Introductory Open Access APC option at PeerJ

Update: For the latest prices visit the pricing page

We’re pleased to announce that from today, researchers will have the option to pay an introductory (U.S.) $695 per article fee (APC) to publish in PeerJ, the award winning peer-reviewed Open Access journal in biology, medicine, and the life sciences. This option will also be available to the new PeerJ Computer Science journal. This represents one of the lowest APCs amongst similar classes of Open Access journals in academia.

Notice that we said “the option of an APC.” That’s because researchers still have the choice of purchasing one of our low cost Membership Plans. So, why the addition of a fixed APC charge? We have three reasons:

  1. A surprising number of government and institutional researchers are prohibited from holding multi-year or personal memberships (or at least obtaining reimbursement for them). This means researchers are either paying out of pocket or forgo publishing in journals like PeerJ that only offer memberships. For these researchers, the only available option when it comes to paying for Open Access is often a per article fee, i.e. the APC.
  2. Our Mission is to make publishing high quality Open Access as cost efficient as possible for researchers. With this low cost APC, papers that have a large number of authors do not need to worry about spending as much money – they’ll potentially be saving hundreds of dollars compared to the Membership price for each author.
  3. Not everyone wants the Membership or to convince their co-authors to buy one. We recognize that a simple fixed fee that the APC represents is easier to explain to others or receive funding reimbursement.

We’ve priced the APC to be amongst the lowest in the industry for the class of service researchers are provided with at PeerJ. It is hundreds of dollars, even thousands, less than comparable multidisciplinary journals charging $2,000 – $5,000 for Open Access. We’re able to charge less because we’ve built our publishing platform in-house, and refine it continuously to create one of the most efficient workflows for publishing academic research. In short, it takes less time and human effort to publish the same quality of peer-reviewed research at PeerJ than elsewhere.

Despite the lower cost, we aim to have first decisions back quickly (currently a median time of ~24 days), a thorough yet courteous peer-review process, and a professionally designed modern PDF and HTML article. It is all indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Scopus and more.

We want to thank the thousands of author members who have already published at PeerJ and we hope that you’ll continue to spread the word about the tremendous level of service you’ve experienced.  Please tell your colleagues about the value of PeerJ to science, so that we can keep Open Access pricing as low as possible going forward. PeerJ can only continue with your support.

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8 Responses

  1. Pedro Silva says:

    English is not my native language, but “a thorough yet courtesy peer-review process,” sounds funny… Did you mean “a thorough yet courteous peer-review process,”?

  2. Ann Viera says:

    Well done PeerJ! One of our award-winning alumni working in government alerted me to the problems the “membership” model present to government employees described in reason #1 above. Keep innovating.

  3. John G. Phillips says:

    I’m confused. I recently reviewed an article for PeerJ and they boasted something like a $140 cost per article charge. I don’t see why jacking up the price would cause any excitement.

    • PeerJ says:

      Thanks John – the cost you are referring to is the price for an individual ‘Basic’ membership (per person), not a per-article charge.

      One of those memberships entitles an author to a certain number of free publications per year, for life, but each co-author on the paper needs to have a membership (i.e. the cost isn’t charged per article, it is per author).

      This newly introduced fee, of $695, is an additional option for those people who can’t buy memberships. It is a per article (‘APC’) fee and doesn’t provide the lifetime memberships to the co-authors.

      Both ways of paying are still in effect though (i.e. you can do one or the other, the ‘membership’ route is still there). See full info at:

  4. Thomas Munro says:

    I was surprised and disappointed to learn that some governments and institutions will pay APCs but not multi-year or personal memberships. If anything, it should be the other way around – unlike APCs, submission and membership fees don’t create an incentive to accept papers. This policy is particularly backwards given that NIH and others are still paying author-side fees to toll-access journals (color charges etc). I would be interested to learn more details of this, e.g. which institutions refuse to pay memberships, and for what reason(s)? A post on this topic might help create pressure for more sensible policies.

    • Emma Friesen says:

      Having worked for state governments, I’m not at all surprised that personal memberships were not funded. Some government departments seem very wary of funding anything that could be seen to benefit an individual employee over other employees, or at the expense of service delivery to citizens. In some government departments, employees can’t access funds for continuing professional development or professional registration, even where these are mandatory for practice.