Re: Journal expenses and publication costs

From: Michael Eisen <mbeisen_at_LBL.GOV>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 14:55:13 -0800

I've heard this objection frequently. I agree that there are many fields
where page charges are completely anathema, and I assume experimental
psychology is one of them. However, it is important to remember that this
animosity developed because journals were frequently asking for page charges
in addition to subscription fees. In my experience, most scientists, even
those who have been violently opposed to the idea of publication charges,
are willing to give them a chance once they realize that this is the only
time anyone will ever have to pay for the article.

For fields where the culture is really set against publication charges, one
model that might work would be for some interested organization to subsidize
the charges during a transition period, while scientists in the field are
convinced that an upfront business model is consistent with a high-quality,
high-standards publication. Once this is established, I doubt that the
objections would remain.

Michael Eisen, Ph.D. (

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California at Berkeley

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher D. Green" <christo_at_YORKU.CA>
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 2:27 PM
Subject: Re: Journal expenses and publication costs

> Manfredi La Manna wrote:
> > The one-size-fits-all syndrome strikes again. Scientific disciplines
> > are vastly different in terms of all the relevant variables here,
> > such as rejection rates, turnaround times, editorial structures, etc. I
> > understand that BMC's figure of $500 article-processing-charge (APC) per
> > published article is based on an average rejection rate of 50%. The same
> > ratio applied to a top economics journal (with a rejection rate of 95%)
> > would yield a prohibitive $5,000 APC.
> I've been thinking it all through this discussion, but perhaps I should
> it explicit here. Charges such as this weil *never* fly in experimental
> psychology, where the only journals that have page charges are generally
> considered to be just a hair's beadth above vanity presses. Another
> model will haveto be developed if this is to work in psychology.
> Regards,
> --
> Christopher D. Green
> Department of Psychology
> York University
> Toronto, Ontario, Canada
> M3J 1P3
> e-mail:
> phone: 416-736-5115 ext. 66164
> fax: 416-736-5814
Received on Fri Jan 10 2003 - 22:55:13 GMT

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