, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 511–528 | Cite as

Investigation of the degree to which articles supported by research grants are published in open access health and life sciences journals

  • Ling Ling Wang
  • Xuan Zhen Liu
  • Hui Fang


In the scientific publication world, there are an increasing number of open access (OA) journals. Many OA journals are financed by the article processing charges (APCs) that they charge authors. There is considerable interest in the funding source of such APCs. In 255 health and life sciences OA journals that charge APCs (APC OA journals) and 183 health and life sciences OA journals that do not charge APCs (free OA journals) that are indexed in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, this study uses a bibliometric method to examine the relationship between two journal characteristics during 2009–2013: APCs and the percentage of published articles based on work that is supported by grants (grant-funded articles). According to the data collected, the percentage of grant-funded articles increases as the associated APCs increase. Average APCs of APC OA journals are higher in Europe and North America than elsewhere. The study also investigated the top ten countries in the number of scientific publications in the OA journals investigated. All ten countries had lower percentages of grant-funded articles in free OA journals than in APC OA and subscription journals. Of the ten countries, six in Europe and North America have higher percentages of grant-funded articles in APC OA journals than in subscription journals. The other four countries that have lower percentages of grant-funded articles in APC OA journals than in subscription journals are in Asia and South America, which are places where APC OA journals have low average APCs.


Open access Article processing charge Grants Authors Scientific publications Bibliometric investigation 



The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for useful suggestions that have improved this contribution. This project is funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LibraryNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science, School of Electronic Science and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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