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In two recent submissions, after acceptance the journal contacted me to see if I was interested in submitting an image for consideration as back cover, inside back cover, or inside front cover. The cover image would need to be produced by our side, but then we additionally would have to pay the journal a fee (~$1000) for the "cost of producing the cover."

While I know front covers are generally seen as a mark of prestige (at least in my field, physics/engineering), are these additional "cover-lite" opportunities worth the cost in increased citations, views, prestige, or other intangibles?

I should stress that the journals are established and well-regarded (i.e. not predatory journals). One is explicitly a for-profit owned by Wiley, the other is a society journal.

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I would assume your question can not be answered without a personal perspective - what makes it "worth the cost"? Someone liking it? Two more people reading your paper? An invitation as invited speaker? 2 million [insert a currency of your choice] of additional funding per year?

To be a bit more serious: I would check how the pages are included in the digital version of the journal. Most readers do not read the journal but go to the website and pick specific articles. If the images are not shown, very little people will notice them.

  • i get that it's probably a floating bar based on the cost of the cover, but i think the most important point for me would be substantially (>1.5x) increased citation frequency? since absolute knowledge is probably impossible (what would have the citation frequency have been without the cover?), personal perspectives from other users would still be helpful as additional data points to help make a decision. – roger-reject Oct 9 '18 at 8:28

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