Hybrid open-access journal

A hybrid open-access journal is a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access. This status typically requires the payment of a publication fee (also called an article processing charge or APC) to the publisher in order to publish an article open access, in addition to the continued payment of subscriptions to access all other content.


The concept was first proposed in 1998 when Thomas Walker suggested that authors could purchase extra visibility at a price.[1] The first journal recognized as using this model was Walker's own Florida Entomologist; it was later extended to the other publications of the Entomological Society of America. The idea was later refined by David Prosser in 2003[2] in the journal Learned Publishing.

Publishers that offer a hybrid open access option often use different names for it. The SHERPA/RoMEO site provides a list of publishers and the names of their options.[3]

Hybrid journals are low risk for publishers to set up, because they still receive subscription income, but the high price of hybrid APCs has led to low uptake of the hybrid open access option.[4] In 2014 the average APC for hybrid journals was calculated to be almost twice as high as APCs from full open access publishers.[5]


Some universities, research centers, foundations, and government agencies have funds designed to pay publication fees (APCs) of fee-based open access journals. Of these, some will pay publication fees of hybrid open access journals. However, policies about such payments differ. The Open Access Directory[6] provides a list of funds that support open access journals, and provides information about which funds will pay fees of hybrid open access journals.[7] A substantial number of funds (40%) will not reimburse APCs in hybrid journals, including Harvard University, CERN, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Columbia University and the Norwegian Research Council.[7] The European Commission has also announced that the ninth framework program (Horizon Europe) will not cover the cost of APCs in hybrid journals[8]. Science Europe has set up a coalition of European research funders (cOAlition S) who have explicitly ruled out reimbursing APCs in hybrid journals from 2020 with the express aim of driving a more rapid transition towards full open access[9].

Since one source of funds to pay for open access articles is the library subscription budget, it has been proposed that there needs to be a decrease in the subscription cost to the library in order to avoid 'double dipping' where an article is paid for twice – once through subscription fees, and again through an APC. For example, the Open Access Authors Fund of the University of Calgary Library (2009/09) requires that: "To be eligible for funding in this [hybrid open access] category, the publisher must plan to make (in the next subscription year) reductions to the institutional subscription prices based on the number of open-access articles in those journals."[10] On November 12, 2009, Nature Publishing Group issued a news release on how open access affected its subscription prices.[11]

A report on work carried out by the University of Nottingham since 2006 to introduce and manage an institutional open access fund has been published by Stephen Pinfield in Learned Publishing.[12] In this article, the author comments that: "As publishers' income has increased from OA [open-access] fees in the hybrid model, there has been little or no let-up in journal subscription inflation, and only a small minority of publishers have yet committed to adjusting their subscription prices as they receive increasing levels of income from OA options."

Advantages and disadvantages to the author

An author who wants to publish in an open-access format is not limited to the relatively small number of "full" open-access journals, but can also choose from the available hybrid open-access journals, which includes journals published by many of the largest academic publishers.

However, the author must still find the money. Many funding agencies are ready to let authors use grant funds, or apply for supplementary funds, to pay publication fees at open-access journals. (Only a minority of open-access journals charge such fees, but nearly all hybrid open access journals do so.) So far, the funding agencies that are willing to pay these fees do not distinguish between full and hybrid open-access journals. On October 19, 2009, one such funding agency, the Wellcome Trust, expressed concerns about hybrid open-access fees being paid twice, through subscriptions and through publication fees.[13]

If an author is unable to pay the fees or chooses not to do so, they often retain the right to share their work online by self-archiving in an open access repository.


The American Society of Plant Biologists has adopted a policy[14] that articles contributed by society members to its journal, Plant Physiology, will be made open access immediately on publication at no additional charge. Non-member authors can receive OA through payment of $1,000, but since membership is only $115/year,[15] it is expected this initiative will boost membership.

Partial open access exists when only research articles are open (as in BMJ), while articles in other categories are paywalled.

