Juan Pablo Alperin on “Why I Think Ending Article-Processing Charges Will Save Open Access”
From a Nature Article by Juan Pablo Alperin:
When the Public Library of Science, a non-profit organization based in San -Francisco, California, and other publishers popularized article-processing charges (APCs) in the mid-2000s, scholarly publishing in Latin America was already embracing open access (OA) using a different model: instead of charging authors, academic institutions published journals edited by faculty members. The approach is a type of ‘diamond OA’, which works without fees for readers or authors.
Over the same time period, APCs have become ubiquitous in the global north, embraced by for-profit journals and encouraged by many leading European and US funders. The vibrant publishing ecosystem in Latin America (and elsewhere in the global south) will not be left unscathed.
In Colombia alone, APC payments are estimated to have grown by 18-fold since 2019. The amount is expected to increase after some five dozen institutions signed Latin America’s first ‘transformative agreement’ (a contract to pay APCs to subscription-based journals that are changing business models) late last year. At least 120 journals in Latin America have begun charging APCs in the past 5 years, although this model inherently links publication to authors’ (or their funders’ or institutions’) ability to pay.
APC waivers cannot solve this problem. They require authors to proactively ask for charity (even as Latin American institutions shoulder diamond OA costs), and rarely apply to countries in the region, most of which are above income thresholds set by publishers. As institutions pay more APCs, they will feel pressure to forgo investments in the Latin American diamond OA ecosystem.
Learn More, Read the Complete Article (849 words)
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.