Article Processing Charge Hyperinflation and Price Insensitivity: An Open Access Sequel to the Serials Crisis

Author: Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo

Open access publishing has frequently been proposed as a solution to the serials crisis, which involved unsustainable budgetary pressures on libraries due to hyperinflation of subscription costs. The majority of open access articles are published in a minority of journals that levy article processing charges (APCs) paid by authors or their institutions upon acceptance.

Increases in APCs is proceeding at a rate three times that which would be expected if APCs were indexed according to inflation. As increasingly ambitious funder mandates are proposed, such as Plan S, it is important to evaluate whether authors show signs of price sensitivity in journal selection by avoiding journals that introduce or increase their APCs.

Examining journals that introduced an APC 4-5 years after launch or when flipping from a subscription model to immediate open access model showed no evidence that APC introduction reduced article volumes.

Multilevel modelling of APC sensitivity across 319 journals published by the four largest APC-funded dedicated commercial open access publishers (BMC, Frontiers, MDPI, and Hindawi) revealed that from 2012 to 2018 higher APCs were actually associated with increased article volumes.

These findings indicate that APC hyperinflation is not suppressed through market competition and author choice. Instead, demand for scholarly journal publications may be more similar to demand for necessities, or even prestige goods, which will support APC hyperinflation to the detriment of researchers, institutions, and funders.

URL : Article Processing Charge Hyperinflation and Price Insensitivity: An Open Access Sequel to the Serials Crisis

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10280

A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists

Authors: Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo, Belinda Po Pyn Lay

Research funders around the world have implemented open access policies that require funded research to be made open access, usually by self-archiving, within 12 months of publication.

Elsevier is unique among major science publishers because it produces several journals with non-compliant self-archiving embargoes of more than 12 months. We used Elsevier’s Scopus database to study the rate at which Australian and Canadian neuroscientists publish in Elsevier’s non-compliant (embargoes > 12 months) and compliant journals (embargoes ≤ 12 months).

We also examined publications in immediate open access neuroscience journals that had the DOAJ Seal and neuroscience publications in open access mega-journals. We found that the implementation of Australian and Canadian funder open access policies in 2012/2013 and 2015 did not reduce the number of publications in non-compliant journals.

Instead, scientific output in all publication types increased with the greatest growth in immediate open access journals. This data suggests that funder open access policies that are similar to the Australian and Canadian policies are likely to have little effect beyond an association with a general cultural trend towards open access.

URL : A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10252