Have you ever published in an SCI or Scopus indexed journal that is free? — R Voice

Have you ever published in an SCI or Scopus indexed journal that is free?

Kakoli Majumder
Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 341 admin
edited June 6 in Publication Support

In recent times, I've come across several mentions of reputable journals - mostly, SCI or Scopus indexed - where authors can publish free of cost, that is, they do not have to pay any article processing charges or publication fees. Does anybody here on R Voice have experience with publishing in such a journal? I'm curious to know the process. Did you apply for a fee waiver or is the journal free for all authors? Also, is the journal paywalled? If yes, are they ready to make your article open access for a fee?

Any related information would be appreciated.


  • Erin Owens
    Erin Owens Member Posts: 30 ✭✭✭

    Hi, Kakoli,

    In my field (library and information science), we have a number of journals which are reputable and indexed; do not charge any APCs to any authors; and publish all content open-access by default so it's available to all readers with no paywalls. They truly are free to authors and readers both. These titles are often associated with and funded by a university or with a scholarly or professional association. They often publish online only, no print (to keep costs down), and the editors, copyeditors, etc. are unpaid members of the discipline as opposed to paid publisher's staff. Two examples are Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (in Scopus here) and College & Research Libraries (in Scopus here).

    But this stuff varies so much by discipline! I assist researchers in many other fields with scholarly publication, and I know it's much more difficult in some fields to find journals that publish open access without charging the author an APC. I'm frequently helping researchers on my campus to work through questions like: Is it a legitimate fee being charged for value-added service or a profit scheme from a predatory publisher? Assuming it is legitimate, is the fee reasonable/acceptable or too high? Is the fee required for submission or publication, or is the fee optional to make the article open-access instead of paywalled? Are waivers available, or other options for offsetting the cost? Could I find another place to publish that would still help me achieve my goals for this paper but wouldn't cost as much (or wouldn't cost anything)?

    Incidentally, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a great resource to compare APCs between journals that publish open-access content (including identifying journals with no fees).

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 341 admin

    Thanks for your detailed response @Erin Owens! So heartening to know that there are so many open access journals in your field that are reputable, indexed, and free of charge. It is understandable that most of these are online-only journals - prints definitely come at a cost. But as you've correctly observed, these things vary by field. I'm wondering if there's a possibility that a for-profit publication house can come up with a sustainable model to provide no-cost or (truly) low-cost publication for authors while at the same time providing free access to readers?

    @leonard waks @Nicholas Rowe @Dahlia T @Praveena Ramanujam @Claudia Herrera Would love to know your thoughts on this.