journals (70 journals) charge an APC as of 2016 (an increase from 61 journals with APCs in 2015).

In 2016, there are 26 journals that clearly state that there is no processing charge, down from 28 journals in 2015. It is not always clear whether there is an APC or not. In 2016 we note 38 journals with no cost found (meaning we did not find either an APC or clear language stating that there is no APC), down slightly from 41 in 2015.

There 28 publication in 2015 that have no publication fees and in 2016 26 publication have no processing charge.

Widlyne compared the averages of the article processing charge for the year of 2015 and 2016.

The average in 2015 was $285 and in 2016, $173 in US dollar. While the price seems to have decreased, this likely reflects currency fluctuations as the primary currency for a large portion of the journals is not USD, for example Indian rupees as the primary currency is very common. So this information should not be taking as a proof of the decrease of APC.

Comparing prices on a journal-by-journal basis, most of the prices did not change (31 journals had exactly the same price). Four journals lowered their APC and two no longer charge APC’s.

16 journals have increased their APCs, this table show which journal have increase their APC’s, the amount for 2015 and 2016 and the percentage of increase.


As you can see most of these journals have increase their APC considerably; at least 8 journals increased their price by more than half. Some journals even doubled or tripled their prices


Inside e-life: what it costs to publish

Update September 6: Kent Anderson has published a critique of e-life’s annual report on the Scholarly Kitchen blog (published by the Society for Scholarly Publishing). Thanks to Danny Kingsley on the Global Open Access List.

Thanks to Emily Packer, e-life Press Office, via the SSP list for the following, and to e-life for their transparency. As a bit of context, e-life is a new journal aiming to compete with the most prestigious scholarly journals. Their costs are quite a bit higher than the average APC, reflecting a number of factors, including paying editors and significant staff costs, and the costs of developing their own technology platform (now available to all as open source).

Emily Packer’s message:

Of interest, eLife has published its 2015 annual report, detailing our costs of publishing versus those of our technology innovation and development.

Every year since 2012, eLife has published an annual report on activities along with our US Form 990 (required for our type of non-profit organisation) and our audited financial accounts. This year, we present a deeper view of our 2015 financials, covering publishing and non-publishing expenses.

As part of our ambition to change how science publishing works, especially among highly selective journals, we hope that being transparent about our costs will help set a future course for research communication that is efficient and sustainable.

eLife’s Executive Director, Mark Patterson, and Head of External Relations, Jennifer McLennan, have written a blog post that provides further information about our costs (https://elifesciences.org/elife-news/inside-elife-what-it-costs-publish) and the Times Higher Education featured a news piece: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/elife-reveals-publication-costs-spark-debate-journal-prices.

Our 2015 annual report is also available to view here: https://2015.elifesciences.org.

SKC seeking senior international undergrads for 2017 summer interships (English or French)

Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) has openings for up to 2 senior international undergraduates for a 12-week research internship starting May 2017. Your assistance in identifying and encouraging suitable applicants would be greatly appreciated. Brief information about the Globalink Research Internships and links to application information follows along with details about the SKC project. To find the project on the Globalink projects page, search for “open access” with the languages “English or French” and select the project titled “Soutenir les savoirs communs: littérature savante en libre accès”. Note that SKC interns can work in English, French, or both as desired.

Mitacs Globalink (Français suit)

The student call for applications for Globalink Research Internships is now open. To access the list of eligible projects, please visit our online database at https://globalink.mitacs.ca/. The deadline to apply is September 20, 2016, at 4:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

The Globalink Research Internship offers a 12-week research project at Canadian universities for high-achieving senior undergraduates from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. Starting May 2017, approved students travel to Canada, where they work with a faculty supervisor and other researchers at their host universities.

Interns receive:

Stipend for living expenses
Professional development workshops
Local Globalink Mentors

For more information visit the Globalink Research Internships web page.
L’appel destiné aux étudiants pour les stages de recherche Globalink est maintenant lancé. Pour accéder à la liste des projets retenus, veuillez consulter notre base de données en ligne à l’adresse https://globalink.mitacs.ca/ . La date limite pour présenter une demande est le 20 septembre 2016 à 16h, heure avancée du Pacifique (HAP).

