Discrepancies in Open Access Fees within Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmaceutics Journals

Abstract:  Modern science has been transformed by open access (OA) publishing levied a significant economic burden on the authors. This article analyzes the discrepancies among OA publication fees in pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmaceutics. The observations comprise 160 OA journals and their corresponding Q ranking, SJR, H index, impact factor, country, and cost of publication. The OA fees were found to depend on the quality matrices, which was unexpected. Differences in OA fees raise ethical questions as OA fees are meant to cover the publication charges by the publishers or generate more revenues by taking advantage of the authors’ temptation to publish in high-impact journals. Despite our findings being based on limited sample size and belonging to a particular field (pharmacy), it will shed considerable light on the issue of discrepancies among APCs charged by OA journals.

BioOne announces Subscribe to Open Pilot | EurekAlert!

“BioOne, the leading nonprofit aggregator in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences, today announces a bold plan to offer up to 80 society titles as part of a Subscribe to Open (S2O) pilot beginning in January 2026.

This decision, unanimously endorsed by the BioOne Board of Directors, follows 18 months of careful feasibility analysis and extensive interviews with BioOne’s community of society and library partners in search of an equitable and sustainable path to open.

BioOne will work with its publishing community throughout 2024 to encourage participation in the pilot, enabling a rollout to the library market in 2025 for a 2026 volume year launch. The pilot offering will focus on those titles that are exclusively available to researchers via the aggregation BioOne Complete, representing societies, museums, research organizations, and independent presses across 15 countries. BioOne Complete will remain a mixed-model collection of subscribed, S2O, and gold OA titles.”

Editors quit diamond journal over author fees | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Dozens of editors and peer reviewers at a “diamond” journal have quit after the independent publication began charging author fees of £2,500…

In a LinkedIn post, Chris Glass, professor of practice in higher education at Boston College, announced his resignation as JIS’ editor-in-chief, warning that the introduction of article processing charges (APCs) meant that “our journal and community will be forever changed”.

Professor Glass said he was “not involved in the decision to transfer oversight of the journal” to a “new team overseeing editorial management”, which, he claimed, “does not share our journal’s historic commitment to open access”.

Numerous other editors have also quit, with the journal’s website no longer listing any of its four former section editors, 17 associate editors or its senior and special issues editors. Its list of peer reviewers is also reduced, while its editorial advisory board is not listed at all.”

Exploring the Dimensions of Scientific Impact: A Comprehensive Bibliometric Analysis Investigating the Influence of Gender, Mobility, and Open Access

Abstract: The Science of Science field advances the measurement, evaluation, and prediction of scientific outcomes through the study of extensive scholarly data. For these purposes, bibliometrics is an appropriate approach that studies large volumes of scientific data using mathematical and statistical methods, and is widely used to assess the impact of papers and authors within a specific field or community. However, conducting bibliometric analyses poses several methodological, technical, and informational challenges (e.g., collecting and cleaning data, calculating indicators) which need to be addressed. This thesis aims to tackle some of these challenges and shed light on the factors influencing scientific impact, specifically focusing on open access publishing, international mobility, and influential factors on the h-index. This thesis tackles methodological contributions, such as author disambiguation and co-authorship network analysis, as they provide insights into methodological and informational challenges within bibliometric analysis. Another methodological challenge addressed in this research is the inference of gender for a significant number of authors to obtain gender-related insights. By employing gender inference techniques, the research explores gender as an influential factor in scientific impact, shedding light on potential gender inequalities within the scholarly community. The research employs a bibliometric approach and utilizes mainly Scopus, a comprehensive dataset encompassing various disciplines to make the following contributions:

• We explore the impact of publishing behavior, particularly the adoption of open access practices, on knowledge dissemination and scholarly communication. With this intention, we investigate the impact of journals flipping from closed access to open access publishing models [74]. Changes in publication volumes and citation impact are analyzed, demonstrating an overall increase in publication output and improved citation metrics following the transition to open access. However, the magnitude of changes varies across scientific disciplines. In another study [76], we utilize a dataset of articles published by Springer Nature and employ correlation and regression analyses to examine the relationship between authors’ country affiliations, publishing models, and citation impact. Utilizing machine learning approach, we estimate the publishing model of papers based on different factors. The findings reveal different patterns in authors’ choices of publishing models based on income levels, availability of Article Processing Charges waivers, and journal rank. The study highlights potential inequalities in access to open access publishing and its citation advantage.

