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Drivers of article processing charges in open access

Author

Listed:
  • Oliver Budzinski

    (Technology University of Ilmenau)

  • Thomas Grebel

    (Technology University of Ilmenau)

  • Jens Wolling

    (Technology University of Ilmenau)

  • Xijie Zhang

    (Technology University of Ilmenau)

Abstract

Large publishing companies have been dominating scientific publishing for long, which leads to high subscription fees and inhibited access to scientific knowledge. At digital era, the opportunity of an unrestricted access appears feasible, because the cost of publishing should be low. It is no longer the readers and libraries to pay subscription fees, but scientific organizations and authors themselves who pay for the cost of having their article published. As the data shows, there is a tremendous variance of article processing charges (APC) across journals, which obviously cannot be explained by the costs. One of the explanatory variables could be reputation, but it only contributes less than 5% to the variance in average APC. This study is meant to shed light on the various determinants of APC. Based on the data from the OpenAPC Initiative, the Directory of Open Access Journals and three different datasets of Web of Science, we employ ANOVAs and multivariate regressions. The results show that market power plays an important role to explain APC, inter alia, through market concentration, market position of individual publishers (publisher size), and the choice of hybrid publishing model.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:124:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-020-03578-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03578-3
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    3. Thomas Eger & Marc Scheufen, 2021. "Economic perspectives on the future of academic publishing: Introduction to the special issue," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 42(8), pages 1922-1932, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Open access; Article processing charges; Academic publishing; Market power; Market concentration; Reputation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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