Article processing charge
An article processing charge (APC), also known as a publication fee, is a fee which is sometimes charged to authors in order to publish an article in an academic journal. It is common in open access journals (hybrid or fully open) as well as in fully closed journals. This fee is usually paid by an author's institution or research funder rather than by the author themselves. It may be waived in cases of hardship.
Journals use a variety of ways to generate the income required to cover publishing costs, such as subsidies from institutions and subscriptions. A majority of open access journals do not charge article processing charges, but a significant and growing number of them do. They are the most common funding method for professionally published open access articles.
Different academic publishers have widely varying levels of fees, from under $100 to over $3,000. High fees are sometimes charged by traditional publishers in order to publish in a hybrid open access journal, which make an individual article in a subscription journal open access. The average APC for hybrid journals has been calculated to be almost twice as high as APCs from full open access publishers. Journals with high impact factors from major publishers tend to have the highest APCs. Many open access publishers, such as PLOS, waive their APCs for those who cannot afford to pay them.
Open access articles often have a surcharge compared to a closed-access APC; for example the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences regularly charges $1,700 per article, with a surcharge of $1,350 for open-access. Similarly, AGU's Journal of Geophysical Research charges $1000 for closed-access and $3500 for open-access.
Even when publishers do not charge standard fees, excess or overlength fees might still apply after a certain number of pages or publication units is exceeded; additional fees might exist for color figures, primarily for print journals that are not online-only.
While publication charges occur upon article acceptance, article submission fees are charged prior to the start of peer review; they are not uncommon among journals in, e.g., finance and economics. Page charge may refer to either publication or submission fees.
- Solomon, David J.; Björk, Bo-Christer (August 2012). "A study of open access journals using article processing charges". Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 63 (8): 1485–1495. doi:10.1002/asi.22673. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "The Potential Role for Intermediaries in Managing the Payment of Open Access Article Processing Charges (APCs)" (PDF). Research Information Network. October 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Richard Van Noorden, "Open access: The true cost of science publishing", Nature 495, 426–429 (28 March 2013) doi:10.1038/495426a 
- Suber, Peter (2012). Open access. MIT Press. pp. 138–139. ISBN 9780262517638.
- "Publication fees". PLOS. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Suber, Peter (2012). Open access. MIT Press. p. 136. ISBN 9780262517638.
- Kozak, Marcin; Hartley, James (December 2013). "Publication fees for open access journals: Different disciplines—different methods". Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 64 (12). doi:10.1002/asi.22972.
- Laakso, Mikael; Björk, Bo-Christer (2012). "Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure". BMC Medicine 10 (1): 124. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-124. PMC 3478161. PMID 23088823. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Björk, Bo-Christer; Solomon, David (2012). "Pricing principles used by Scholarly Open Access Publishers" (PDF). Learned Publishing 25 (3). Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Björk, Bo-Christer; Solomon, David (March 2014). "Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges" (PDF). Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- PNAS, Procedures for Submitting Manuscripts
- American Geophysical Union publication fee table
- "(IEEE) 2014 Voluntary Page and Overlength Article Charges" (PDF). Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- "Journals with Fees for Submitted Paper". Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Robert Kiley (2013). "Colour and page charges: results of a brief survey" (PDF).
- Curb, L. A., & Abramson, C.I. (2012) An examination of author-paid charges in science journals. Comprehensive Psychology, 1, 4. http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2466/01.17.CP.1.4
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