Article processing charge


#1

This is a proposed new standard glossary term. See this post for background on this review track. To comment on the term below either click the blue “Reply” button at the bottom or select a passage of text in the term and click the “Quote” pop-up to create a comment about that section only.

Short Definition: Fee paid to journals to publish an article as open access.

Extended Definition: Fee paid to journals to publish an article as open access (OA). They are most often paid by the author’s institutions or research funder. The article processing charge (APC) covers the publisher’s processing and publishing costs for the OA article and to generate income. An APC is an alternative method of covering costs and income generation to the traditional subscription model of payment to access or receive journal content. Not all OA or hybrid journals charge an APC for OA publication: some use other models to cover costs such as sponsorship. In reputable journals APCs differ from vanity publishing because of robust quality control such as peer review that precedes publication.

Synonyms: APC; Article Processing Fee; Publication charge

Acronym: APC

Related Terms: http://dictionary.casrai.org/APC_Payment

Sources: Jisc: Article processing charges (APCs) and subscriptions

Term Lead: CASRAI Editor


#2

Given the vast range of APCs charged, I am not sure we should be speculating as to what costs APCs “cover”. This presumably depends upon a number of factors including the perceived esteem of the journal.

I think it would be enough for the definition to say it is a fee charged by journal publishers to authors (or authors’ institutions) to make a work available open access, and that it is an alternative business model to the traditional subscription model.


#3

This is incorrect with respect to the journal F1000Research. Namely, peer review does not have to precede publication, and that journals such as F1000Research that charge an APC before peer review are not necessarily “vanity” publishers.


#4

I heartily agree with dgyoung’s point here. It is too generous to assume that APC’s are actually used to “cover” any ‘costs’ at some journals. The definition should merely state that APC’s are charged by some journals, in some cases (bearing in mind the availability of fee waivers at some journals), as part of the publishing agreement signed between the authors and the publisher.


#5

suggestion for a similar term: Book Processing Charge

We have some doubt about this statement: "In reputable journals APCs differ from vanity publishing because of robust quality control such as peer review that precedes publication."
because there are Open Access journals with very high reputations that do not apply an APC and also perform peer review.
Most scientific journals in Latin America for instance have peer review and do not charge APC, are supported by the universities and science agencies themselves.

Why is “Publication charge” a synonym for Article processing charge ?


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