Le Programme de stages de recherche Mitacs Globalink offre un projet de recherche de 12 semaines dans une université canadienne aux finissants de premier cycle de l’Allemagne, de l’Arabie saoudite, de l’Australie, du Brésil, de la Chine, de la France, de l’Inde, du Mexique et de la Tunisie. À partir du mois de mai 2017, les candidats retenus voyageront au Canada où ils travailleront avec un superviseur universitaire et d’autres chercheurs à leur université d’accueil.

Voici ce qui est offert aux stagiaires :

une allocation pour les frais de subsistance;
des ateliers de perfectionnement professionnel;
un mentor Globalink local

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, consultez la page du Programme de stages de recherche Globalink.

Soutenir les savoirs communs: littérature savante en libre accès / Sustaining the knowledge commons: open access scholarship (Français suit)

There is a broad consensus among researchers, librarians, research funding agencies, non-governmental organizations and even most scholarly publishers that today the optimum method of sharing the results of research is open access, that is, articles, books and data that are freely available through the internet. The dilemma is how to transform a system based on demand (subscriptions and purchases) to a system based on production in order to sustain free access for the reader. Sustaining the knowledge commons targets the means of transformation by studying the models used by open access scholarly journals (for example, article processing fees or subsidies). Thanks to a generous grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we are a team in the process of growth consisting of the principal investigator and several students, most of whom are at the graduate level. We are conducting a longitudinal study using an innovative open research approach. We publish our data and results as part of the work process. The idea is to facilitate research in this area (for example, other researchers use our data) and to speed up knowledge translation, because there are organizations that want to accelerate the transformation process by using their funds, ike the signatories of OA 2020 http://oa2020.org/. Student training is central to the project. The interns will have lots of opportunities to learn about the issues of open access and research methods, including data management and how to plan, execute and write up the results of mini-research projects in the form of blogposts. This is an unparalleled opportunity to learn in an area that is of interest to research agencies, universities and their libraries, publishing houses and those who pay for scholarly publishing. This training will be very useful for students who want to continue on to graduate studies or to join the workforce. The team is bilingual. As you prefer, you can work entirely in English or French or both languages.

Il y a un large consensus parmi les chercheurs, bibliothécaires, les agences de fonds de la recherche, les organismes non gouvernementaux et même la plupart des maisons d’édition, qu’aujourd’hui la méthode optimale de partage les résultats de la recherche est libre accès, ça veut dire que les articles, livres, et données sont disponibles gratuitement sur l’internet. Le dilemme est comment transformer un système basé sur demande (abonnements et achats) en un système basé sur production afin de soutenir l’accès gratuit au lecteur. Soutenir les savoirs communs cible les moyens de transformation en étudiant les modèles utilisés par les revues savants en libre accès (par exemple, les frais de publication ou les subventions). Grâce à une subvention généreuse du Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines, nous sommes une équipe en train de grandir qui consiste de la chercheuse principale et quelques étudiants, la plupart au niveau de troisième cycle. Nous faisons une étude longitudinale en utilisant une approche innovatrice de la recherche ouverte. Nous publions nos données et nos résultats en processus de travail. L’idée est de faciliter la recherche (d’autres chercheurs utilisent nos données, par exemple) et d’accélérer le transfert des connaissances, car il y a les organismes qui veulent accélérer la transformation en libre accès en utilisant leurs fonds comme les signataires de OA2020 http://oa2020.org/La formation des étudiants est centrale au projet. Les internes auront beaucoup d’occasion d’apprendre les enjeux de libre accès et les méthodes de la recherche, incluant la gestion des données, la planification, exécution et rédaction des petits projets de la recherche en forme de postes de blogues. Ceci est une opportunité sans parallèle d’apprentissage dans un sujet qui intéresse les agences des fonds de la recherche, les universités et leurs bibliothèques, les maisons d’édition et les payeurs. La formation serait très utile aux étudiants qui veulent continuer au troisième cycle ou qui veulent joindre le monde de travail. L’équipe est bilingue. Selon vos préférences, vous pouvez travailler entièrement en français, en anglais, ou tous les deux.

