Stony Brook University Author Perspectives on Article Processing Charges

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of Stony Brook University (SBU) author perspectives on article processing charges (APCs). Publishing an article without restrictions, also known as open access publishing, can be a costly endeavor. Many publishers charge APCs ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars to publish an article without access restrictions. Authors who cannot obtain funding from grant agencies or their institution must pay APCs on their own. Do APCs fundamentally impact how authors choose their preferred publication venues? METHODS A cross-sectional survey was designed to learn SBU author perspectives on, and concerns about, APCs. RESULTS Responses mainly came from the sciences. Many SBU authors preferred to publish in a prestigious journal or journal of their choice rather than in an open access journal. Most authors published their articles in open access journals even if they were required to pay APCs. Many authors found that it was difficult finding funding for APCs and some expressed their concerns about the double charging practice. DISCUSSION SBU authors might believe that publishing in established and prestigious journals could secure their career’s advancement. Authors who chose to pay open access journals with APCs might be following publishing criteria. Libraries can encourage authors to negotiate with publishers to obtain a discount or waiver of APCs, when possible. Institutions should negotiate shifting journal subscription costs toward hybrid open access publishing. CONCLUSION Data will be used to inform how the SBU Libraries can help authors locate funding opportunities for APCs.