Factors Associated with Open Access Publishing Costs in Oncology Journals

Background Open access (OA) publishing represents an exciting opportunity to facilitate dissemination of scientific information to global audiences. However, OA publication is often associated with significant article processing charges (APCs) for authors, which may thus serve as a barrier to publication.

Methods We identified oncology journals using the SCImago Journal & Country Rank database. All journals with an OA publication option and APC data openly available were included. We searched journal websites and tabulated journal characteristics, including APC amount (USD), OA model (hybrid vs full), 2-year impact factor (IF), H-index, number of citable documents, modality/treatment specific (if applicable), and continent of origin. We generated a multiple regression model to identify journal characteristics independently associated with OA APC amount.

Results Of 367 oncology journals screened, 251 met final inclusion criteria. The median APC was 2957 USD (IQR 1958-3450). On univariable testing, journals with greater number of citable documents (p<0.001), higher IF (p < 0.001), higher H-index (p < 0.001), and those using the hybrid OA model (p < 0.001) or originating in Europe/North America (p < 0.001) tended to have higher APCs. In our multivariable model, number of citable documents, IF, OA publishing model, and region persisted as significant predictors of processing charges.

Conclusions OA publication costs are greater in oncology journals that publish more citable articles, utilize the hybrid OA model, have higher IF, and are based in North America or Europe. These findings may inform targeted action to help the oncology community fully appreciate the benefits of open science.


The Rise of Open Access Journals in Radiation Oncology: Are We Paying for Impact? – ScienceDirect


We aimed to examine how the rise of open access (OA) journals in biomedicine has impacted resident research in radiation oncology.


We built a comprehensive database of first-author, PubMed-searchable articles published by US radiation oncology residents who graduated between 2015 and 2019. We then classified each journal in which these manuscripts appeared as either OA or non-OA, and obtained the current article processing charge (APC) for every publication that appeared in an OA journal. Lastly, we performed a secondary analysis to identify the factors associated with publishing an article in an OA journal.


The US radiation oncology residents in this study published 2,637 first-author, PubMed-searchable manuscripts, 555 (21.0%) of which appeared in 138 OA journals. The number of publications in OA journals increased from 0.47 per resident for the class of 2015 to 0.79 per resident for the class of 2019. Likewise, the number of publications in OA journals with a 2019 impact factor of zero increased from 0.14 per resident for the class of 2015 to 0.43 per resident for the class of 2019. Publications in OA journals garnered fewer citations than those in non-OA journals (8.9 versus 14.9, P < 0.01). 90.6% of OA journals levy an APC for original research reports (median $1,896), which is positively correlated with their 2019 impact factor (r?=?0.63, P < 0.01). Aggregate APCs totaled $900,319.21 for all US radiation oncology residency programs and appeared to increase over the study period.


The number of first-author, PubMed-searchable manuscripts published by graduating US radiation oncology residents in OA journals rose significantly over the study period. US radiation oncology residency programs appear to be investing increasing and significant sums of money to publish the work of their residents in these journals. A more substantive discussion about the proper role of OA journals in resident research is needed.