Dr. Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor
École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
Sustaining the Knowledge Commons https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/

MDPI APC / FDP 2011 – 2016

Tanoh Laurent Kakou and Heather Morrison

Brief abstract (English)

This post presents highlights of preliminary results of our longitudinal study of the article processing charges (APCs) of MDPI, an open access publisher using the APC business model (exclusively), with new journals offering « free for now »  publication. Thanks to Solomon and Björk (2012) we have data for a sample of 25 of MDPI’s journals that did charge APCs in 2011 (non-charging journals were excluded from their study). The APCs for these 25 journals ranged from 300 CHF to 1,600 CHF, with an average of 624 CHF. Only 1 journal (Algorithms) did not change in price ; all others increased in price from 2011 – 2016. The average APC for this group of journals in 2016 was 1,148 CHF, an average increase of 524 CHF or an 84% increase in 5 years. This compares with a compound U.S. interest rate from 2010 – 2015 of 8.7% as calculated by Sara Wheatley https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2016/04/13/comparison-of-biomed-central-apcs-from-2010-2016/. The EU compound interest rate would have been lower during this time frame, with some years in negative growth. One might say that MDPI’s APCs for established journals have increased by an order of magnitude greater than the overall inflation rate in the past 5 years.

As of March 2016, MDPI listed 155 journals on its website. Of these, nearly half (72 journals) are <>, that is they use the APC model but are not yet charging. The average APC of 359 CHF (662 CHF when non-charging journals are excluded) contrasts with the 1,148 average APC of the 25 journals that were included in the 2011 sample (established journals). From 2014 to 2015 APCs either stayed the same or decreased ; from 2015 to 2016, we see only stable or increasing prices with an average price increase from 2015 to 2016 of 18% (60 CHF increase on a 2015 average APC of 334 CHF).

This case study illustrates one approach to the evolution of a new commercial publisher committed to the APC business model, with new journals offering free publishing until journals are established. APC payers need to take this into account for budgeting purposes; journals that today either are free or have very low APCs may have substantial APCs in a few year’s time.

Following are the original abstract (in French) by data analyst Tanoh Laurence Kakou and a table with the APCs of the 25 journals for which we have APC data for 2011 and 2016.

Résumé (Français)

Nous analysons des données de MDPI APC de 2011 à 2016. Notre recherche consiste à comprendre comment les frais de publication de MDPI ont évolué dans cette période. Nous avons analysé d’abord les données de chaque période. D’abord 2011, 2014, 2015, puis 2016. Puis nous avons comparé l’évolution des frais de 2011 à 2016, de 2014 à 2015 et de 2015 à 2016.

Les données de 2011 sont des prélèvements d’un échantillon effectué en 2011 par Solomon et Björk (2012) sur uniquement 25 revues avec des frais de publication. Ainsi, la moyenne des frais est 624 CHF, la médiane est de 500 CHF et le mode est de 300 CHF. Sensors a les frais de publication les plus élevés (1,600 CHF). Tandis que Molbank détient les moins élevés (200 CHF). En 2016, on a obtenu une moyenne de 345 CHF, une médiane de 300 CHF et un mode de 0 CHF. Sensors, Marine Drugs et Molecules ont les frais (1,800 CHF) les plus élevés. En ce qui a trait à l’évolution des frais entre 2011 et 2016, on obtient une moyenne de 115%, d’une médiane de 75% et d’un mode de 167%. S’agissant de l’évolution du nombre du montant des frais, nous obtenons une moyenne de 523 CHF, d’une médiane de 500 CHF et d’un mode de 200 CHF. Seule les frais de Algorithms n’ont pas changé. Ils sont restés à 300 CHF soit une évolution de 0%. Tandis que Polymers augmente de 367% qui représentent une valeur ajoutée de 1100 CHF.