See also


  1. ^ Walker, Thomas (1998). "Free Internet Access to Traditional Journals". American Scientist. 86 (5): 463. doi:10.1511/1998.5.463.
  2. ^ David Prosser (2003). "From here to there: a proposed mechanism for transforming journals from closed to open access". Learned Publishing. 16 (3): 163–166. doi:10.1087/095315103322110923. Archived from the original on May 1, 2006.
  3. ^ http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/PaidOA.php
  4. ^ Björk, Bo-Christer; Solomon, David (2014). "How research funders can finance APCs in full OA and hybrid journals". Learned Publishing. 27 (2): 93–103. doi:10.1087/20140203.
  5. ^ Björk, Bo-Christer; Solomon, David (March 2014). "Developing an Effective Market for Open Access Article Processing Charges" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  6. ^ Robin Peek (ed.). "Open Access Directory". US: Simmons School of Library and Information Science. OCLC 757073363. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  7. ^ a b "OA journal funds". Open Access Directory. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Horizon Europe impact assessment SWD(2018) 307". European Commission. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  9. ^ "cOAlition S - Making open access a reality by 2020". Science Europe. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  10. ^ Open Access Authors Fund
  11. ^ Open Access uptake prompts 9% price reduction for The EMBO Journal and EMBO reports
  12. ^ http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/alpsp/lp/2010/00000023/00000001/art00008 Learned Publishing (Jan 2010)
  13. ^ http://ukpmc.blogspot.com/2009/10/wellcome-trust-calls-for-greater.html Wellcome Trust calls for greater transparency from journals on open-access publishing costs
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 4, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ membership

External links

Academic publishing

Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in academic journal article, book or thesis form. The part of academic written output that is not formally published but merely printed up or posted on the Internet is often called "grey literature". Most scientific and scholarly journals, and many academic and scholarly books, though not all, are based on some form of peer review or editorial refereeing to qualify texts for publication. Peer review quality and selectivity standards vary greatly from journal to journal, publisher to publisher, and field to field.

Most established academic disciplines have their own journals and other outlets for publication, although many academic journals are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields. There is also a tendency for existing journals to divide into specialized sections as the field itself becomes more specialized. Along with the variation in review and publication procedures, the kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions to knowledge or research differ greatly among fields and subfields.

Academic publishing is undergoing major changes, as it makes the transition from the print to the electronic format. Business models are different in the electronic environment. Since the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. An important trend, particularly with respect to journals in the sciences, is open access via the Internet. In open access publishing, a journal article is made available free for all on the web by the publisher at the time of publication. Both open and closed journals are sometimes funded by the author paying an Article processing charge, thereby shifting some fees from the reader to the researcher or their funder. Many open or closed journals fund their operations without such fees. The Internet has facilitated open access self-archiving, in which authors themselves make a copy of their published articles available free for all on the web. Some important results in mathematics have been published only on arXiv.

Article processing charge

An article processing charge (APC), also known as a publication fee, is a fee which is sometimes charged to authors to make a work available open access in either an open access journal or hybrid journal. This fee is usually paid by an author's institution or research funder rather than by the author themselves. Some publishers waive the fee in cases of hardship. An article processing charge does not guarantee that the author retains copyright to the work, or that it will be made available under a Creative Commons license.Journals use a variety of ways to generate the income required to cover publishing costs (including editorial costs, any costs of administering the peer review system), such as subsidies from institutions and subscriptions. A majority of open access journals do not charge article processing charges, but a significant and growing number of them do. They are the most common funding method for professionally published open access articles.APC fees applied to academic research are usually expensive, effectively limiting open access circulation among the less affluent institutions, scholars, and students.