• We investigate the association between scholars’ mobility patterns, socio-demographic characteristics, and their scientific activity and impact. By utilizing network and regression analyses, along with various statistical techniques, we investigate the international mobility of researchers. Furthermore, we conduct a comparative analysis of scientific outcomes, considering factors such as publications, citations, and measures of co-authorship network centrality. The findings reveal gender inequalities in mobility across scientific fields and countries and positive correlations between mobility and scientific success.

• Centered on the prediction of scholars’ h-index as a metric of scientific impact, another one of our studies [77] employs machine learning techniques. We examine author, coauthorship, paper, and venue-specific characteristics, in addition to prior impact-based features. The results emphasize the significance of non-prior impact-based features, particularly for early-career scholars in the long term, while also revealing the limited influence of gender on h-index prediction. 

The findings of this research hold implications for researchers, academic institutions, and policymakers aiming to advance scientific knowledge and foster equitable practices. By unviii covering the influential factors that shape scientific impact and addressing potential gender disparities, this research contributes to the broader objective of promoting diversity, inclusivity, and excellence within the scholarly community. 

Q&A: Phillip Sharp and Amy Brand on the future of open-access publishing | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“A group of MIT scholars is releasing a new white paper about academic open-access publishing. The paper gathers information, identifies outstanding questions, and calls for further research and data to inform policy on the subject.


The group was chaired by Institute Professor Emeritus Phillip A. Sharp, of the Department of Biology and Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research, who co-authored the report along with William B. Bonvillian, senior director of special projects at MIT Open Learning; Robert Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research; Barbara Imperiali, the Class of 1922 Professor of Biology; David R. Karger, professor of electrical engineering; Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, professor of science, technology, and society; Amy Brand, director and publisher of the MIT Press; Nick Lindsay, director for journals and open access at MIT Press; and Michael Stebbins of Science Advisors, LLC.


MIT News spoke with Sharp and Brand about the state of open-access publishing….”

Access to Science and Scholarship: Key Questions about the Future of Research Publishing

“The health of the research enterprise is closely tied to the effectiveness of the scientific and scholarly publishing ecosystem. Policy-, technology-, and market-driven changes in publishing models over the last two decades have triggered a number of disruptions within this ecosystem:

Ongoing increases in the cost of journal publishing, with dominant open access models shifting costs from subscribers to authors

Significant consolidation and vertical (supply chain) integration in the publishing industry, and a decline in society-owned subscription journals that have long subsidized scientific and scholarly societies

A dramatic increase in the number of “predatory” journals with substandard peer review

Decline in the purchasing power of academic libraries relative to the quantity and cost of published research To illustrate how researcher behavior, funder policies, and publisher business models and incentives interact, this report presents an historical overview of open access publishing.

The report also provides a list of key questions for further investigation to understand, measure, and best prepare for the impact of new policies related to open access in research publishing, categorized into six general areas: access and business models, research data, preprint publishing, peer review, costs to researchers and universities, and infrastructure.”

Transforming research for an Open Science world | Research Information

“At the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), we believe that trusted research should be discoverable, open, and shareable as quickly as possible to help solve the global challenges that matter. That’s why we’ve been providing support to scientists and engineers at each step of their research journey for over 150 years.

Our Research Solutions are helping to transform research for an Open Science world….

With this in mind, we established a partnership with Wiley in 2020 and embraced the opportunity to transition our entire journals portfolio to Gold Open Access. Researchers can also get help towards the cost of publishing in our journals with APC discounts for IET members and support through Wiley’s Transformational Agreements and Research4Life.,,,:

Scientists paid large publishers over $1 billion in four years to have their studies published with open access | Science | EL PAÍS English

“For the last half century, scientists have followed the same method to publish their research. For example, a scientist discovers a treatment for cancer, other researchers check that the data is correct, and the final results are published in a study in an academic journal. If it is not published, it is not science. However, in recent years the system has undergone a transformation. It is no longer the readers who pay to read the studies, but the authors themselves who pay for their research to be published in digital journals with open access. Led by German expert Stefanie Haustein, a group of scientists has now calculated the turnover of the “oligopoly” that controls this new market. Using mainly public funds, the scientific community paid the five large publishers $1.06 billion in four years. And according to this estimate, the sum covers only the fees to publish open access studies….

