Open access (OA) journals are peer-reviewed journals whose publications are free for anybody with an internet connection. They follow a workflow that is similar to traditional journals with the key difference being that they follow an author-pay model. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) provides a list of all OA journals that maintain a good standard of publication. One should be wary of predatory journals that follow a pay-to-publish model and do not provide the services that they promise.
What Is APC/BPC?
Article publishing charge (APC) is collected by journals with gold OA. This fee covers the cost of publishing services that ensure the quality and impact of journal publications. Traditional journals depend on subscription fees paid by readers, whereas OA journals depend on APCs paid by authors or their institutions or funders. OA monographs in humanities and social sciences have a similar fee called book processing charge (BPC).
Funding Options for OA Publishing
Even though it is a common assumption that all OA journals charge APCs, most of them do not. Of the 18,443 OA journals listed in the DOAJ, 12,720 OA journals do not charge APC. As an author, what can you do to opt for golden OA? Below are a few OA funding options that you can use to reduce the financial burden. Make sure you read the funding policies of the affiliated institution and the publisher to select the best option for your research article.
1. National or international funding body
Many funders allow money from research grants to be directed to APCs. Funders who mandate open access usually prefer publishing under Creative Commons licensing.
2. Publishing agreements
Institutions often partner with publishers to get exclusive benefits. Researchers affiliated with institutions that are in such agreements may enjoy perks like reduced or no APC.
3. Research funders and grant application
Some funders allow authors to include the publishing charges in the budget itself. Researchers have to confirm and include APCs at the time of application itself, and it can be reimbursed later.
4. Institutional funds and memberships
Some universities/institutions/departments have separate funds for researchers/faculty who wish to publish with OA. Institutional libraries with memberships may have benefits that researchers can utilize.
5. Discounts and waivers
Publishers offer discounts and waivers based on the countries or economic backgrounds that the authors are from. Some do not charge APCs for researchers from developing countries. These details have to be mentioned at the time of manuscript submission. Authors who do not fall under these categories can still apply and get discretionary waivers.
6. OA funds
Early-career researchers, graduates, and young professors may not have access to grant funds. They can reach out to general OA resources. Sherpa, SPARC, and Open Access Directory are databases with information about OA funders.
Amnet has curated services for OA workflows at Enable OA (https://enableoa.amnet.com/). Check out our technology-driven digital solutions for the publishing industry. Reach out to our experts for a demo, or get a quote for your publishing requirements.