Article processing charges for open access publication—the situation for research intensive universities in the USA and Canada

Authors : David Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk


Open access (OA) publishing via article processing charges (APCs) is growing as an alternative to subscription publishing.

The Pay It Forward (PIF) Project is exploring the feasibility of transitioning from paying subscriptions to funding APCs for faculty at research intensive universities.

Estimating of the cost of APCs for the journals authors at research intensive universities tend to publish is essential for the PIF project and similar initiatives. This paper presents our research into this question.


We identified APC prices for publications by authors at the 4 research intensive United States (US) and Canadian universities involved in the study.

We also obtained APC payment records from several Western European universities and funding agencies. Both data sets were merged with Web of Science (WoS) metadata. We calculated the average APCs for articles and proceedings in 13 discipline categories published by researchers at research intensive universities.

We also identified 41 journals published by traditionally subscription publishers which have recently converted to APC funded OA and recorded the APCs they charge.


We identified 7,629 payment records from the 4 European APC payment databases and 14,356 OA articles authored by PIF partner university faculty for which we had listed APC prices.

APCs for full OA journals published by PIF authors averaged 1,775 USD; full OA journal APCs paid by Western European funders averaged 1,865 USD; hybrid APCs paid by Western European funders averaged 2,887 USD.

The APC for converted journals published by major subscription publishers averaged 1,825 USD. APC funded OA is concentrated in the life and basic sciences.

APCs funded articles in the social sciences and humanities are often multidisciplinary and published in journals such as PLOS ONE that largely publish in the life sciences.


Full OA journal APCs average a little under 2,000 USD while hybrid articles average about 3,000 USD for publications by researchers at research intensive universities.

There is a lack of information on discipline differences in APCs due to the concentration of APC funded publications in a few fields and the multidisciplinary nature of research.

URL : Article processing charges for open access publication—the situation for research intensive universities in the USA and Canada


ARL Libraries and Research: Correlates of Grant Funding

Author : Ryan P. Womack

While providing the resources and tools that make advanced research possible is a primary mission of academic libraries at large research universities, many other elements also contribute to the success of the research enterprise, such as institutional funding, staffing, labs, and equipment.

This study focuses on U.S. members of the ARL, the Association for Research Libraries. Research success is measured by the total grant funding received by the University, creating an ordered set of categories.

Combining data from the NSF National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, ARL Statistics, and IPEDS, the primary explanatory factors for research success are examined.

Using linear regression, logistic regression, and the cumulative logit model, the best-fitting models generated by ARL data, NSF data, and the combined data set for both nominal and per capita funding are compared. These models produce the most relevant explanatory variables for research funding, which do not include library-related variables in most cases.


How Does National Scientific Funding Support Emerging Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison Study of Big Data Research in the US and China

Authors : Ying Huang, Yi Zhang, Jan Youtie, Alan L. Porter, Xuefeng Wang

How do funding agencies ramp-up their capabilities to support research in a rapidly emerging area?

This paper addresses this question through a comparison of research proposals awarded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in the field of Big Data.

Big data is characterized by its size and difficulties in capturing, curating, managing and processing it in reasonable periods of time. Although Big Data has its legacy in longstanding information technology research, the field grew very rapidly over a short period.

We find that the extent of interdisciplinarity is a key aspect in how these funding agencies address the rise of Big Data. Our results show that both agencies have been able to marshal funding to support Big Data research in multiple areas, but the NSF relies to a greater extent on multi-program funding from different fields.

We discuss how these interdisciplinary approaches reflect the research hot-spots and innovation pathways in these two countries.