Concernant les données de 2014 de Morrison et al, (2015) elles ont été effectuées sur toutes les 124 revues au site web de MDPI. On obtient dans cet échantillon, une moyenne de 372 CHF, d’une médiane de 300 CHF et d’un mode 0 CHF. 3 revues : Sensors, Marine Drugs et Molecules détiennent les frais les plus élevés. En 2015, Morrison et al. (2016) ont étudié 141 revues. 70 revues n’avaient pas de frais de publication. Sensors, Marine Drugs et Molecules gardent les mêmes frais (1800 CHF). Par rapport à l’évolution des frais de publication de 2014 à 2015, deux tendances s’observent.

Au niveau de l’évolution des frais des 124 revues de 2014 à 2015, les frais de 84 revues n’ont pas changé. 40 revues ont baissé leurs frais.

En mars 2016, nous avons trouvé 155 revues au site web de MDPI. Presque la moitié (72 revues) sont <>. La moyenne FDP est 359 CHF (662 CHF si on exclut les revues sans frais) la médiane 300 CHF (500 CHF si on exclut les revues sans frais et le mode 0 (300 CHF si on exclut les revues sans frais).

Au niveau de l’évolution 2015 et 2016, la moyenne augmentation est 18%, (60 CHF), une médiane de 0 et un mode de 0.


L’analyse des données de MDPI APC de 2011 à 2016 montre que les frais de publication de cette période ont augmenté en moyenne 84%, allant jusqu’ à 367% pour la revue Polymers. Cependant entre 2014 et 2015, on a constaté une stabilité des frais et même une baisse de 100% de 6 revues : Sports, Systems, Technologies, Toxics, Universe, Veterinary Sciences. Entre 2015 et 2016, on a remarqué en augmentation en moyenne de 18% (60 CHF).

JOURNAL NAME APC 2011 (CHF) APC 2016 (CHF) Change 2016 – 2011
Algorithms 300 300 0
Cancers 300 800 500
Diversity 300 800 500
Energies 800 1,400 600
Entropy 1,000 1,400 400
Future Internet 300 500 200
Games 300 500 200
Genes 300 800 500
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 1,000 1,600 600
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 1,400 1,600 200
Marine Drugs 1,400 1,800 400
Materials 800 1,400 600
Molbank 200 300 100
Molecules 1,400 1,800 400
Nutrients 500 1,500 1,000
Pharmaceuticals 500 800 300
Pharmaceutics 300 500 200
Polymers 300 1,400 1,100
Remote Sensing 500 1,600 1,100
Sensors 1,600 1,800 200
Sustainability 500 1,200 700
Symmetry 300 800 500
Toxins 500 1,400 900
Viruses 500 1,500 1,000
Water 300 1,200 900
Average 624 1,148 524


Solomon, D.J. & Björk, B.-C. (2012) A study of open access journals using article processing charges. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 2012, 63, pp. 1485–1495. Retrieved from http://www.openaccesspublishing.org/apc2/preprint.pdf February 2, 2016.

Copernicus 2015-2016 comparison

(was 12 Copernicus journals tripled or quadrupled page charges in 2016)

Update July 7, 2016: thanks to Copernicus’ Silke Hartmann (S.H.) for adding a substantive comment. Following is a brief data update about 2 journals formerly free of charge that now charge APCs, clarification about my category “cost not specified”, and highlights worth repeating of S.H.’s clarification about the meaning of “currently waived”.

Data update: in brief, two journals with conflicting information about APPCs as of June 15, 2016 now post APPC details on their webpages.

Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf) and Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems  now charge from €50 to €120 per printed page as of July 1, 2016.

Both journals posted conflicting information about APCs as of June 15, 2016. Their APC pages stated: “If the discussion paper is published after 1 January 2016 the APCs are levied for the publication of the final revised paper in the journal. The publication in the discussion forum is free of charge”. Under the price per journal page, the cost is indicated as “currently waived”. The June 15 version of the ESurf APC page is attached here in order to illustrate:  ESurf – Article processing charges 2016 06 15

This is a good illustration of why I have a category called “cost not specified” and how this is used. The journal APC page clearly indicates that “APCs are levied [emphasis added]” along with conflicting information that APCs are “currently waived”. It would be consistent with this explanation to provide free publication to authors, or to inform them that fees are now in place at some point between submission and publication. I do not mean to suggest that these journals have any intention of deceiving authors, merely to point out that this is conflicting information and authors and payers reading the website information do not have a clear indication as to whether or not there is a charge. Two other journals S.H. indicates have appropriate APC information continue to post this conflicting information, that APCs are levied but currently waived.

