Publication fees

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picture by Brooks Elliott, CC-by-sa

As a life scientists you pay not only to publish your discoveries but also, in the case of subscriptions journals, when you want to read articles (including your own). Open access journals, like PLoS and BMC journals, make you pay only once when they accept an article. The fee includes their overhead for making the article available to others and yourself in the final layout.

With your help this page will grow into an overview of publication fees charged by various journals. Please add to the list.

Publication fees by journals

Scientific journal publication fees in US dollars
Journal Fee in USD Comment Source, Retrieval date
BMC Biochemistry (BioMed Central) 1485 open access [1] '09
BMC Biology (BioMed Central) 1775 open access [2] '09
BMC Medicine (BioMed Central) 1775 open access [3] '09
Genome Biology (BioMed Central) 2065 open access [4] '09
NAR Nucleic Acid Research 2670 open access, cheaper for members [5] '09
PLoS Biology 2850 open access [6] '09
PLoS Computational Biology 2220 open access [7] '09
PLoS Genetics 2220 open access [8] '09
PLoS Medicine 2850 open access [9] '09
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2200 open access [10] '09
PLoS Pathogens 2850 open access [11] '09
PNAS 1700 average costs, paid access estimate of average PNAS '09
PNAS 2900 open access, cheaper if institution has PNAS subscription estimate of average PNAS '09
Nature Communications 0 only with subscription; open access costs extra [12] '09
Nature Communications 3570 open access option; subscription option free [13] '09
PLoS ONE 1300 open access [14] '09

Articles on publication costs

(article are subjectively rated here according to perceived relevance to this page)

" the fields of economics and ecology, the average institutional subscription price per page charged by commercial journals is about 5 times that charged by non-profit journals [in ecology*]" *other fields both above and below this value

"In 2001, the average real (adjusted for inflation) price per page of journals owned by commercial publishers has approximately tripled, while that of non-profit economics journals has increased by "only" 50 percent."

Table 1: Mean institutional price per page for journals in Neuroscience in 1997: $0.89 (for profit), $0.10 (nonprofit) [15]
average yearly journal price increase 10% (section 1.11)

typical income of science/tech/medicine journal 85% of total costs subscription, 5% advertising, <1% page charges/submission fees (section 3.9)

typical costs of journal production 58% of total costs,.. remaining margin 34% (section 3.9)
"The average price of an academic journal rose by 58% between 1998 and 2003, compared to a UK retail price index increase of 11% over the same period."

"Reed Elsevier, for example, makes an operating profit of 34%, with profits after tax totalling nearer 17%.[88] Wiley had an operating profit of 29% in the first half of 2003.[89] These figures are substantially higher than the average operating profit of 22% across the academic, educational and professional publishing sector as a whole.."
"The average current cost of producing articles roughly seems to be $1500-$4000 for nonprofit publishers and $3000-$8000 for commercial (based on their own estimates in the UK hearings--I am deliberately using very wide ranges to accomodate all opinions)."
Cost of serials to libraries:
  Columbia:  $7.14 million serials expenditure, 5838 articles, $1223 each
  Cornell:   $6.20 million, 4804 articles, $1290 each
  Dartmouth, $3.89 million, 1034 articles, $3720 each
  Princeton, $5.45 million, 2692 articles, $2025 each
  Stanford, $11.26 million, 5838 articles, $1930 each
  Yale,     $10 million,    4648 articles, $2169 each
Division by field:
  Columbia:  5126 sci, 540 soc sci, 172 human.
  Cornell,   4253 sci, 417 soc sci, 134 human
  Dartmouth,  688 sci, 279 soc sci,  67 human
  Princeton, 2169 sci, 251 soc sci, 272 human
  Stanford,  5126 sci, 540 soc sci, 172 human
  Yale,      3857 sci, 522 soc sci, 269 human
"$1,700 in page charges that the average PNAS author already pays"

"In the EMBO Journal, for example, authors are allowed six pages of text free, but are then charged $200 per page beyond that. A review of recent issues shows that almost all authors exceed six pages, voluntarily paying on average over $800 to publish their articles."

See also

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