When searching for the ideal target journal for your manuscript, it is easy to become overwhelmed not only by the number of suitable journals, but also by the potential fees required for submission and publication. Therefore, in this article, we summarize the most common costs associated with the publishing process in peer-reviewed journals.
Most submission and publication fees can be grouped into two categories: pre-publication and post-acceptance. In general, pre-publication fees, which include submission or membership fees, are less common. As an author, you are more likely to encounter post-acceptance fees, such as a page fee or an article processing charge, which may either stand alone or be charged in addition to a submission fee. Below we provide a brief overview of the most commontypes of manuscript submission and publication fees within these two categories.
- Submission fees.Subscription-based, open access and hybrid journals may charge a fee at the time of manuscript submission to help fund editorial and administrative support. Note that many journals do not have these charges.However, for the journals that do charge a submission fee, the cost is typically low (less than $150).
- Membership costs.Journals may also only permit publication for members who subscribe to their journal. Relative to post-acceptance fees, annual membership costs are also low (less than $200).
- Article processing charges (APCs). These fees are also known as author publishing charges or publication fees and are most commonly charged by open access journals. In contrast to page/color printing charges, APCs, which reach up to $4000 per manuscript, are typically flat fees regardless of the length of your manuscript and/or the number of figures. Except for some rare cases, APCs typically cover peer review management, manuscript copyediting and article production, and all components of the open access online publication process (e.g.,article hosting, appropriate indexing, and archiving).
- Page/color printing charges.Traditionally, journals charge per page (~$100–250 per page) and/or per color figure (up to $1000 per image) to cover the cost of grayscale and color printing. However, since many authors choose to publish online, these fees can be avoided. Ifa print version of your manuscript is needed, it is best to be aware of these costs and tailor your manuscript accordingly.
Lastly, it always best to check a specific journal’s or publisher’s website to obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding publishing fees and/or explanations about open access options.