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.
Hopefully, 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
|Journal||Fee in USD||Comment||Source|
|BMC Biochemistry (BioMed Central)||1485||open access|||
|BMC Biology (BioMed Central)||1775||open access|||
|BMC Medicine (BioMed Central)||1775||open access|||
|Genome Biology (BioMed Central)||2065||open access|||
|NAR Nucleic Acid Research||2670||open access, cheaper for members|||
|PLoS Biology||2850||open access|||
|PLoS Computational Biology||2220||open access|||
|PLoS Genetics||2220||open access|||
|PLoS Medicine||2850||open access|||
|PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases||2200||open access|||
|PLoS Pathogens||2850||open access|||
|PNAS||1700||average costs, paid access||estimate of average PNAS|
|PNAS||2900||open access, cheaper if institution has PNAS subscription||estimate of average PNAS|
|Nature Communications||0||only with subscription; open access costs extra|||
|Nature Communications||3570||open access option; subscription option free|||
|PLoS ONE||1300||open access|||
Articles on publication costs
(article are subjectively rated here according to perceived relevance to this page)
- Economics of scholarly journal publishing, large website, 2001-2006 by Bergstrom and Bergstrom, Uni of Washington - focus on ecology
"..in 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) 
- An Economic Analysis of Scientific Research Publishing 2003 by Wellcome Trust (UK independent research charity ); long 41 page report
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%. Wiley had an operating profit of 29% in the first half of 2003. 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)."
- Database of journal cost-effectiveness] created by Ted Bergstrom and Preston McAfee
- Journal and publication costs, corrected figures, 2003 - recorded Email thread started by David Goodman, Princeton
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."