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Re: Submission Fees (was: RE: "Overlay Journals" Over Again...)

A subscription journal charging submission fees (or acceptance 
fees or both) seems like a bit of double- (or triple-) dipping , 
unless it is honestly faithfully and fully translated into lower 
subscription fees.

It is very likely that if and when universal Green Open Access 
(as a result of universal mandates to self-archive the author's 
final refereed drafts of all peer-reviewed journal articles 
immediately upon acceptance for publication) causes subscriptions 
to become unsustainable -- and hence causes journals to cut 
expenses, phase out the print edition as well as access-provision 
and archiving, provide only the service of peer review, and 
convert to the publication-fee- based Gold OA model, paid for out 
of a portion of the institutional windfall savings from the 
subscription cancellation -- then the Gold OA fee will be a 
conditional one, with an initial, lower, submission fee, credited 
toward part of the acceptance fee, if accepted.

But this is all premature and unnecessary now, when most journals 
are still subscription-based, institutional funds to pay Gold 
fees are still tied up in subscriptions, Green OA is far from 
universal, and hence journals have not yet phased out the print 
edition, access- provision and archiving. For all this to happen, 
universal Green OA is needed first. Otherwise we are doing voodoo 

All this will be familiar to readers of the AmSci Forum, where it 
has been discussed many times before, in years past: 

Stevan Harnad

On 3-Jul-09, at 11:38 PM, Zac Rolnik wrote:

> The use of submission fees for journals in the area of business
> and economics journal publishing is not unusual.  As a matter of
> fact, I cannot think of any top ranked finance journals that do
> not charge a submission fee.  Some of these fees can range
> between $250-500 and often they are charged for resubmission if
> the article is given a "revise and resubmit" decision.  And the
> more prestigious the journal, the more price inelastic this
> submission fee becomes.
> I am not sure if you could create a sustainable business model on
> submission fees, but I never understood why open access journals
> would not implement them.  It seems wholly unfair to charge only
> the papers that make it "successfully" through the review process
> to acceptance, while the majority of papers that are being
> rejected (I am assuming this, but it may be a big assumption) get
> a free ride through the process.  Maybe the submission fee could
> be applied to the acceptance fee once the article is accepted --
> this would be even fairer to the accepted authors.
> I do not think submission fees encourage journals to accept
> papers or increases the potential for abuse as some may have
> claimed.  In a certain way, fees charged on acceptance only would
> create a greater incentive for abuse and "acceptance" decisions
> for less worthy papers.
> Finally, charging submission fees may make authors think twice
> before submitting a paper that may not be ready for prime time.
> As a publisher, I often see authors submit articles too early
> knowing that the chance of acceptance on the first submission is
> low and hoping the reviewer can provide some constructive
> feedback.  In talking to some journal editors, they feel that
> submission fees is a rationing mechanism -- you are less likely
> to submit a paper if there is a fee unless you feel it is ready
> for the review process.
> Thanks,
> Zac Rolnik
> now publishers