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Article Dans Une Revue Elements Année : 2021

Could you tell the true cost of your last publication?


The European Journal of Mineralogy (EJM) has been transformed into a gold open access journal on January 2020. It was a major milestone for the journal and the transformation was a success. As the Managing Editor of the journal, I would like to come back to this event of major importance for us and explain the strategy the journal is pursuing. At EJM we fully support open access policy. Everyone should have free access to scientific publications. Any research project starts by a review and compilation of the relevant bibliography. A free timely access to scientific publications is the only way to fulfill this first step of the research fairly. At EJM we have chosen gold open access model. We believe this is a good way to ensure a successful transition to deliver the goal above-mentioned. It is also the best way to ensure full transparency of publication costs, which is not always the case with other publication models (e.g. hybrid models). These goals are undoubtedly demanding. Introducing payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) at the stage of the publication, requires from all of us an effort to rethink the way costs of publications are supported. It is a revolution for many of the scientific actors and we are aware that it may be very difficult for some. To address these challenges, the four European learned societies owners EJM took a series of fundamental strategic steps. To ensure a high quality of publishing at a very reasonable price, it was decided to associate with the publisher Copernicus. Copernicus is a reputable publisher, publishing only open access journal since 2001, which offers very moderate APCs. In addition, to smoothen the transition process, in 2020 and 2021 the price paid by authors is only 50 euros per page (40 euros for the members of the societies). The value per page is below production cost, but the societies intentionally and actively wanted to help authors during this transition period. We expect that the nominal cost will be adjusted progressively in the coming years. The learned societies have also launched specific APCs waiver programs to help some of the authors who have difficulties to pay full rates. The change at EJM is not completed yet. We still have to transform the volumes published before 2020 into open access formats. This will be implemented as soon as APCs generated funds fully cover the running cost of the journal. Once all EJM volumes are in open access, the cost of a paper published in EJM will be fully transparent to authors, institutions and tax-payers. It will correspond exactly to the APCs paid, which was never the case in the previous hybrid system. This represents a per se revolutionary compared to the past models. It is my true belief that learned societies associated with responsible publishers will play a major role in the regulation of the cost of publications by competing with more profit-oriented publishers (both former hybrid and new fully open access ones). Gold open access offers this opportunity to the learned societies. We must be ready to assume this leading role and I am fully committed to steer EJM in this direction with your support. We hope other societies will follow this path by transforming their hybrid journals into full open access one published by the same type of publisher as ours. Publications’ cost is an important topic to learned societies but certainly not the only one on publishing. I look forward to addressing others in my next editorial – stay tuned!

Dates et versions

hal-03328504 , version 1 (30-08-2021)



Jannick Ingrin. Could you tell the true cost of your last publication?. Elements, 2021, Elements, 17 (2), pp.138. ⟨10.2138/gselements.17.2.138⟩. ⟨hal-03328504⟩
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