Taylor & Francis position on open access pricing
Taylor & Francis is a responsible and progressive publisher. We are transparent in our approach to setting open access article and book publishing charges and the sales deals we make with organizations that include open access elements. Our pricing strategy is designed to achieve three fundamental objectives:
- To secure fair prices that reflect the value of our services to researchers and the research ecosystem.
- To offer a seamless journey to authors and readers and ensure that we meet the needs of our stakeholders by continuing to invest in robust, scalable, and flexible infrastructure.
- To ensure that we move towards a sustainable form of open access, ensuring that innovation, affordability, and access coexist.
Our positions on open access pricing issues
Taylor & Francis offers a range of publishing services. We are transparent where we can be with all our stakeholders on how prices are calculated but seek to balance this transparency with healthy competition between publishers.
- We have always been transparent about the terms of our agreements and have never insisted on confidentiality. We were the first publisher to disclose the full terms of our transformative deal with VSNU.
- We have clearly articulated policies on the services that we offer, and how we avoid gaining subscription revenues when an author chooses to publish OA in a hybrid journal.
Article Publishing Charges
Our article publishing charge (APC) covers the validation and production of each work into its final form, including: financial support for journal editorial offices and boards, submission and peer review management, editorial development, ethical validation and plagiarism checking, content enrichment (copyediting, typesetting, data conversion and normalization), legal deposit, abstracting and indexing. The charge also covers dissemination and the curation and display of metrics to help researchers understand the impact and reach of their work.
As publishers, one of our primary roles is to ensure the scholarly record is accurately maintained to allow future researchers to build on today’s discoveries. With that in mind, surplus from the charge is invested in infrastructure and organizations that support scholarly communication. These organizations include registration services and standards bodies, in particular those that guarantee the long-term preservation of each work.
The APC does not take into account the voluntary efforts of reviewers who typically donate their unremunerated time as a part of career development, or in order to gain early sight of the latest research. The administration cost of managing the peer review process, however, is not without cost. Publishers invest time, resourcing, and cost in managing the process as well as the systems that support it, including reviewer recognition services. Where reviewers receive some form of compensation for their time, this is reflected in the APC or relevant fee, for example the accelerated publication option offered on some journals.
List price APCs across our journals range from US$600 to US$4,800. The list price APC is reviewed at least annually across journals and varies based on a number of factors, including:
- Funding available for the journal: this varies by discipline (see below). Additionally, some journals are supported through grants, typically from their owning society, meaning charges are subsidized.
- Impact: highly selective / high impact journals typically charge higher APCs, as the APC on the accepted article must also cover the work and analysis with respect to rejected content.
- Discipline: we set APCs based on funding patterns within the field, as well as benchmarking against APCs on related journals to ensure that rates are realistic for communities. For this reason OA is more viable in some areas than others.
- Demographics of submissions / publications: considering the geography of submissions allows us to price fairly to market.
- The type of research output: shorter article types and non-traditional formats typically incur lower APCs.
Accepted articles typically bear some of the cost of articles which have been rejected, as well as supporting waivers and discounts on other accepted articles. For example, Emerging Microbes and Infections, an open access journal, has an APC of $2,500 to reflect the fact that it is a highly selective journal that rejects almost 85% of submitted articles. Journal of Maps has an APC of $800 to reflect the fact that it accepts over 80% of submissions, and these are typically short form secondary publications – maps and spatial diagrams. Submission fees exist for some journals to spread cost across more articles – in these journals the APC reflects this initial investment at submission.
In our ambitious move towards more OA, we seek to ensure an inclusive and personalized publication process.
Many customers do not pay the list price APC, benefitting from flexible funding options including:
- Waivers or discounts of up to 100% if corresponding authors are based in low or lower-middle income economies.
- Discounts of up to 100% where a professional member association or learned society provide additional support.
- Discounts due to their organization’s participation in a membership scheme or transformative agreement, which usually allow researchers to submit without any individual payment on their part.
Book Publishing Charges
Our book publishing charge (BPC) covers the validation and production of a work into its final form. The charge also covers dissemination and the long-term preservation of our open access books through a range of third parties.
Our standard BPCs range from US$1,625 for an individual chapter to US$13,000 for a full book. Our BPC pricing is reviewed at least annually and varies based on several factors, including:
- The text type: for example, textbooks typically have a higher BPC than a research monograph
- The word count of the book: BPCs are typically lower for shorter books
- Discipline: we set BPCs based on funding patterns within the field
- Author demographics: authors based in low or lower-middle income economies typically receive discounts on BPCs
Many customers do not pay the list price BPC, since they benefit from:
- Discounts of up to 75% if corresponding authors are based in low or lower-middle income economies
- Discounts due to their organization’s participation in a member scheme (their institution may in fact cover the cost of publishing OA through these arrangements)
We work with our customers to establish prices and sales deals that are fair and sustainable for all.
- Our open access memberships allow institutions to manage the administration of open access more efficiently.
- We have a number of agreements in place with institutions that combine subscription and open access spending. Transformative agreements (also known as read and publish / publish and read agreements) allow us to work with institutions to move their publishing output to open access, while ensuring that faculty continue to have access to subscription materials. We follow the principle of mutual sustainability in these arrangements.
Call to action
We are committed to increasing transparency around our pricing approach and we ask funders and institutions to recognize that our APCs will vary across our journal titles. Our role is to serve the demand and the needs of our customers – the speed of transition to OA is dictated by libraries, governments, funders, institutions and research communities. We will work with our customers to establish prices and sales deals that are fair and sustainable for all and ensure that we make information on Article and Book Publishing Charges openly available.
We commit to ensuring that every researcher – regardless of geographic location, discipline or personal circumstance has relevant and realistic options available to them to publish their work, so that no researcher is left without a voice, regardless of funding source.