By: Gyan Prakash Kesharwani [CEO, VidhiAagaz]
As a chairperson of a publication house, I often receive questions regarding the academic value of journals taking publication charges (Manuscript Processing Fee). Generally, students solicit them kindly, but at times we also find some people trying to mock us with comments like:
“There is no value of paid publication”.
“All the paid publications are fraud”.
“UGC doesn’t recognise Paid Publications”.
It is a serious issue. Most of the people (even faculties) are confused about the value of journals which are taking processing charges. They generally call it a paid publication and this conversation is intended to clear this specific doubt of these researchers.
“Paid Publication” is a term generally used when a journal or publication house directly asks for the money to publish without getting it reviewed not for journals taking charges after acceptance in the review.
Can you please elaborate?
Taking Article Publishing Charges (after review) is not a crime but instead a well-recognized way of publication. Some Journals (like ours) publish all its manuscripts in full open access under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license. This allows the scientific community and the general public to gain unlimited, free, and immediate access to scholarly articles, and to reuse the content freely provided that proper attribution is given to the original authors.
To cover the cost for providing our high-quality publishing service and free access to readers, authors pay a one-time Manuscript Processing Charge (MPC) for manuscripts accepted after peer-review.
There are no charges for rejected articles, no submission charges, and no surcharges based on the length of an article, figures or supplementary data. Editorial items (Editorials, Corrections, Additions, Retractions, Letters, Comments, etc.) are published free of charge.
So, for what purpose do you take Manuscript Publishing Charges?
Independent Open Access Journals need money to publish your articles. They do not earn through subscription, neither have they collected through any other sources and still they need to pay for the promotion of Call for Paper, Maintenance of website, its promotion, graphic designing, editing, formatting, typesetting and so on.
MPCs cover the following:
- The editorial procedure: Including administration related to peer review, author revisions, and final decision-making. To demonstrate its appreciation of the vital work done by reviewers and editorial board members, we provide them with MPC discounts and waivers. MPCs also cover for the administrative work done for rejected articles.
- For maintaining softwares such as plagiarism softwares, etc. it is imperative that certain charges are levied.
- Article production: professional language editing, type-setting, formatting, and production in PDF format.
- Article hosting and dissemination: Website maintenance (which keeps on increasing with date), contact with indexing databases.
- Journal administration: Including managing the journal website and editorial board, and promotion of the journal among the research community (Yes, we pay charges to reach you through different online websites, they charge us since they also have to cover their cost)]
- Philanthropy: We invest in projects that benefit the research community, including prizes, awards, and conference sponsorship.
Let’s End it!
I traced a post yesterday which read “Are they seeking paper for their journal or selling a plot of land?”. Afterwards, the post was edited to “Are they seeking paper for their journal or are they inviting us for an auction?”. It was edited for the fourth time, and finally it is “Are they seeking paper for their journal or are they inviting us for a sale?”
The author of this post tried hard to mock our journal for its Anniversary Discount (We launched for one day since VidhiAagaz completed 2 years) and this is the first time I laughed out loud on a mocking.
We should end it! We should learn it!
We provide discounts sometimes because we try to make it as affordable as we can. We try to accommodate the charges, by launching Free or Discounted Call for Papers sometimes. This is an opportunity, not an auction!
Tell me in one line, is it worth publishing in Journals taking Charges?
Manuscript Publishing Charges do not make any change to the quality of journals. MPC should not be the criteria you should look for, instead visit the website of the concerned journal, check the credentials.
Who’s there in the editorial board?
How’s their website?
What’s the quality of articles being published?
In how many databases they’re indexed?
Do they have an impact factor?
Find the answer to these questions, and if everything looks fine to you, send your paper. Even if you feel that the journal is predatory after their acceptance, ask for the plagiarism report of the article, ask for the reviewers’ comment (they may not tell you who the reviewer is, or they may not show you the report but they’ll tell you in brief).