A Manuscript Publishing Charge (MPC), also known as an Article Processing Charge (APC) or Publication Fee, is a fee that some academic journals or publishers require authors to pay when their research paper is accepted for publication. The MPC is typically levied to cover the costs associated with the publication process and making the article freely available to readers.
There are several reasons why journals charge an MPC:
- Editorial and Peer Review Costs: The editorial and peer review processes require time and expertise from the journal’s editorial team and reviewers. The costs associated with managing the peer review process, coordinating reviewers, and making editorial decisions are often covered through the MPC.
- Production and Typesetting: Once a paper is accepted, the publisher needs to format the manuscript, create a final version, and typeset it for publication. These production costs, including copyediting, typesetting, and formatting, are often funded through the MPC.
- Online Hosting and Maintenance: Journals need to maintain an online platform to host and distribute articles. This includes server maintenance, website hosting, and ensuring long-term accessibility of published content. The revenue generated from MPCs helps cover these infrastructure and maintenance costs.
- Open Access Publishing: Many journals offer open access publishing options, allowing the published articles to be freely available to readers worldwide. Open access can increase the visibility and impact of research. The MPC may support the open access model, ensuring that articles are accessible without paywalls or subscription fees.
- Sustainability: Running a scholarly journal involves various operational costs, including administrative expenses, marketing, promotion, and salaries of editorial staff. The MPC contributes to the financial sustainability of the journal and helps cover these ongoing costs.
It’s important to note that not all journals charge an MPC. Traditional subscription-based journals rely on subscription fees from libraries and readers to cover their costs. However, with the rise of open-access publishing and the shift towards making research more freely available, many journals have adopted the MPC model as an alternative funding mechanism.
It’s recommended that authors carefully review the publication policies and fees of journals before submitting their manuscripts to understand if an MPC applies and what services it covers. Additionally, some journals offer fee waivers or discounts for authors from low-income countries or provide alternative funding options to ensure equitable access to publication opportunities.