Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Forthcoming research: tracking open access article processing fees

In the interests of open research, here is a project that I'm considering for the near future. To avoid any confusion, please remember that the vast majority of open access journals do not charge article processing fees. The purpose of this research is to track the fees themselves for those journals that do, to note evidence of competition (e.g. new low-cost approaches), reactions of publishers to substantive surpluses (such as PLoS' apparent comfort with retaining current prices in spite of a 23% surplus, and to establish a benchmark for existing article processing fees and to track these over time, similar to the Library Journals Serials Price Survey, to keep an eye out for unwarranted price increases. 

 At this point in this process, it would be most helpful to know:
  • is anyone else already doing this?
  • is anyone considering doing this (if so, are they interested in collaborating?)
  • tips to make this work of obtaining lists of article processing fees easier
  • links to information about article processing fee levels
Comments welcome. Please note the IJPE commenting policy: this is a scholarly blog. Comments must be attributed (get in touch with me off-blog if you have a substantial comment and a good reason to request confidentiality), and any potential conflicts of interest must be noted. For example, if you are involved with a publisher / journal that charges OA article processing fees, this should be stated in your comment.

Update October 3 - on the open research approach - so far, in less than 24 hours, I have substantive comments via e-mail from 4 experts in the field, including one with an interest in collaborating. I will limit acknowledgements at this point to comments posted to public lists or at the request of the contributor in the case of personal e-mails, but wanted to note that from my perspective the open approach on this project is already succeeding - but please keep the comments and suggestions coming!

Thanks to Andrew Adams on the GOAL Open Access List:


The ACM, a major scholarly society publisher in computer science, set it APCs 
for hybrid gold journals (and hybrid gold for its fully-refereed conference 
proceedings, an unusual element of computer science research whereby full 
papers are reviewed for conference which produce proceedings which are of 
equivalent status to journals, in some cases being the premiere publication 
locus in a field) by reference explicitly not to the costs it incurs for 
articles but at the "low end of commercial publishing rates". They are 
looking at their entire business model (which currently has publishing as a 
major income line but which they admit is an uncertain basis on which to 
proceed) over the next few months but any changes to this will not be quick. 
There are groups within ACM pushing for cost-receovery only on APCs including 
breaks for under-resourced authors (including but not limited to those from 
developing economies).

References / Bibliography

Solomon, D. J. and Björk, B.-C. (2012), A study of open access journals using article processing charges. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 63: 1485–1495. doi: 10.1002/asi.22673

Peterson, AT, Emmett, A, Greenberg, ML. (2013). Open Access and the Author-Pays Problem: Assuring Access for Readers and Authors in a Global Community of Scholars. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1(3):eP1064.

Second update October 4 - thanks to Leslie Chan on the GOAL Open Access List:

You probably came across this already, but just in case:

Marcin Kozak and James Hartley, Publication fees for open access journals:
Different disciplinesfor Information Science and Technology
Article first published online: 18 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/asi.22972

Not OA!



This post is part of the essential efficiences series.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Heather. Good project. Once you start, I hope you'll add it to the OAD list of research in progress [ ]. That will alert others that the project is under way and, if you like, help recruit partners.


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