A preliminary version of our MDPI APC longitudinal study is now available:
MDPI is a new commercial publisher committed to the APC model, with a not
uncommon approach of free publication for new journals. Thanks to Solomon and
Björk, we have APC data for 25 journals for both 2011 and 2016. The average APC
for this group of journals increased from 624 CHF in 2011 to 1,148 CHF in 2016,
an average increase of 524 CHF or an 84% price increase in contrast to a
compound U.S. inflation rate during this time frame of 8.7% (EU would have been
From 2014 to 2015, MDPI journals either stayed at the same APC or lowered their
price. From 2015 to 2016, all journals either stayed the same in price or
increased in price, with the average increase 18% or 60 CHF.
As of March 2016, MDPI listed 155 journals on their website. Of these, almost
half (72) are <<free>>. The average APC is 359 CHF (662 CHF when non-charging
journals are excluded).
This small case study illustrates the importance for APC payers to take this
model into account to predict future budget needs. MDPI’s overall average APC
today is a fraction of the average charged for a sample of established journals.
Note that for purposes of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons project, APC
journals that are <<free for now>> are categorized as APC journals with APC of
$0, to avoid confusion with journals that are not committed to the APC approach.
Thanks to Tanoh Laurent Kakou for data analysis.
Dr. Heather Morrison
École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
Sustaining the Knowledge Commons http://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/
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