Monday, December 09, 2013

Open access publishing by APC: dominated by the commercial sector

To put this post in context: Beall just published an article in Triple C claiming, among other things, that "the open access movement is an anti-corporatist movement". This just doesn't make sense. Beall's focus is on the subset of the OA movement that uses open access article processing fees. This segment of open access journal publishing is actually heavily dominated by the commercial sector. For example, based on our research-in-progress, the 14 largest publishers in DOAJ "with article processing charge" (publishers with 20 or more journals) appear to be all commercial companies. (If this is not correct please let me know).

Update December 10th: I'd like to note that the number of journals published is not necessarily the same as the size or importance of an open access publisher using this particular business model. For example, while Public Library of Science publishes a relatively small number of journals, PLoS ONE is the world's largest scholarly journal in terms of number of articles published, and that by a wide margin. Also if the full impact of a publisher including qualitative measures is taken into account, PLoS' essential role in advocacy would arguably make it the most notable publisher in this category, at least in my opinion. ~ Heather 

Data thanks to César Villamizar

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Publisher Using OA APCs
# journals
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
430
BioMed Central
235
Scientific Research Publishing
119
Bentham open
106
Dove Medical Press
91
Libertas Academica
61
Springer
60
MDPI AG
46
Internet Scientific Publications, LLC
45
Canadian Center of Science and Education
34
Frontiers Media
30
Hans Publishers
25
Asian Network for Scientific Information
23
Co-Action Publishing
21
Total
1,326


In total, these publishers account for 1,326 of the 2,637journals listed in DOAJ "with article processing charge". The total percentage of journals using APCs that are commercial in nature has not been calculated, but will be more than 50% as many of the smaller publishers are also commercial in nature. Note that these 2,637 journals "with article processing charge" represent only 26% of the close to 10 thousand journals listed in DOAJ - and open access journal publishing is only one of the means of providing open access, along with open access archiving.

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