Article processing charges: Mirroring the citation impact or legacy of the subscription-based model?

Author : Nina Schönfelder

With the ongoing open-access transformation, article processing charges (APCs) are gaining importance as one of the main business models for open-access publishing in scientific journals.

This paper analyzes how much of APC pricing can be attributed to journal-related factors. With UK data from OpenAPC (which aggregates fees paid for open-access articles by universities, funders, and research institutions), APCs are explained by the following variables: (1) the “source normalized impact per paper” (SNIP), (2) whether the journal is open access or hybrid, (3) the publisher of the journal, (4) the subject area of the journal, and (5) the year.

The results of the multivariate linear regression show that the journal’s impact and the hybrid status are the most important factors for the level of APCs. However, the relationship between APC and SNIP is different for open-access journals and hybrid journals.

APCs paid to open-access journals were found to be strongly increasing in conjunction with higher journal citation impact, whereas this relationship was observed to be much looser for articles in hybrid journals.

This paper goes beyond simple statistics, which have been discussed so far in the literature, by using control variables and applying statistical inference.

URL : Article processing charges: Mirroring the citation impact or legacy of the subscription-based model?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00015


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