Highlights from S.H. of Copernicus’ comments: “Currently waived” journals either plan to institute APCs or that have not yet decided whether to use this model or not and wish to keep their options open. “Cost not found” in the case of Copernicus journals (a category I use when I cannot find any information indicating whether there is or is not a cost) means that publishing in the journal is free of charge [Earth System Science Data and Soil].

Data will be updated before it is included in the main spreadsheet (to be completed and released later this year).

Update July 6, 2016: I retract my statement on tripling of page charges thanks to new evidence indicating that the difference reflects a change in the stage at which papers are assessed (now final publication stage generally one-third the pages of discussion paper stage). The change is intended to be revenue-neutral but more data from APC payers would be needed to confirm this. 2015 data from the Open APC project includes values for 2 journals with papers at both stages, and prices paid are 17-24% higher for papers at the final publication stage. I re-affirm my assessment of the volatility of the APC market. I found 6 journals with APCs indicated “currently waived”, presumably journals that will charge APCs of unknown quantities in future. I found 4 journals that referred to APCs without specifying the cost and 2 journals with no indication of whether or not there is a cost. This is a very substantial percentage of Copernicus’ journals for which the answer to the questions “is there an APC or APPC, and if so, how much is it?” is not available on the Copernicus’ website. I regard Copernicus as a model OA publisher. It is likely that this situation reflects journals that would rather not charge APCs, feel they must charge APCs but are not sure how much to charge, etc., rather than deliberate obfuscation. New evidence and the original post follow.

New evidence

Thanks to Copernicus’ Xenia van Edig for a clarification posted to the Global Open Access List and inthe comments section below. According to Xenia, the tripling of per-page pricing does not impact the article pricing as this represents a change in timing of assessment of charges. Previously, charges were assessed at the discussion paper stage, now they are assessed at the final publication stage, where articles are typically one third of the length.This makes sense and my 2015 data does refer to costing at the discussion stage. It is clear to me that Copernicus aims to be fully open and transparent about article processing charges. I recommend that Copernicus and its partners review the website information for the journals listed below (second chart) indicated “cost not found” or “cost not specified”.

Dirk Pieper on the GOAL list points to an open APC server for server payers of APCs and indicates that their data does not confirm tripling of prices. A review of the OLAC server data for Copernicus for 2015 and 2016 does suggest that the primary difference in pricing is paper stage (final v. discussion). However, only 16 Copernicus articles are listed for 2016. I have not checked to see if all are from the journals with this change in pricing; of those with this change in pricing, any submitted before December 31, 2015 would have been assessed at the discussion paper stage. This data is far from conclusive. From the 2015 data, there are 2 journals for which mean APCs are available for both Discussion Papers and the final publication stage. The mean value for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics is €1.543 compared to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions at € 1.32. There is a 17% difference, with the 2016 final paper model representing the higher value. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques’ mean value is € 1.34 compared to Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions at € 1.09, a 24% difference. This data suggests that the change in timing of assessment of charges may not be price neutral, although this is not enough data to come to any conclusions about direction or net impact of the change.

Original post and update

Update July 5, 2016: thanks to astute readers for asking questions about the calculations. It may not be easy to follow as we’re used to much smaller price increase – a 3% increase from year to the next, not 300%! I’ve added more detail below which should make this easier to understand. Further questions are welcome.

On June 1, 2016, German-based commercial open access publisher Copernicus endorsed OA2020, an “an international initiative to support the swift, smooth, and scholarly oriented transformation of journals from print subscription to open-access publishing”.  Half of Copernicus’ journals (12) for which we have numeric data for both 2015 and 2016 tripled or in some cases quadrupled their page charges from 2015 to 2016. Coincidence? The rest of this group of journals (10 journals) showed no change in price or modest increases. There were 18 journals for which I found no data with which to compare. Of these, 1 is clearly sponsored and free of charge; 6 are “currently waived”; 4 are “cost not specified”, i.e. the website indicates a charge will be applied but the amount is not given; 3 are “no cost found”, i.e. presumably free but no clear language to confirm; 3 are “title not found” and 1 title that was free last year began to implement charges in 2016. Following are comments: in brief, the price changes illustrate what I call the volatility of the market suggesting it may be too early for OA2020 as pricing is not stable, and I suggest that the topics of many of the journals which touch on things like drinking water quality, climate change and ocean science, would support an argument for public sponsorship of research dissemination in these areas that are important public priorities in the present and near future. Full data is available in charts below.


