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Article processing charges in OA journals: relationship between price and quality

Author

Listed:
  • Bo-Christer Björk

    () (Hanken School of Economics)

  • David Solomon

    (Michigan State University)

Abstract

The subscription prices of peer-reviewed journals have in the past not been closely related to the scientific quality. This relationship has been further obscured by bundled e-licenses. The situation is different for Open Access (OA) journals that finance their operations via article processing charges (APCs). Due to competition and the fact that authors are often directly involved in making APC payments from their own or other limited funds, APC pricing has so far been sensitive to the quality and services offered by journals. We conducted a systematic survey of prices charged by OA journals indexed in Scopus and this revealed a moderate (0.40) correlation between the APCs and Source Normalized Impact per Paper values, a measure of citation rates. When weighted by article volumes the correlations between the quality and the price were significantly higher (0.67). This would seem to indicate that while publishers to some extent take the quality into account when pricing their journals, authors are even more sensitive to the relationship between price and quality in their choices of where to submit their manuscripts.

Suggested Citation

  • Bo-Christer Björk & David Solomon, 2015. "Article processing charges in OA journals: relationship between price and quality," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 103(2), pages 373-385, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:103:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1556-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-015-1556-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labour for Costly Journals?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 183-198, Fall.
    2. David J. Solomon & Bo-Christer Björk, 2012. "A study of open access journals using article processing charges," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(8), pages 1485-1495, August.
    3. Moed, Henk F., 2010. "Measuring contextual citation impact of scientific journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 265-277.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fernanda Morillo, 2020. "Is open access publication useful for all research fields? Presence of funding, collaboration and impact," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(1), pages 689-716, October.
    2. Oliver Budzinski & Thomas Grebel & Jens Wolling & Xijie Zhang, 2020. "Drivers of article processing charges in open access," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(3), pages 2185-2206, September.
    3. Russell J. Gray, 0. "Sorry, we’re open: Golden open-access and inequality in non-human biological sciences," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-13.
    4. Oliver Budzinski & Thomas Grebel & Jens Wolling & Xijie Zhang, 0. "Drivers of article processing charges in open access," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-22.
    5. Maja Jokić & Andrea Mervar & Stjepan Mateljan, 2018. "Scientific potential of European fully open access journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 114(3), pages 1373-1394, March.
    6. Sumiko Asai, 2020. "Market power of publishers in setting article processing charges for open access journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 123(2), pages 1037-1049, May.
    7. Sumiko Asai, 2019. "Changes in revenue structure of a leading open access journal publisher: the case of BMC," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 121(1), pages 53-63, October.
    8. Sergio Copiello, 2020. "Business as Usual with Article Processing Charges in the Transition towards OA Publishing: A Case Study Based on Elsevier," Publications, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, January.
    9. Hajar Sotudeh & Zohreh Estakhr, 2018. "Sustainability of open access citation advantage: the case of Elsevier’s author-pays hybrid open access journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(1), pages 563-576, April.
    10. Russell J. Gray, 2020. "Sorry, we’re open: Golden open-access and inequality in non-human biological sciences," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(2), pages 1663-1675, August.
    11. Jonathan P. Tennant & Harry Crane & Tom Crick & Jacinto Davila & Asura Enkhbayar & Johanna Havemann & Bianca Kramer & Ryan Martin & Paola Masuzzo & Andy Nobes & Curt Rice & Bárbara Rivera-López & Tony, 2019. "Ten Hot Topics around Scholarly Publishing," Publications, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-24, May.

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    Keywords

    Open Access; Business model; SNIP value;

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