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Who pays the bill?

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11.4% of authors from the peripheral countries are ready to treat their own money as a resource that may cover Article Processing Charges, which is true for only 6.1% of those based in the core countries. In the global periphery, academic authors have less access to grant funding that would cover publication fees. However, due to the substitution of their own money, authors from less wealthy countries are able to pay APCs as often as their richer colleagues.

In my previous post I pointed out that 26.8% of academic authors predicted that they will have access to some money to cover Article Processing Charges in the year 2016. Now I will write a little bit about where this money comes from. In the Key Challenges of Research Communication De Gruyter Open Author’s Survey, sources of funding were determined by a question that allowed multiple responses, and this is the reason why the percentages below do not add up to 26.8%.

According to our survey, the biggest group of researchers have funds for publications directly from their employers. 13.1% of all academic authors are able to pay publication fees in 2016 due to the support of an institution that they work for. For 4.2% it is the only source of funding.

11.9% of authors claimed to have access to grant money intended to cover publication costs and for 3.6% it was the only source of money that might cover APCs.

10% have access to grant money for an unspecified goal that might be used to pay publication fee. For 2.2% it was the only source of funding APCs.

8.9% of academic authors declared that they are able to use their own money to cover publication fees in the year 2016, and for 2.2% of them it was the only source available.

5.1% have access to money from their national funding body that can be spent on APCs. Only for 0.33% is it the only source available.

The abundance and the shortage

While 42.9% of academic authors declared that they will have no money to be spent on publication costs in the year 2016 and a further 2.2% declared that they will be relaying here only on own pockets, 10.4% of their colleagues have access to one external APC funding source. But 11.2% have access to two or more sources of money for publication fees, not including their own pockets.

What is more, among academic authors based in the core countries, 14% have access to 2 or more sources of funding (except from their own pocket), while for those working in the global periphery it is 9.1%. An abundance of funding sources is mostly appearing for researchers working in STEM, and is rare for Humanities and Social Sciences.

The global periphery pays from their own pocket

Authors working in the peripheral countries often have less access to money from grants intended to be spend on publication costs (8.7% vs. 15.7%), and to grant money without a specified goal (8.5% vs 12%). So how is it that researchers working in less wealthy countries are able to pay APCs as often as their colleagues from the Rich Global North?

Well, the solution to this mystery is simple. 11.4% of authors from the periphery are ready to treat their own money as a resource that may cover APCs, which is true only for 6.1% of those based in the core countries. This is quite understandable, having in mind a higher acceptance of open access advantages among authors from the global periphery (however, it is still not completely clear to me what makes authors from the global periphery more enthusiastic about open access). There is no significant difference in the case of access to national and institutional funds here.

HSS do not pay APCs because of less grant funding

5.9% of researchers in Arts and Humanities have access to publication grants, while it is as much as 18.7% in Medical and Life Sciences and 16.2% among researchers from the fields of Science, Mathematics and Engineering and 9.1% among those dealing with Social Sciences.

Among humanists only 5.3% have access to grant money for unspecified goal, while it is 15.3% of researchers dealing with Medical and Life Science, and for 13.7% of these dealing with Science, Mathematics and Engineering and only for 7.8% of these from Social Sciences. Disciplinary differences do not affect the probability of treating one’s own money as a resource that may cover APCs. So smaller amount of available grants translate directly into a smaller percentage of authors who want/can pay publication fees in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

And last will be the least surprising conclusion. Authors who publish more papers than their average disciplinary colleagues are more likely to have access to national funding sources, institutional sources and grant money.

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