Copernicus is a highly regarded and innovative open access publisher with an innovative model where prices reflect the work involved (pricing varies with size of article, format of submission and whether the author uses the publishers’ template). Even after the tripling of prices most of the fees for these journals are fairly modest, e.g. a 10-page article in the preferred format using the publisher’s template adds up to less than a thousand Euros. However, this data illustrates what I describe as the continuing volatility of this market. Libraries and others that might be payers of article page processing charges tend to have fixed budgets that do not easily accommodate tripling of prices or sudden institution of pricing for “currently waived” journals. To illustrate: if a library budgeted based on 2015 prices and then prices on average triple in 2016, the fund will run out 1/3 of the way through the year.

The topics of some of the journals suggest to me the advisability of public sponsorship of at least some of these journals that are publishing in key public good priorities for the present and near future, for example Drinking Water Engineering and Science, Climate of the Past, and Ocean Science (all journals that tripled in price this year). It is great to see that these journals are open access, but if anyone has the ability and inclination to grow our knowledge on how to care for our water, climate, or oceans, let’s not let page charges stand in the way of disseminating the research.

The following chart illustrates APPC (article page processing charges) for all the journals for which we have numeric data for both 2015 and 2016. In reading the % change column, 100% means no price change, 300% means the price tripled and 400% means the price quadrupled.

Update July 5: I’ve added a column to the chart below on the right hand side which explains in plain language the difference in price between 2015 and 2016. A 400% change is a quadrupling of price. If your rent was $1,000 last year and increased to $4,000 this year, that’s 4 times higher. This is easiest to see and understanding with the journals that tripled in price from 25 EUR per page to 75 EUR per page. 25 X 3 = 75.

For many of these journals, to their credit Copernicus has posted pricing for articles submitted in both 2015 and 2016. To illustrate let’s look at one of these journals, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The APCs are currently posted here and a PDF copy can be found here ACP – Article processing charges 2016 06 15 (created because Copernicus is likely to update their APC page at some point in the future).

Here are the APC details, an extract copied from the ACP website as of July 5, 2016 (without formatting, extracted to facilitate comparison). The following illustrates that the price for every category is precisely 3 times higher after January 2016 than it was before December 2016. Category 1 jumps from €25 to €75. Category 2 jumps from €30 to €90. Category 3 jumps from €35 to €105. Category 4 jumps from €40 to €120. Not every journal follows this pattern precisely, but it is a repeated pattern. I encourage readers to look at the APCs on the Copernicus journal sites to see for yourselves.

Discussion papers published before 31 December 2015
Price per discussion page
Category 1 €25 net LaTeX submissions using the Copernicus Publications LaTeX Package
Category 2 €30 net Word submissions using the Copernicus Publications Word Template
Category 3 €35 net LaTeX submissions causing higher expenditure of work due to any LaTeX style and/or difficulties with tables/figures
Category 4 €40 net Word submissions causing higher expenditure of work due to any Word
style and/or difficulties with tables/figures

Discussion papers published after 1 January 2016
Price per journal page
Category 1 €75 net LaTeX submissions using the Copernicus Publications LaTeX Package
Category 2 €90 net Word submissions using the Copernicus Publications Word Template
Category 3 €105 net LaTeX submissions causing higher expenditure of work…
Category 4 €120 net Word submissions causing higher expenditure of work…