APC model of open access, among other controversies — is part of the wider and increasing global Open Access OA's ethics debate.Different academic publishers have widely varying levels of fees, from under $100 to over $3000. High fees are sometimes charged by traditional publishers in order to publish in a hybrid open access journal, which make an individual article in a subscription journal open access. The average APC for hybrid journals has been calculated to be almost twice as high as APCs from full open access publishers. Journals with high impact factors from major publishers tend to have the highest APCs. Many open access publishers, such as PLOS, waive their APCs for those who cannot afford to pay them.Open access articles often have a surcharge compared to a closed-access APC; for example the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences regularly charges $1700 per article, with a surcharge of $1350 for open-access. Similarly, AGU's Journal of Geophysical Research charges $1000 for closed-access and $3500 for open-access.Even when publishers do not charge standard fees, excess or overlength fees might still apply after a certain number of pages or publication units is exceeded; additional fees might exist for color figures, primarily for print journals that are not online-only.

While publication charges occur upon article acceptance, article submission fees are charged prior to the start of peer review; they are not uncommon among journals in some fields, e.g., finance and economics.Page charge may refer to either publication or submission fees.


ChemPhysChem is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Wiley-VCH on behalf of eight out of sixteen chemical societies that form the ChemPubSoc Europe consortium. It was established in 2000 and covers all primary and secondary topics in chemical physics and physical chemistry. Initially published monthly, the journal move to 18 issues per year in 2007, and further to biweekly in 2016.

The journal is supported by an international Editorial Advisory Board chaired by Professors Christian Amatore (Ecole normale supérieure), Michel Orrit (Leiden Universiteit) and Michael Grätzel (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne). Professional editors, who hold PhDs in chemistry, are employed by the publishers.

The appointment of the journal's editor-in-chief is subject to approval of ChemPubSoc Europe.

Current Issues in Molecular Biology

Current Issues in Molecular Biology (CIMB) is a peer-reviewed hybrid open access journal publishing review articles and minireviews in all areas of molecular biology and molecular microbiology. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has an impact factor of 5.25 (2016). It is published by Horizon Scientific Press and was established in 1999.

Delayed open-access journal

Delayed open-access journals are traditional subscription-based journals that provide free online access upon the expiry of an embargo period following the initial publication date.

Endocrine-Related Cancer

Endocrine-Related Cancer is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal covering cancers in endocrine organs — such as the breast, prostate, pituitary, testes, ovaries, and neuroendocrine system — and hormone-dependent cancers occurring elsewhere in the body. Its scope covers basic, translational, clinical and experimental studies.

The journal is published by Bioscientifica on behalf of the Society for Endocrinology. It is also an official journal of the European Society of Endocrinology and the Japanese Hormone and Cancer Society. The editor-in-chief is Charis Eng (Cleveland Clinic) and, according to the ISI Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2017 impact factor of 5.331.

European Journal of Physics

The European Journal of Physics is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal dedicated to maintaining and improving the standard of physics education in higher education. The journal, published since 1980, is now published by IOP Publishing on behalf of the European Physical Society. The current editor-in-chief is Michael Vollmer of the Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences.

It does not include original research in physics, but rather:

Surveys of research at a level accessible to students

Original insights into the derivation of results

Descriptions of new laboratory exercises

Scholarly or reflective articles at appropriate levels

Descriptions of successful original student projects

Discussions of the history and philosophy of physics.

Reports of new developments in methods for teaching physics and in the physics curriculum.The journal had an Impact factor of 0.608 for 2015, according to the Journal Citation Reports.

It is indexed In Chemical Abstracts, Engineering Index/Ei Compendex, Web of Science, Inspec, Zentralblatt für Mathematik, and other services.

Genes, Brain and Behavior

Genes, Brain and Behavior (also known as G2B) is a peer-reviewed online-only scientific journal covering research in the fields of behavioral, neural, and psychiatric genetics. It is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society. The journal was established in 2002 as a quarterly and is currently published monthly. G2B is a hybrid open access journal, but two years after publication all content is available for free online.

