May 16, 2022

Delta Think Releases Annual Survey of Article Processing Charges (APCs)

NOTE: Delta Think is hosting a free webinar to discuss the APC survey findings on March 30, 2020.  Details here.

From Delta Think:

Each year we survey the list Article Processing Charges (APCs) of a sample of major and significant publishers. Covering over 18,000 titles, and going back to 2016, our data set represents one of the most comprehensive reviews of open access pricing.

Our market sizing has previously suggested that fully OA and hybrid prices are converging and consolidating. The latest analysis of list prices suggests that prices are now becoming more widely distributed as publishers optimize prices across their portfolios. Prices in general are increasing.

Headline Changes

To compare like for like, we analyze non-discounted, CC BY charges. Overall, list prices continue to increase slowly:

  • Last year, high-impact journals began to offer OA options, which led to above-average price increases. This year, overall price increases have fallen back to their underlying averages.
  • The highest prices for fully OA journals have risen from $5,560 to $8,900. The maximum is due to one outlier1: Cell Press’s Patterns (published by Elsevier). Springer Nature’s Nature Communications takes second place at $5,560. Otherwise fully OA (“gold”) journals usually top out at around $5,200 to $5,300.
  • Outliers aside, Fully OA journal APCs are less expensive than hybrid, averaging around 57% of hybrid average APCs. Last year it was 58%.
  • The average hybrid APC has increased by 2.6%. This is just under half the increase we saw last year, but remains larger than the 1% or so increases over the previous few years.
  • The average fully OA APC has increased by 1.3% compared with the previous year. This is a lower than average increase, perhaps explained by the above-average increases we saw last year.

Read the Complete Post/Survey Findings

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.