“The fees that some open access journals charge scientists to publish—known as article processing charges, or APCs—are keeping African researchers out of top publications, an editorial in BMJ Global Health has warned.
“The stifling effect of APCs on publications [by African researchers] must now be considered a crisis,” it says.
The editorial was written by four African health researchers who are based in Congo, South Africa and Australia. It appeared in the journal’s September issue.
On average, APCs are in the US$1,250-US$2,225 range, they write, but for top journals the fee can rise to US$5,000.
Partial and full fee waivers exist for researchers in Africa. But there are caveats, the authors write. Researchers may be based in a country with a per capita income above the waiver threshold, but where government support for science is paltry. Or they can be ineligible for waivers because they have partners in high-income countries….”