Highly selective journals cost no more than $ 1,000 (£ 734) for each article they produce, according to a study by a former executive in the publishing industry.
In a peer-reviewed article published on the open access platform F1000 by Alexander Grossmann, who was Publishing Director at Wiley and Managing Director of Springer and is now Professor of Publication Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig, and Bjorn Brembs, Professor of neurobiology at the University of Regensburg, it is claimed that the cost of publishing an article in a conventional journal with a 50 percent rejection rate ranges between $ 641 for a title that publishes less than 100 articles per year and $ 565 for those who publish 1,000 articles per year or more, even when all articles editorial tasks are performed by in-house staff.
Publishing costs for prestigious journals with a rejection rate of around 90 percent had higher costs, reaching $ 1,053 for titles that published 100 articles or less per year, or $ 770 for those that published more. 1,000 articles per year.
“As currently most highly selective journals publish in the range of 800 to 900 research articles per year, about $ 1,000 per article can be considered an upper limit of the total publication costs in these journals,” the journal says. study.
The estimates come amid ongoing negotiations between Elsevier, the world’s largest science publisher, and UK universities, which are seeking a five-year transformational deal from January that is likely to dramatically increase the volume of papers. search files that can be viewed freely.
Many of the discussions will focus on what should be considered a fair average price per article for publishing open access articles as part of the transition to subscription access; a transformative deal signed by German universities in January 2020 with SpringerNature, which will see around 13,000 open access articles published per year, is based on a publication and reading fee of € 2,750 (£ 2,023) for each article.
However, the world’s most prestigious titles intend to charge a lot more, with Nature bringing the cost of publication per article to € 9,500 and the property of Elsevier Cell charge £ 7,800.
These figures are seven to eight times higher than the newspaper’s estimated cost of publishing, which is based on cost data obtained from publishers, including eLife and Frontiers, as well as estimates of staff and overhead costs, which assumed that each manuscript submitted required seven and a half hours of the time of an in-house editorial staff member.
However, he excluded the cost of sales, management and “often very large paywall costs”, as well as the costs of innovation, branding, advertising and government lobbying, which he said would be unnecessary or , at least, greatly reduced if a newspaper were to become open access.
“By taking an approximate cost of $ 600 for a scientific article with full editorial services and comparing it to the low estimate of the average price for a subscription article of around $ 4,000, it becomes clear that the costs publication only cover 15% of the subscription. price, ”he says.
Respond to paperPaul Abrahams, communications manager at RELX, the group that includes Elsevier, said that “the cost of evaluating submissions that are ultimately rejected should be included” in the analysis.
“Elsevier received 2.5 [million] submissions in 2020 (up 25%) and published 564,000 articles. It has managed 1.4 million examiners. This process comes at a real cost, ”said Dr Abrahams.