Stefanie Haustein’s team from the University of Ottawa (Canada) has spent “years” collecting data from the period 2015-2018. According to their calculations, Springer Nature took the lion’s share, with $589.7 million, followed by Elsevier ($221.4 million), Wiley ($114.3 million), Taylor & Francis ($76.8 million), and Sage ($31.6 million). The fees required for a study to be made available with open access are officially called “article processing charges,” and on average, authors or their institutions have to pay more than $2,500 per study. French sociologist Pierre Bataille refers to the publishers’ charges as “research vampirization.” …

Stefanie Haustein considers it “obscene” that the profit margins of the main publishers “reach between 30% and 40%, well above most industries.” The researcher gives the example of the Dutch giant Elsevier, which last year published 600,000 studies, a quarter of which were open access. Elsevier’s annual income was $3.5 billion, with $1.3 billion in profit, according to its 2022 accounts. “This means that for every $1,000 that the academic community spends on publishing in Elsevier, about $400 go into the pockets of its shareholders,” Haustein explains….

The author warns that these five large publishers have tripled their number of open access studies since 2018 and have increased their prices, so the current expenditure will be well above $1 billion….”

Publications in gold open access and article processing charge expenditure: evidence from Indian scholarly output

“Article processing charges (APCs) ensure the financial viability of open access (OA) scholarly journals. The present study analyses the number of gold OA articles published in the Web of Science (WoS)- indexed journals by Indian researchers during 2020, including subject categories that account for the highest APC in India. Besides, it evaluates the amount of APC expenditure incurred in India. The findings of this study reveal that Indian researchers published 26,127 gold OA articles across all subjects in WoS-indexed journals in 2020. Researchers in the field of health and medical sciences paid the highest APC, amounting to USD 7 million, followed by life and earth sciences (USD 6.9 million), multidisciplinary (USD 4.9 million), and chemistry and materials science (USD 4.8 million). The study also reveals that Indian researchers paid an estimated 17 million USD as APC in 2020. Furthermore, 81% of APCs went to commercial publishers, viz. MDPI, Springer–Nature, Elsevier and Frontier Media. As there is a growing number of OA publications from India, we suggest having a central and state-level single-window option for funding in OA journals and backing the Plan S initiative for OA publishing in India”.

Report to Congress on Financing Mechanisms For Open Access Publishing of Federally Funded Research


The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) submits this report to the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and the House in fulfillment of the requirement in the Committee Report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117-328) for financing mechanisms for open access publishing of federally funded research.1 According to that Report, “The Committee recognizes the considerable progress made by OSTP” and “encourages OSTP to continue its efforts to coordinate the implementation of public access policies across Federal departments and agencies and to identify additional opportunities to enhance access to the results of Federally funded research.” At the same time, the Committee expressed concern about how mechanisms for financing open access publishing “may present growing barriers to knowledge generation and sharing,” noting that there are “limited data on the subject.”

As defined by UNESCO, the term “open access publishing” refers to “the provision of free access to peer reviewed, scholarly and research information to all. It requires that the rights holder grants worldwide irrevocable right of access to copy, use, distribute, transmit, and make derivative works in any format for any lawful activities with proper attribution to the original author.”2 Recent technological and policy changes around the world have enabled free and immediate access to publicly funded research. OSTP, in collaboration with its federal partners and in consultation with external stakeholders, has been tracking the trends in opening public access to federally funded research, including trends in open access publishing. These efforts illustrate a highly complex, rapidly evolving, and vitally important scholarly communication ecosystem. Within this system, academic publishers can be viewed as a platform that matches research readers with research writers. By providing distributional and certification services, these publishers help mediate research incentives, interactions, and impact.

For research readers, substantial progress has been made in making new articles available to everyone quickly and without charge through various models for open access publishing. These readers include students, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and members of the broader public, who may not have access to paywalled articles through institutional subscriptions or who may not be able to pay to read an article. In its 2022 public access guidance, OSTP holds that: “Financial means and privileged access must never be the pre-requisites to realizing the benefits of federally funded research that the American public deserves.”3 The goal of federal public access policies is therefore to ensure that federal investments go towards unlocking knowledge supported by American taxpayers so the benefits of federally supported research can benefit all of America.


