While open access journals provide readers with articles at no charge, there is growing concern about increasing article processing charges (APCs) that authors or research institutes pay to publish their work. This study examines the determinants of APC changes for 231 open access journals independently launched by two large publishers, namely, BMC (formerly BioMed Central) and Hindawi. The results indicate that most BMC journals raised their APCs between 2018 and 2020, while the charges for about half of Hindawi journals were lower in 2020 than in 2018. This study reveals that BMC raised the APCs for journals with higher citation scores, while Hindawi did not consider citation score as a factor in revising charges. Assuming that authors are insensitive to APCs when selecting a journal to submit their articles but are more likely to submit to a highly cited journal, BMC's strategy may increase the economic burden on authors and research institutes funding the publication.
- article processing charge
- open access