Here are a few of the charges that small publishers have to address. Whereas some of these charges may constitute only a one-time start-up fee, other fees are ongoing.

  • Website development
  • Develop individual links and formats
  • Website management and maintenance
  • Development of logo
  • Legal fees for developing partnership contract agreements, investigating copyrights, trademarks, protection against frivolous litigation, etc
  • Pay state tax
  • Pay federal tax
  • Register initial copyright for journal
  • Copyright fee for each article
  • Register trademark for journal
  • Acquire a URL through a hosting company
  • Acquire emails specific to the journal
  • Hire or contract with a business manager (accountant) who, among other things, files state and federal taxes and ensures compliance with small business regulations
  • Hire or contract with a typesetter
  • Hire or contract with a copyeditor / grammarian
  • Hire or contract with a statistician
  • Pay submission company to monitor manuscript submissions – ongoing fee typically charged with every manuscript submitted
  • Open and maintain bank account
  • Secure credit card accounts to facilitate easy payment by subscribers
  • Purchase software and upgrades, eg, typesetting, etc
  • Office supplies, printers, etc
  • Pay to develop journal templates
  • Pay DOI fee – ongoing fee
  • Pay for any marketing or brochures
  • Pay for business cards for several persons
  • Pay for Cross-Ref fee
  • Pay for early online access
  • Purchase plagiarism software
  • For special print editions there is a printing fee and a postal fee
  • Pay storage fee for all manuscripts so as to have in perpetuity

This list is not an exhaustive one but one that illustrates the many “hidden” costs of publishing and operating a small business. The modest revenue from individual and institutional subscriptions does not offset the cost of operating a small publishing operation and must be covered with a publishing fee. Whereas we have a publication fee, we believe that we keep our individual and institutional subscription costs at a competitive rate. Increases in paid subscriptions and submission (and subsequent publication) of more high quality manuscripts should enable publishing fees to remain relatively stable over time.

We hope that this brief explanation of fees and the examples we provide assists your understanding of the cost of doing business and reassures our readers, authors, and other stakeholders that science, not profit is our first concern.