Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group (NPG), UK, has announced details of its 2011 pricing policy for Nature Communications and other NPG journals offering an open access (OA) option.
NPG currently sets a threshold of 10 percent OA content in a journal in a given year, at which point site licence prices will be reviewed. The company currently publishes 15 journals with an OA option, of which three have published more than 10 percent OA content in 2009. These are: The EMBO Journal and EMBO reports, the International Journal of Impotence Research (IJIR) and Prostate Cancer (PCan). The percentage of EMBO open content has actually decreased, and so this will lead to a small increase in price, following the 9 percent reduction for 2010. IJIR and PCan should see decreases in site licence prices of 5-10 percent, depending on the annual inflationary increase, which will be announced in the second quarter of 2010. This change only applies to site licence prices; personal and print subscriptions remain subject to NPG's usual pricing structure.
In 2012, NPG's intention is that site licence pricing for journals with an OA option will be determined by the percentage change in the amount of subscription access articles. This means the subscription price will be based on only the amount of subscribed content, independent of the OA content. This is expected to provide a more straightforward calculation to price journals, especially for journals that are growing, or new hybrid titles that do not have a base level of content. Annual inflationary increases will still apply. Again, this change in pricing structure only applies to site licence access.
In April, NPG is to launch Nature Communications, a born digital journal with an immediate OA option. Therefore it has no existing price to reduce, and NPG can only set a site licence access price based on the amount of subscription content and the quality of the journal.
All content published in Nature Communications will be freely available until October 2010, after which subscribed access content will be put behind a paywall. Site licence access and pay-per-view options will be available from October. Based on current submissions, the journal is projected to publish significantly more subscribed access research papers than a Nature research journal. NPG has therefore set a base site licence price of £1,500/$2,400/€1,875 for a small academic institution. Early subscribers will be offered 15 months for the price of 12, providing access from October 2010 through to December 2011 (subscriptions must be confirmed by August 31, 2010).
The Article Processing Charge (APC) for Nature Communications has been set at $5,000, with a 20 percent launch discount. Approximately 25 percent of authors have expressed interest in choosing OA publication. Nature Communications memberships will also be available, offering discounted APCs. Memberships will be offered at discounted rates when combined with site licences. Details are still being confirmed and will be announced later in 2010.
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