Copernicus APPC (*category 1 where multiple prices exist) 2016 / 2015
Title 2016 APPC as of June 15, 2016 (EUR) * 2015 05 15 (APPC) (EUR) * Price increase in EUR 2016 – 2015 Price ratio 2016/2015 in % Plain language price ratio from 2015 to 2016
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 75 17 58 441% more than quadrupled
Solid Earth 75 17 58 441% more than quadrupled
Drinking Water Engineering and Science 69 20 49 345% more than tripled
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 75 25 50 300% tripled
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 75 25 50 300% tripled
Biogeosciences 75 25 50 300% tripled
Climate of the Past 75 25 50 300% tripled
Geoscientific Model Development 75 25 50 300% tripled
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 75 25 50 300% tripled
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 75 25 50 300% tripled
Ocean Science (OS) 75 25 50 300% tripled
The Cryosphere 75 25 50 300% tripled
Advances in Radio Science : Kleinheubacher Berichte 26 25 1 104% slight increase
Advances in Science and Research 26 25 1 104% slight increase
ASTRA Proceedings 31 30 1 103% slight increase
Advances in Geosciences 31 31 0 100% no change
Annales Geophysicae 45 45 0 100% no change
Fossil Record 50 50 0 100% no change
Mechanical Sciences 45 45 0 100% no change
Primate Biology 55 55 0 100% no change
Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences 35 35 0 100% no change
Stephan Mueller Special Publication Series 25 25 0 100% no change
Geothermal Energy Science 60 57.5 2.5 104% no change
Average percentage change 219%

The following chart provides data for journals for which we do not have numeric data for both 2015 and 2016. Note that Copernicus has a number of journals which have associated journals that are called Discussions; these are actually early release of the journals with the same name and are not included here.

Title 2016 APPC as of June 15, 2016 (EUR) *
Earth System Dynamics 50
Geographical Research Abstracts abstracts of conference papers – no cost found
Earth Surface Dynamics cost not specified
Earth System Science Data cost not specified
Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems cost not specified
SOIL cost not specified
Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography currently waived
Archives Animal Breeding currently waived
Geographica Helvetica currently waived
Journal of Sensors and Sensor Systems currently waived
Web Ecology currently waived
Wind Energy Science currently waived
Scientific Drilling free of charge
History of Geo- and Space Sciences no cost found
ISPRS Archives and Annuals no cost found
Animal Breeding title not found
Social Geography (SG) title not found
Astrophysics and Space Sciences Transactions (ASTRA) title not found – see ASTRA


Walt Crawford’s Gold Open Access Journals 2011 – 2015

Walt Crawford has released his data and book Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015. For explanations on the different versions and links to download, go to Crawford’s website http://waltcrawford.name/goaj.html

Selected key findings:

  • Of the 10,324 fully open access journals listed in DOAJ studied by Crawford as of December 31, 2015, 71% do not charge article processing fees. This is an important contribution to our understanding as previous information from DOAJ only went up to 2013.
  • These 10,324 journals collectively published 566,922 articles in 2015 alone. This data was derived from counting the articles on each journal’s website, and is another major contribution of this work. This count is more accurate than relying on DOAJ metadata for article count which reflects the limitations of not all journals being able to supplement metadata and not all journals supplying metadata are able to supply correct metadata for year of publication.
  • 44% of the articles published in 2015 were published by no-fee journals.


This selection of key findings reflects the summary data most pertinent to the SKC OA APC project; I encourage readers to go to the book and download the data for answers to other questions that may more relevant for you.

Kudos and thanks to Walt Crawford for doing this work and freely sharing both the data and the book and to SPARC  for supporting this work. Disclosure: Crawford provided us with an early version of his spreadsheet which we are incorporating into our own longitudinal study. One illustration of the value of this is that having the ability to identify free-to-publish journals as of 2015 will enable comparisons of free and APC journals using our longitudinal data and the DOAJ metadata once our 2016 spreadsheet is complete (likely this fall). Also although there are important difference between our data, there are enough similarities that we will be able to use a considerable amount of Crawford’s data in lieu of doing the work ourselves, for example in the case of fairly stable publishers with straightforward APCs in USD. This behind-the-scenes collaboration is one of the reasons our team has been able to forge ahead with individual publisher case studies this year and even include selected open/hybrid comparisons. If anyone is looking for examples of the benefits of collaboration and open sharing, you might consider adding this one to your list.