A study of Open Access Journals using article processing charges

David Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

209 Citations (Scopus)


Article Processing Charges (APC) are a central mechanism for funding Open Access (OA) scholarly publishing. We studied the APCs charged and article volumes of journals that were listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals as charging APCs. These included 1,405 journals that published an estimated 103,000 articles in 2010. The average charge was 582 USD (calculated over journals) and 887 US Dollars (USD) (calculated over articles). The price range varied between 20 and 3,800 USD, with the lowest prices charged by journals published in developing countries and the highest by journals with high impact factors from major international publishers. Journals in Biomedicine represent 59% of the sample and 58% of the total article volume. They also had the highest APCs of any discipline. Commercial journals had substantially higher APCs than society journals with an average APC of $1,119. These price estimates are lower than previous studies of OA publishing and much lower than is generally charged by subscription publishers making individual articles open access in what are termed hybrid journals.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1485-1495
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 06.07.2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • KOTA2012


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