Open access (31) Myth 2: Open access journals discriminate against authors who cannot afford article processing charges (6)

5 August, 2019

Dear Neil,

Thanks for stimulating the discussion on open access (OA) journals. Here are my comments based on my experience.

OA journals offer a full or partial waiver for APCs (Article Processing Charges) only to authors from low-income countries as classified by the World Bank. This implies that authors from my country (Nigeria) in the lower-middle-income category are excluded. Many authors from Nigeria or lower-middle-income countries would rather publish in restricted-access journals because of the cost. Authors who can afford to publish in OA journals from the lower-middle-income category are those with grants from funding agencies. Open access journals discriminate against authors from Nigeria and other lower-middle-income countries except for one or two journals (like Global Health) that offer a partial waiver for APCs usually after pleading.

For lower-middle-income countries and other affected countries may be other factors such as the average income of authors from the country, quality of research and availability of funding should be considered for authors to qualify for a waiver for APCs.

Thank you.

Seun Obasola

Digitization/Electronic Resource Librarian

Kenneth Dike Library, UI

Associate Lecturer, Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health,

Fellow of the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa

University of Ibadan


Chevening/British Library Research Fellow (2016-17), London, United Kingdom

Tel: +2348033517020


HIFA profile: Oluwaseun Obasola is an academic librarian at the E.Latunde Odeku Medical Library College of Medicine , University of Ibadan. PhD focussed on the use of ICT tools in disseminating maternal and child health information to Nigerian mothers. oobasola AT