Global OA APCs (APC) 2010–2017: Major Trends

Author : Heather Morrison

The open access (OA) article processing charges (APC) project is a longitudinal study of the minority of fully OA journals (27% in 2016) that have APCs. The global average APC shows little change; in USD, 906 in 2010, 964 in 2016, 974 in 2017.

The average masks currency differences and the impact of a growing market; new APC journals often start with an APC of 0. Traditional commercial scholarly publishers are entering the OA market: the largest OA journal publishers’ portfolios in 2017 were Springer, De Gruyter, Elsevier, and Wolters Kluwer Medknow.

However, these are a small portion of OA journal publishing which is still marked by a very long tail and extensive involvement by very small, often university or society publishers. APC pricing shows a wide range and variability. The APC market can be described as volatile.


Elsevier: Among the World’s Largest Open Access Publishers as of 2016

Author : Heather Morrison

Highlights of this broad-brush case study of Elsevier’s Open Access (OA) journals as of 2016: Elsevier offers 511 fully OA journals and 2,149 hybrids. Most fully OA journals do not charge article processing charges (APCs). APCs of fully OA journals average $660 US ($1,731 excluding no-fee journals); hybrid OA averages $2,500.

A practice termed author nominal copyright is observed, where copyright is in the name of the author although the author contract is essentially a copyright transfer. The prospects for a full Elsevier flip to OA via APC payments for articles going forward are considered and found to be problematic.


Small scholar-led scholarly journals: Can they survive and thrive in an open access future?

Author : Heather Morrison

This article presents early results of a research project designed to further our understanding of how to ensure that small scholar-led journals can survive and thrive in a global open access knowledge commons.

This phase of the research focuses on generation of ideas through interviews and focus groups with 15 participants involved in producing small scholar-led journals that either are or would like to become open access.

Although a couple of journals reported that they could survive in an open access future based on existing resources, most were concerned about survival and none expressed confidence that they could thrive in an open-access future.

These journals are far more diverse than one might imagine. Comparing the costs of article production from one journal with another might not make sense. A number of avenues for further research are discussed.

URL : Small scholar-led scholarly journals: Can they survive and thrive in an open access future?

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