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Open Access Publishing Fees: case studies

Here are two case studies – one of a publisher whose portfolio consits almost entirely of Open Access journals (BioMed Central) and one of a subscription-model publisher who offers authors the option of paying to have their particular article made Open Access in an otherwise Toll Access (subscription-based) journal (Springer).

BioMed Central

BioMed Central is an Open Access publisher that publishes scientific and medical databases, review journals and 197 peer-reviewed research journals in the fields of biology and medicine. The article-processing fees range from no charge to €1580 (US $2095) depending on the journal, with an average cost of €1025 (US $1360) per article. A list of the fees for all BioMed Central journals is available on their website.

If the submitting author’s organisation is a BioMed Central member, the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership, and no further charge is payable. In the case of authors whose institutions are supporter members of BioMed Central, a discounted article-processing charge is payable by the author. Submitters can review a list of membership institutions.

There are no fees for submitting articles, only for articles that have been accepted for publication. For those who cannot pay fees, individual waiver requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and may be granted. Authors must apply for a waiver during the submission process and a decision on the waiver will normally be made within two working days.

Following peer review, once a manuscript has received editorial acceptance in principle, the article-processing charge becomes payable, and copy editing of the manuscript will begin. The submitter of the manuscript is responsible for making or arranging payment of the fee. Once payment has been received, the article will be published.

Some funding agencies and institutions have set up special funds for use by authors to pay article processing fees. BioMed Central maintains a list of these on the website.

Springer Open Choice
Springer is a subscription-based publisher that offers an Open Access option for authors through an article-processing fee. The fee for making an article Open Access is $3000 US regardless of which journal it is. This fee does not include any surcharges that also may also apply.
Upon acceptance for publication, authors can sign up for Open Access via the online Springer Open Choice order form. The order must be placed and the fee paid prior to publication. Springer Open Choice may also be ordered by the author or the author’s institution directly via Springer.com. Authors are required to certify that they are the original authors and vouch for the integrity and lawfulness of the articles. When authors opt for Springer Open Choice to publish their articles they retain their copyright but are required to agree to the Springer Open Choice License. Articles are then published.
Springer Open Choice articles will be identified as freely available with Open Access on SpringerLink, and in the print editions. Springer will also indicate in the metadata for all Springer Open Choice articles that these articles are freely available from the publisher’s site.

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