Quality research is expensive and it is disappointing when unexpected costs are incurred and you don’t have enough money to pay the high publishing fees. Here you will learn 5 ways on how to save on publications costs.
1. Subsidize Costs
Check with your institution, university’s library, or funder if they can help with publication costs. Springer Nature provides a free open access support service where you can search and apply for funding to cover APCs (Article Processing Charges) or BPCs (Book Processing Charges).
If you cannot find a funder to cover publication costs and you are a researcher from a developing country, you may ask the publisher if they can waive the publication fee. If they don’t waive it, they might work with you regarding a lower and more affordable rate.
Some institutions have partnerships with companies that offer reduced prices. For example, if your article needs a translation or English language editing, your institution can become an AJE partner and receive bulk discounted prices for its services.
2. Do Collaborative Research
Working with researchers from other institutions not only promotes creativity, efficiency, and agility but also decreases costs. Because publication costs can be shared, you may be able to choose a higher impact journal with gold Open Access (OA). If you are looking for international collaboration, check this article on 30+ Research Funding Agencies that Support International Collaboration.
3. Save on Number of Pages, Figures, and Graphs
Making your article more concise may also decrease costs. Consider reducing the number of pages by cutting unnecessary words, sentences, or even paragraphs. To reduce the number of words, write leaner sentences by starting with the subject and using active verbs. For example, instead of “It was observed that the time for the reaction to complete was 15 min”, write “The reaction time was 15 min”.
Another way to save on publication costs is to reduce the number of figures. When possible, merge multiple graphs into one. In addition, use grayscale graphs and figures. However, do so only if there is no loss of data.
4. Choose your Journal Wisely
Depending on the Journal of your choice, your costs may range from ~ $100 to more than $5,000. If you do not wish to pay any fee, subscription-based journals are free of charge. However, this “no fee” comes with a price tag: your article will be accessible only by those who have paid the journal’s subscription and you will need to transfer the copyright to the journal.
To increase visibility, you may choose to publish your article in an open access (OA) journal (also called gold OA) or archive a version of your article in an open access repository (green OA or self-archiving). The gold OA makes your work freely and immediately available on the publisher’s website upon publication. Some subscription-based journals offer a choice of gold OA (hybrid journals) through the payment of an open access fee. Springer Nature provides a list of some hybrid journals.
If you choose a fully open access journal (gold OA), you can reduce your costs by choosing a more affordable journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals (just type a keyword or click on a subject). However, if you choose the green OA, your article will be available in a repository other than the publisher’s website and usually after an embargo period.
Self-archiving or Green OA is to upload a preprint version of your work before peer-review. Among other services, the Research Square preprint platform is one of the options to self-archive.
By choosing to self-archive in a preprint platform, you will get:
- credit - your work will be permanently recorded in a scientific platform and will have an unique DOI
- trackability - you will be able to track the status of your article in real-time
- feedback - other researchers will discover your work and make recommendations or even suggest a collaboration
- visibility - your preprint will bring readers to your published article.
Please check what your journal’s self-archiving policies are before deciding what works best for you.