[IRTalk] Article processing charges (APCs) and subscriptions

Ina Smith Ina at assaf.org.za
Thu Jul 28 14:49:01 SAST 2016

Article processing charges (APCs) and subscriptions (JISC)


Executive summary

 *   The number of article processing charges (APCs) paid doubled between 2013 and 2014. Growth remained strong in 2015, but slowed in part due to limited room for growth in institutions' internal budgets
 *   The average APC has increased by 6% over the past two years, a rise well above the cost of inflation
 *   Publishers' APC costs are converging to a more uniform price range, although they still vary widely. Journals with low APCs are raising their prices, perhaps to avoid being perceived as low quality following expectations set by the Finch report<http://www.researchinfonet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Finch-Group-report-FINAL-VERSION.pdf>
 *   APC expenditure is unevenly distributed between publishers, with the lion's share of income distributed among a handful of major publishers
 *   Elsevier<https://www.elsevier.com/>, the one major publisher with no offset deal in place, has seen high growth. This shows that there is currently no penalty for publishers who reject offsetting deals
 *   It is difficult to assess the true cost of APCs paid for through offset and voucher schemes and these are often recorded at £0. Jisc plans to work closely with funders, institutions, and publishers to ensure that these costs are accurately recorded in the future
 *   APCs are increasingly moving towards high-end imprints such as Nature<http://www.nature.com/index.html> and Cell<http://www.cell.com/> or fully open access publishers such as Public Library of Science (PLoS)<https://www.plos.org/>
 *   The majority of APCs are paid to hybrid journals, and hybrid APC pricing is higher on average than full open access (OA) journals'. However, the average APC of OA journals is rising more quickly than that of fully hybrid journals. This is partly due to increases in average APCs for certain popular open access journals, and partly to shifts towards expensive full OA journals
 *   The most common licence is CC BY
 *   Subscription expenditure is taking up an increased proportion of libraries' budgets
 *   The estimated journal subscription expenditure for 2014 is £180m
 *   APCs make up 12% of institutions' total expenditure on journals

Ina Smith
SciELO Planning Manager
Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)

[cid:image001.gif at 01D1E8DF.2D2CB230]<http://orcid.org/>  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9710-3668
LIASA Exco Convener ICT Development (2014-2016)
LIASA HELIG Chair (2014-2016)

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Email: ina at assaf.org.za<mailto:ina at assaf.org.za>

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