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Three new suggested guidelines for increased transparency regarding open access article processing charges (APCs)

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Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva


The article processing charge (APC) lies at the heart of the gold open access (GOA) business model. Small and larger society-based, as well as commercial publishers, rely – to different extents – on the APC and the GOA model to thrive. There is wide debate regarding what amount of APC is considered to be exploitative, and the issue of low APCs is often erroneously associated with “predatory” OA publishing. Independent of this debate, there is still, surprisingly, considerable opacity related to the APC used to cover the cost of  GOA. In a bid to increase transparency, a simple 3-point plan at increasing academic and financial transparency of authors and journals/publishers regarding APCs is proposed: 1) indicate which author paid the APC in multi-author papers; 2) indicate the value of the APC paid; 3) provide online proof or certification of APC payment, including the indication of any discounts or waivers.


funding; opacity vs transparency; open access; open access mega-journal; Plan S

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