IEEE Magnetics Letters

IEEE Magnetics Letters is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering the physics and engineering of magnetism, magnetic materials, applied magnetics, design and application of magnetic devices, biomagnetics, magneto-electronics, and spin electronics. It publishes short articles of up to four pages in length and is a hybrid open access journal. The editor-in-chief is Ron B. Goldfarb (National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Immunogenetics (journal)

Immunogenetics is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering immunogenetics, the branch of medical research that explores the relationship between the immune system and genetics. This journal publishes original research papers, brief communications and reviews in: immunogenetics of cell interaction, immunogenetics of tissue differentiation and development, phylogeny of alloantigens and of immune response, genetic control of immune response and disease susceptibility, and genetics and biochemistry of alloantigens.Immunogenetics was first published yearly starting in December 1974 and then monthly since May 1981. It has an impact factor of 2.227 according to the Thomson Reuters 2014 Journal Citation Reports. The current editor-in-chief is Ronald E. Bontrop professor of Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics at Utrecht University.

Immunogenetics is a hybrid open-access journal through the Springer Open Choice option.

Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

The Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics is an online-only peer-reviewed scientific journal focusing on all aspects of cosmology and astroparticle physics. This encompasses theory, observation, experiment, computation and simulation. It has been published jointly by IOP Publishing and the International School for Advanced Studies since 2003. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics has been a part of the SCOAP3 initiative.

But from 1 January 2017 it has moved out from SCOAP3 agreement.

Journal of Instrumentation

The Journal of Instrumentation is an online peer-reviewed scientific journal. It is published by IOP Publishing on behalf of the International School for Advanced Studies.The journal covers concept and instrumentation in topic areas related to, and including detector and accelerator science, including related theory, simulations, modelling, and experimental methods.

Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

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Journal of Physics A

The Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by IOP Publishing. It is part of the Journal of Physics series and covers theoretical physics focusing on sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques. It was established in 1968 from the division of the earlier title, Proceedings of the Physical Society.

The journal is divided into six sections covering: statistical physics; chaotic and complex systems; mathematical physics; quantum mechanics and quantum information theory; classical and quantum field theory; fluid and plasma theory.

The editor in chief is Martin R Evans (University of Edinburgh).

Journal of Physics D

Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by IOP Publishing, a subsidiary of the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1968 from the division of the earlier title, Proceedings of the Physical Society. It has a broad coverage, including five main focus areas: magnetism; photonics and semiconductors; plasmas and plasma-surface interactions; applied surfaces and interfaces; structure and properties of matter and renewable energy/sustainability. The current editor-in-chief is Joan Ramón Morante (Catalonia Institute for Energy Research).

Journal of Physics G

Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes theoretical and experimental research into nuclear physics, particle physics and particle astrophysics, including all interface areas between these fields.

The editor-in-chief is Professor Jacek Dobaczewski, University of York, UK.

Journal of Radiological Protection

Journal of Radiological Protection is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering radiobiological research on all aspects of radiological protection, including non-ionizing as well as ionizing radiations. It is the official journal of the Society for Radiological Protection and published on their behalf by IOP Publishing. It was established in 1981 as the Journal of the Society for Radiological Protection, before obtaining its current name in 1988. The editor-in-chief is Richard Wakeford (University of Manchester).

Journal of Religion and Violence

The Journal of Religion and Violence is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering the study of religion and violence. It publishes analyses of contemporary and historical religious groups involved in violent incidents, as well as studies on sacrifice, terrorism, inter- and intra-religious violence, mass suicide, war and religion, and religiously-legitimated violence against women. It also publishes reviews and special issues dedicated to relevant topics. The journal is indexed in the ATLA Religion Database and ERIH PLUS and has a Level 1 classification from the Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. The Journal of Religion and Violence is a hybrid open-access journal with a SHERPA/RoMEO "green" self-archiving policy. It is published by the Philosophy Documentation Center

Measurement Science and Technology

Measurement Science and Technology (MST) is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by IOP Publishing and covering the areas of measurement, instrumentation, and sensor technology in the sciences. The editor-in-chief is David Birch (University of Strathclyde).

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