Open access (28) Myth 2: Open access journals discriminate against authors who cannot afford article processing charges

4 August, 2019

Dear all,

Thank you for your contributions so far. We now enter the third week of our sponsored HIFA thematic discussion on Open access: Perceptions and misconceptions

This week we invite you to consider:

Myth 2: Open access journals discriminate against authors who cannot afford article processing charges

Do you agree or disagree that this is a myth? Does it apply to some journals but not others? We have learned that the majority of OA journals, contrary to common perceptions, do not actually charge APCs. So, presumably, those who cannot afford APCs can still publish in a non-APC journal? And many of those who do charge APCs have a policy to waive the charge for authors from selected low- and middle-income countries.

In what circumstances would an author not feel that publication in an OA journal is possible, despite the fact that most OA journals do not charge APCs?

Indeed, what do we know about the motivation of authors in relation to OA versus restricted-access journals? What percentage of authors 'believe' in open access as the way forward for research communication? To what extent is free access important to them? How does the motivation to publish OA versus restricted-access compare to the importance of impact factor and academic recognition? Should the criteria for academic recognition be revised to positively promote rather than discriminate against open access?

As ever, we are grateful to The Lancet and Elsevier for providing sponsorship for this thematic discussion. (Note: HIFA invites all organisations, and especially our 300+ official supporting organisations, to consider sponsorship of a future thematic discussion of your choice - sponsorship of discussions enables HIFA to thrive and brings collective focus to priority global health issues. Contact the HIFA Coordinator for details of sponsorship opportunities.)

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Access to Health Research

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: