In an earlier blog post, I wrote,
Since I wrote that, I have learned about other publishers that both charge authors to publish an article and readers (or libraries) to read it. These publishers are chiefly learned societies. [This is similar to, but not the same as, hybrid journals that are really subscription journals that have some open-access content.]
Here are some examples of publishers that charge both to submit a paper and to access it:
1. SPIE (Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers). This publisher’s instructions for authors page says,
Publication charges of $90 per published page apply to both contributed and special section papers. Editorial acceptance of papers is not tied to payment of publication charges, but such payments are expected. These charges are financial contributions from authors’ institutions to help defray the cost of publishing research results and should be regarded as an essential and proper part of their research budgets.
2. ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Their instructions for authors page says,
Papers selected for publication in an ASME Journal are subject to a voluntary page charge of $75 per printed journal page. This charge is determined by the number of printed pages as shown in the author’s proof. The total amount will be invoiced, through the author, to the author’s company, institution, or agency. One hundred (100) free reprints are provided when the paper has been published in a journal and the voluntary page charges have been paid. Publication is not dependent upon payment of the voluntary page charge.
3. The Astrophysical Journal Letters. This journal’s charge schedule is complicated and almost requires a degree in astrophysics to understand:
4. Applied Physics Letters. This journal’s publication charges page says,
To support the cost of wide dissemination of research results through publication of journal pages and production of a database of articles, the author’s institution is requested to pay a page charge of $115 per page (with a one-page minimum) and an article charge of $20 per article. For Errata the minimum page charge is $115, with no article charge.
So, this double charging is not as uncommon as I had thought. The journals listed above are not open-access journals. They are toll-access journals that also charge their authors to publish in them. I still think it’s unethical for a non-learned society, for-profit publisher [deleted] to charge both author and subscriptions fees for the same content.
A couple of the above journals/publishers do offer a more expensive hybrid option, as does Reed Elsevier. For this option, authors pay a higher fee, and their article is free for all internet users to access.
Hat tip: Denise Pan