IGI Global Releases Annual OA Survey Results on Researcher Perceptions Surrounding Open Access Publishing Support

“- IGI Global, an independent international academic publishing house, recently challenged the validity of the presumption in the publishing industry that the basic concepts and principles of open access (OA) are commonly understood by all researchers in academic communities around the globe. Recent discoveries suggest the reality is that researchers worldwide appear to not be as well-versed in the dynamics of OA as previously thought, and at the same time, hold strong opinions on OA publishing support. In their first “IGI Global OA Annual Academic Publishing Trends and Open Access Survey” they measured the issues, challenges, and opportunities related to scholarly OA publishing in modern days, which includes an assessment of OA trends. The survey was sent to over 200,000 worldwide researchers of all ages, experiences, fields, ethnicities, etc. The survey results revealed some unexpected discoveries regarding OA publishing, especially surrounding the knowledge and support, or lack thereof, currently available to prospective authors….”

Open access: Dependence from article processing charges publishing in Portugal

Abstract:  Introduction: Conversely to diamond open access, gold open access is associated with article processing charges (APCs), which may represent an important burden in research budgets. The aim of this study was to identify the level of dependence of Portuguese scholarly publications from the five major APC-based publishers: BMC, Frontiers, Hindawi, MDPI, and PLoS.

Methods: Documents published from 2000 to 2022, containing an author’s address (AD field) including the word “Portugal” and assigned to any of the five publishers (PUBL field) were extracted from the Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection on April 21, 2023. Only documents catalogued as article, review, editorial material, or letter as Document Type were considered. Institutions names were obtained from the Portuguese General Directorate of Higher Education. Dependency was defined as the proportion of documents published in APC-journals from the total documents with a Portuguese author in the WoS.

Results: During the 23 years of study, 30,691 documents were published by Portuguese authors in the 663 journals published by these publishers: 3,202 documents in 210 BMC journals, 4,252 in 66 Frontiers journals, 1,448 in 172 Hindawi journals, 19,043 in 209 MDPI journals, and 2,746 in 6 PLoS journals. Overall, this production represents 7.5% of all the documents indexed in the Web of Science with Portugues authors, increasing from 0% in 2000 but reaching 24% in 2022. Significant different APC-dependency in 2022 was found between types of institutions with 30.4% (SD 6.5) in universities, 35.9% (SD 12.5) in polytechnic institutes, and 13.7% (SD 7.2) in other institutions.

Conclusion: An increasingly growing proportion of Portuguese authored documents are being published in the five biggest APC-based publishers, reaching almost 25% of all the documents published in 2022. APCs paid in 2022 overcomes the amount devoted to doctoral grants in Portugal. To reduce the burden of these publishing practices, funding bodies and higher education institutions should consider reinforcing the diamond open access publishing system.

Maximizing Access and Minimizing Barriers to Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Open Access and Health Equity | Calcified Tissue International

Abstract:  Access to published research has always been difficult for researchers and clinicians in low- and middle-income countries, because of the cost of and lack of access to the relevant publications. The dramatic recent increase in electronic research publications has resulted in a marked improvement in reader access to these publications through their mainly Open Access policies, however the costs of processing of submissions and publication have now become the burden of the researchers wishing to publish, rather than the readers. For many researchers working in LMIC, the Article Processing Charges (APC) are prohibitive, hampering the publication of research being conducted in and relevant to these countries. A number of grant funding agencies and international not-for-profit organizations are trying to address these issues by including funding for article publications in their grants, or by supporting publishing entities by subsiding the cost of publication, but more needs to be done by major journal publishers through markedly reducing the APC being charged to researchers in LMIC for open access facilities.


University Libraries Open Access Subvention Fund guidelines updated to include cost sharing | Virginia Tech News | Virginia Tech

“University Libraries Open Access Subvention Fund is available to underwrite article processing charges (APCs) for scholarly peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication in open access (OA) journals. 

The funding limit is $1500 per article, and authors are limited to $3,000 per year.  The fund can now cost-share with departments….”

Open access movement in the scholarly world: Pathways for libraries in developing countries – Arslan Sheikh, Joanna Richardson, 2023

Abstract:  Open access is a scholarly publishing model that has emerged as an alternative to traditional subscription-based journal publishing. This study explores the adoption of the open access movement worldwide and the role that libraries can play in addressing those factors which are slowing its progress within developing countries. The study has drawn upon both qualitative data from a focused literature review and quantitative data from major open access platforms. The results indicate that while the open access movement is steadily gaining acceptance worldwide, the progress in developing countries within geographical areas such as Africa, Asia and Oceania is quite a bit slower. Two significant factors are the cost of publishing fees and the lack of institutional open access mandates and policies to encourage uptake. The study provides suggested strategies for academic libraries to help overcome current challenges.