BSA Capstone – Developing a transparent application and award system for publication fee waivers
Briana Gross and Amy McPherson
The goal of this project is to develop a standardized application for APC (Article Publication Charges) waivers and a transparent set of criteria to govern how APC waivers are awarded.
Authors in “the hard middle” are often not provided any assistance from waivers or institutions. This includes authors from middle-income countries with a GDP too high to qualify for an automatic waiver (i.e., Mexico, Brazil, India) and authors from high-income countries but without grant/institutional funds for APCs (i.e., early career scientists, scientists and primarily-undergraduate institutions, and scientists at underfunded institutions).
This project aims to make the application and award process transparent and accessible, so that all eligible authors will recognize their potential to receive an ACP waiver. It will also make the publication process more equitable, because authors will not be excluded from APPS based on APCs. This will also help increase the institutional and geographic diversity of our author pool.
After much thought and research on best practices, incorporating feedback from numerous focus groups involving members of the Publications Committee, the Early Career Advisory Board, and APPS Editorial Board and Reviewing Editors, the Editor-in-Chief of Applications in Plant Sciences developed a standardized application for APC waivers and a transparent set of criteria to govern how APC waivers are awarded, represented in an easy-to-follow flowchart.
The impacts were anticipated to be:
- Make the application and award process transparent and accessible, so that all eligible authors recognize their potential to receive an APC waiver.
- Make the publication process more equitable, because authors will not be excluded from APPS based on inability to cover the APCs.
- Increase the institutional/geographic diversity of our author pool.
Here is the flowchart:
Application Process and Transparency
- The application is a simple document that can be downloaded from the journal website or requested from the editorial office. The corresponding author completes the form and emails it to the editorial office. Authors can apply for waivers before submitting their manuscripts.
- Links to the waiver criteria and application will be featured on the journal homepage and on the APC page.
- The new waiver application process will be publicized to BSA members by email and to the broader community via social media.