URL : How Does National Scientific Funding Support Emerging Interdisciplinary Research: A Comparison Study of Big Data Research in the US and China

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0154509

E-books: Histories, trajectories, futures

« This essay traces the historical trajectory of e-books in the U.S. and imagines their possible futures. Legal, economic, and technical developments that led to contemporary e-books reveal a tension between commercial and non-commercial programming. Commercial e-book designs control end uses, reduce production and distribution costs, stimulate consumption, and monitor user behaviors; however, alternative producers and users on the periphery continue to challenge these centralizing tendencies. »


The future of scholarly communication US efforts to…

The future of scholarly communication: US efforts to bring warring factions to common purpose in support of scholarship :

« Key stakeholders in scholarly communication have been at odds over the purpose, mission and business models of publishing. This piece reviews developments in the United States but with a particular focus on efforts at reestablishing common purpose, such as (1) the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable created in June 2009 by the Chairman of Science and Technology Committee of the US House of Representatives; (2) the Task force of the Association of American Universities and Association of Research Libraries established in 2012 to focus on university presses, scholarly journals and institutional repositories; and (3) the Office of Science and Technology Policy Memorandum of February 22, 2013 on Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research. »


Legal Issues in Mass Digitization A Preliminary Analysis…

Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document :

« This Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document (the “Analysis”) addresses the issues raised by the intersection between copyright law and the mass digitization of books. The Copyright Office (the “Office”) has prepared this Analysis for the purpose of facilitating further discussion among the affected parties and the public – discussions that may encompass a number of possible approaches, including voluntary initiatives, legislative options, or both.

On March 22, 2011, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a proposed settlement of the class action lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and a related suit by book publishers against Google for the mass digitization of books in several large U.S. libraries. The court ruled that the class action settlement would have redefined the relationship between copyright law and new technology, and encroached upon Congress’s ability to set copyright policy with respect to orphan works. Subsequently, on September 12, 2011, the Authors Guild and several prominent authors sued five university libraries that participated in Google’s mass digitization project as well as a library consortium known as the HathiTrust after the universities announced their intention to offer access to some of the book scans Google had provided to them.

These developments have sparked public debate on the risks and opportunities that mass book digitization may create for authors, publishers, libraries, technology companies, the general public, and the corresponding legal framework. The questions are many: What mass digitization projects are currently underway in the United States? What are the objectives and who are the intended beneficiaries? How are the exclusive rights of copyright owners implicated? What exceptions or limitations may apply, to whom, and in what circumstances? To the extent there are public policy goals at issue, what could Congress do to facilitate or control the boundaries of mass digitization projects? Would orphan works legislation help? Are efficient and costeffective licensing options available? Could Congress encourage or even require new licensing schemes for mass digitization? Could it provide direction and oversight to authors, publishers,
libraries, and technology companies as they explore solutions? Indeed, these stakeholders may be in the best position to find points of consensus and create strategies for the U.S. book and library sectors.

The issues discussed in this Analysis are complex and require public discussion. The Office recognizes that the Google Books proceeding, initiated more than six years ago, and the recently filed lawsuit involving the HathiTrust Digital Library will continue to influence the public debate over mass digitization. International developments may also contribute to the debate in the United States. Although the marketplace and the issues will continue to evolve, the Office believes there is sufficient information to undertake an intense public discussion about the broader policy implications of mass book digitization. By necessity, this discussion must address the relationship between the emerging digital marketplace and the existing copyright framework. »


DataStaR A Data Sharing and Publication Infrastructure to…

DataStaR: A Data Sharing and Publication Infrastructure to Support Research :

« DataStaR, a Data Staging Repository ( in development at Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library (Ithaca, New York USA), is intended to support collaboration and data sharing among researchers during the research process, and to promote publishing or archiving data and high-quality metadata to discipline-specific data centers and/or institutional repositories. Researchers may store and share data with selected colleagues, select a repository for data publication, create high quality metadata in the formats required by external repositories and Cornell’s institutional repository, and obtain help from data librarians with any of these tasks. To facilitate cross-domain interoperability and flexibility in metadata management, we employ semantic web technologies as part of DataStaR’s metadata infrastructure. This paper describes the overall design of the system, the work to date with Cornell researchers and their data sets, and possibilities for extending DataStaR for use in international agriculture research..