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PLOS Publication Costs Update

Open Access scientific publishing makes scholarship available globally and relieves scholarly institutions from the overwhelming burden of commercial subscription fees. Because of this proven success, institutions, funders, foundations and government agencies dedicate significant resources to encourage authors to publish in Open Access journals.

For the past six years, PLOS has absorbed increasing publishing costs without raising author fees. At the same time, PLOS invests resources to improve the quality of PLOS ONE output, thoroughly checking for ethics, competing interests and robust science. As a result, readers can be confident that research published in PLOS ONE is scientifically rigorous and reflects thorough peer review. In addition, PLOS invests millions of dollars in research and development to increase the efficiency, transparency and speed of scholarly communication for all its journals. The center of this investment is the platform ApertaTM, a new submission system currently under development that aspires to substantially improve the publishing experience for authors, reviewers, editors and readers.

To support these endeavors, the Article Processing Charge (APC) for PLOS ONE authors will increase to $1,495 as of October 1, 2015 (effective 10:00 AM PDT). This is the first increase in the PLOS ONE APC since 2009.

PLOS ONE promotes a broad global reach designed to amplify the journal and individual article awareness. Currently, PLOS ONE journal articles garner more than 1.9 million article downloads per month.

PLOS remains committed to ensuring that lack of funds not be a barrier to Open Access publication by providing support to authors with financial need. Periodically, PLOS adjusts the criteria for its financial assistance programs to better reflect demand and the global economy and as of October 1, 2015 (effective 10:00 AM PDT) will utilize the HINARI standard for the Global Participation Initiative. The Publication Fee Assistance program remains unchanged.

 

Image Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões – CC-BY

Discussion
  1. Well, this is ridiculous. At a time when Ubiquity Press is charging APCs of $500 and PeerJ is asking $99 for a lifetime membership, PLOS ONE desperately needs to get its APC down to remain competitive on value. To raise the price is outrageous, and suggests that PLOS is drifting away from its mission. Deeply disappointing.

  2. […] Open Access scientific publishing makes scholarship available globally and relieves scholarly institutions from the overwhelming burden of commercial subscription fees. Because of this proven success, institutions, funders, foundations and government agencies dedicate significant resources to encourage authors to publish in … Continue reading » […]

  3. ‘@Mike: I would love to see PLOS lowering their APCs but actually you cannot compare PLOS with PeerJ one on one. PLOS’s huge success in the academic world is largey due to the merits (and “impact”) of their highly selective flagship journals that work much more like traditional journals. As long as PLOS ONE is (partially) used to cross-subsidize PLOS Biology, PLOS Genetics and the like their higher prices seem somehow justified.

    http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2008/07/07/bulk-publishing-keeps-plos-afloat/

    Still, personally I would rather submit my next manuscript to PeerJ than to PLOS ONE and it might be that PLOS will be struggling in the future with the appearance and proliferation of ever more unselective “megajournals” some of which charge radically lower APCs.
    Exciting times in adcademic publishing 🙂

  4. ‘@Gregor “As long as PLOS ONE is (partially) used to cross-subsidize the [highly selective journals in its family] their higher prices seem somehow justified. ”
    … only if one believes that the existence of “highly selective journals” which publish only especially “novel, important and significant advances “are a net advantage to the scientific publishing landscape.

    @original poster
    I do not think that increasing APCs is wise: what does PLOS One offer, at $1495, above the service provided by PeerJ’s unlimited publishing plan at $299?
    Beautiful layout? PeerJ has it, and arguably better than PLOS.
    Comment section? PeerJ has it, too
    The option of publishing the reviews alongside the paper, which ensures credibility of the full peer review and counters the common (and misguided) perception that OA is not as rigorously reviewed exists in PeerJ, and (AFAIK) not in Plos ONE. To my eyes, that factor alone would make me choose for PeerJ rather than PLOS One even if PLOS One’s APC were as low as PeerJ.

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