New Publication Prices at PeerJ
PeerJ has just passed its third year of publishing high quality science in the most efficient, cost effective, and open way possible. In that time we have published more than 1,700 peer-reviewed articles and 2,100 preprints; we have launched a new journal; we have released open source software to support the community; we have supported and advocated for many good causes; we have gained the support of over 160 major international institutions; and we have innovated in almost every aspect of academic publishing. We are proud of what we have achieved and we look forward to the future and to continuing to deliver on our mission of affordable, quick, and high quality Open Access scholarly publishing.
We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our early supporters – all those people who have believed in PeerJ since its launch. We pursued the vision of PeerJ with the belief that academics were looking for a more reasonable Open Access pricing option. That belief has been fulfilled. We have enjoyed extremely strong support from many important advocates; we have been able to attract a world-class Editorial Board and world-class authors; we have developed a highly respected publishing system; and we have made a real difference in the world. We have been able to do this because we are pursuing a mission to deliver a publication experience that surpasses all other major journals, but at a fraction of the normal cost to authors.
Our plans for the future are to continue investing in significant internal development, which will allow us to deliver an even better author experience, but still at a rock bottom price. We’re also extremely mindful of PeerJ’s founding principles on affordable high-quality Open Access for all. That’s still our goal, and so we’ve strived to ensure that at the end of the day, the value authors get from PeerJ surpasses all other major Open Access options. To succeed in our mission we’re making a few changes to how we price things.
With current and future benefits in mind, some prices are going up, some are staying the same, and some things are improving straight away.
What stays the same?
The introductory per article publication fee of $695 is not changing. Also, the Unlimited Membership price stays the same at $399, allowing authors to publish an unlimited number of papers, for free, for life.
The institutional pricing (i.e. the membership price paid by universities which make a pre-payment arrangement with PeerJ) also stays the same for the Basic Membership at $139.
What is changing?
Going forward, the Basic Membership (1 publication per year) will be $199, and the Enhanced Membership (2 publications per year) will be $299. At the same time, we are doing away with the extra charge that was applied when memberships were purchased after an editorial ‘accept’ decision. That had been an additional $50 on top of our ‘base prices’, but now you can pay for memberships before or after an editorial accept decision and pay the same price, so there are no additional charges or penalties for waiting until an article is accepted.
Does that mean I will end up paying more?
Not necessarily. One reason we introduced the APC of $695 was so that authors could save money. As each author needed a membership, it meant that some papers (i.e. those with several co-authors) were actually paying a lot more than the APC price before it was introduced.
And for those who still want a membership, don’t forget that memberships are a multi-year benefit. Overtime, it is still the best value and considerably cheaper than the APC option.
When do these changes take effect and what if I’ve already submitted?
The change will start from Monday, February 22nd at midnight UTC (that’s 00:00 hours on the 22nd). Any submissions prior to that time will still qualify for the previous membership pricing, even if paid after February 22nd. Those “legacy” prices for submissions prior to February 22, 2016 are:
Basic $99 (if paid after accept decision add $50)
Enhanced $199 (if paid after accept decision add $50)
Unlimited $399 (if paid after accept decision add $50)
APC $695 (same price)
What about current members?
Our Members have been purchasing lifetime memberships since June 2012 and that’s theirs to keep of course. Even those who have published just once with us have still saved more than they would have elsewhere with comparable major journals operating APC models. In short, there is no change to the benefits for current Members, simply a change to the pricing for new Members.
What if I already have a membership and want to upgrade?
Two things here. First, we’re giving all long-time members a $100 credit when upgrading. Example, if you previously bought a Basic membership at $99 and now decide to upgrade to Enhanced, then under the new pricing you will only pay $100, not $200. Same with upgrading to Unlimited from a Basic (just $200) or from Enhanced (just $100).
Secondly, for those who have already published it is now cheaper to upgrade than under the old pricing which added $50 plus the membership price difference to upgrade. In other words, we’re doing away with the upgrade premium after publishing.
Jason Hoyt, Ph.D.
Co-founder and CEO, PeerJ