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Article processing charge (APC) for publishing open access articles: the Brazilian scenario


The article processing charge (APC) provides economic sustainability for scientific journals that publish in open access (OA). In this work, documents published in OA between 2012 and 2016 by authors with Brazilian affiliation are identified, the profile of these publications is analyzed and the cost of APC is estimated. In order to do so, data from 930 journals and 63,847 documents were collected from the Web of Science Core Collection. It was found that 59% of these documents were published in journals that charge APC. The total expenditures for the 5-year period were estimated at approximately USD 36 million, the weighted average cost per document at USD 957.75 and the average cost per journal at USD 1492.27. The profile of these publications shows that journals indexed by SciELO represent 67% of the 63,847 documents. The use of mega-journals increased over the period, which implies an increase in expenditure in publications, since the average APC per journal was USD 2059.77. It was observed that the OA Brazilian scientific production is characterized by an endogenic profile and has a preference for the Gold road with APC. These results suggest that policies for funding charges are required to stimulate a more international attitude.

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Fig. 1

Source: Research data

Fig. 2

Source: Research data


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Correspondence to Cleusa Pavan.

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Pavan, C., Barbosa, M.C. Article processing charge (APC) for publishing open access articles: the Brazilian scenario. Scientometrics 117, 805–823 (2018).

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  • Article processing charge
  • Open access
  • Public funding
  • Scientific journal

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 00A99

JEL Classification

  • Z00