January 23, 2022

Highlights From New Simba Open Access Journal Publishing Report, APC Revenue Up 32.8% in 2013

From Simba Information:

Open Access Journal Publishing 2014-2017 found that the major revenue source for open access journals are the author-paid, article processing charges (APC) publishers collect to cover the costs of peer review, editing, layout and electronic publication.

Simba estimates the revenue generated by these fees grew 32.8% in 2013.

This includes gold open access journals that publish entirely on an open access basis and survive solely on the payment of APCs, but also from hybrid journals that are sold primarily on a subscription basis, but will make individual articles available OA with payment of a APC.

Some of this OA revenue growth is being generated by pure open access publishers that have formed in the wake of calls for change in the STM publishing ecosystem. However, a great deal of that revenue is being generated by commercial publishers that thrive under traditional subscription models, and at times have been vilified by the OA movement’s leaders as profiteers.

Despite this rapid growth, OA revenue still only represents 2.3% of global 2013 STM journal sales, according to Simba Information’s research. But this revenue stream is a bright spot against a flat market.

While STM journal revenue is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of between 1% and 2% between 2011 and 2017, OA revenue is expected to more than triple in that period.

Open access is already having a bigger impact in terms of publishing output. By some estimates, OA already represents 10% to 20% of all research articles published.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.