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The FASEB Journal Streamlines Pricing

By: Darla P. Henderson
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
The FASEB Journal has long been committed to high quality peer review, ethics, and publishing, and holds those values close. Like many society publications, the journal developed multiple revenue streams over time. These revenue streams support many of FASEB’s key activities in meeting the federation’s mission to advance health and well-being by promoting research and education in biological and biomedical sciences. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) brought a challenging environment for authors, institutions, funders, and publishers, and required greater collaboration and coordination, yet it also illuminated the clear benefits of Open Access in advancing science. As 2021 ended, FASEB Publications took a step back from our current model and considered the changing Open Access landscape, our desire to simplify author processes, and a strategic vision to become a more welcoming home for all authors from around the globe.

Historically, the primary source of revenue for The FASEB Journal has been a combination of author-paid page charges and institution-supported subscription fees. In practice, page charges were based on the number of printed pages (including supplemental), and authors were billed at the end of the publishing process once pages were composed. This practice impacted authors—resulting in unpredictable total amounts for page charges and undesirable publishing delays. All authors, whether publishing under the subscription or Open Access model, were subject to page charges. In some cases, authors or their supporting institutions choosing Open Access made payments in two different systems—one designed to handle page charges, and a second designed to handle Open Access fees. Open Access required authors or their institutions to pay both the page charges and the Open Access fee, with total variable costs exceeding $5,000.

The second-largest and fastest-growing source of revenue for the journal derives from Open Access fees. Today, these articles comprise more than 30 percent of the journal’s content, and Open Access publishing throughout the sciences continues to grow at a rapid pace. FASEB Publications recognizes the benefits and, frankly, the challenges that this new model brings for society publishers. FASEB Publications supports sustainable Open Access, and commits to increasing the share of Open Access content in our journals while offsetting subscription and page charge income to avoid double payments. Our publishing partners at Wiley have summarized the reasons to choose open access nicely in the Benefits of Publishing Open Access.

Submission fees comprise a third source of revenue for the journal. Today, we recognize that submission fees can be a roadblock for authors, particularly those in some regions of the world. We are committed to removing that obstacle and becoming a more inclusive journal.

The FASEB Journal has in place a well-structured waiver process for authors who have little to no funding for publication costs. Requests for a page charge waiver may be placed at the time of acceptance by emailing the Office of Publications to avoid influencing peer review and editorial decisioning. In 2021, FASEB Publications sponsored more than $100,000 in waiver fees for authors. We remain committed to supporting authors from around the globe in publishing their research and we will continue to support meritorious waiver requests in 2022 and beyond.

In accordance with our new vision, starting January 1, 2022, submission fees will be discontinued for all authors. Additionally, authors publishing in The FASEB Journal will choose from one of the following two options:
  • A flat Open Access charge of $3,200. Authors may choose from a CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, or CC-BY-NC-ND license and are strongly encouraged to consult with funders and institutions, as CC-BY may be required. Many authors are now affiliated with institutions that have a Wiley transitional agreement or Open Access fund and will not need to make any payments, with fees covered through the terms of the agreement. For more information, see Open Access FundsPayments Made Easy and click on your country. For these authors, FASEB Publications and Wiley immediately deposit the final published article in PubMed Central (PMC), and nothing is required on the author’s part. PMC deposits are also made available through Europe PMC, generally within days after the PMC deposit is completed.
  • A flat page charge of $2,800 for articles published under the traditional subscription model. This price has been set to be close to the average charge paid in recent years and will continue to be supplemented by institution-paid subscription fees. This flat fee provides authors the ability to more accurately budget publishing costs in grants, to move forward with payments processed as soon as the manuscript is accepted, and to avoid any delays in publishing their manuscript due to payments. For authors choosing this option who are funded by NIH, FASEB Publications and Wiley immediately deposit the author-accepted version of their manuscript in PMC. Once the deposit is made, authors follow the instructions provided in an email from PMC to finalize and approve the manuscript. The accepted manuscript version will be made public 12 months after publication. All authors are allowed to self-deposit their author-accepted manuscript into non-commercial repositories for availability after 12 months.
Notably, this pricing change brings the costs of publishing Open Access ($3,200) and the page charge for subscription access ($2,800) closer for authors publishing in The FASEB Journal and may encourage some authors to consider Open Access more favorably to expedite the transformation of the journal’s business model.

On behalf of FASEB Publications, our partners at John Wiley & Sons, and the editorial team of The FASEB Journal, a big “welcome back” to authors who have trusted us with publishing your research over the years. To new authors from around the globe, we send you the warmest of welcomes. We hope authors, established and new, find our revised process and pricing clear, streamlined, and predictable. The FASEB Journal seeks to meet your publishing needs in 2022 and into the future. While you are here, check out the journal’s updated and author-friendly guidelines and submit your latest research findings today.