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In academic life you need to publish papers. Some journals publish papers merely based on peer review; they don't ask for money. For some other journals, you have to pay certain amount of money for your paper to be reviewed and published.

What are this second kind of journals called? I have heard "money journals". Is that the name used for these journals?

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This model is typically called "Gold open access".

Some of them are good and well-reputed (e.g., the PLOS family of journals), and some are predatory scams designed to bilk authors out of publications fees.

In most fields, journals will never ask for money to allow peer review: in those fields, that is definitely a red flag for a scam. Note, however, that in a few fields, such as economics, it is standard practice to ask for submission fees.

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    Submission fees, typically fairly modest ones, are common in my field including for very reputable journals (in the ~$50-$100 range; often deferred for scientists from certain countries or members of an associated professional society), and page charges are also not unusual for publication even for non-open access journals. – Bryan Krause Feb 12 '19 at 21:17
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    @BryanKrause Fascinating: given that it's cheaper than membership, it looks like it's essentially a mechanism to push people into joining the society. Do you know of any legitimate journals that request publication fees and aren't "society pushing"? – jakebeal Feb 12 '19 at 22:33
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    I’m told that for many legitimate and prestigious economics journals reviewers are paid and there is a corresponding submission fee. I personally think submission fees (in lieu of other fees) are a good idea and should be more widely implemented. – Thomas Feb 13 '19 at 3:16
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    This could be field-dependent. My impression in economics is that reputable non-open-access journals that charge submission fees are quite common. In fact, three of the conventional 'top five' journals in economics require submission fees (for example, aeaweb.org/journals/aer/submissions/guidelines). – jnanin Feb 14 '19 at 9:22
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    @jnanin, Thomas: thank you; sounds like this is another case of Academia varies more than you think it dues! I've updated my answer accordingly. – jakebeal Feb 14 '19 at 10:40
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Actually, many journals, even quite reputable ones ask for money, but the good ones expect that the authors are funded by grants that will cover publication costs. On the other hand there are "predatory" journals that seem to exist only to publish relatively low quality papers and make money in the process. They are like "vanity publishers" of novels and such, but do provide an audience of sorts, including web publishing, for example. Beall's List is now somewhat out of date, I think, but you can find many predatory journals here. Most of those are best avoided as people finding your papers there will, at least, wonder why you couldn't have done better.

I don't know current practice, but even the AMS used to charge (page charges) for paper they publish in some journals. It means that the cost of publishing isn't entirely borne by members of the society. The bill would normally be sent to the author's grant. If there is no grant then it would be sent to the author's institution. If it was refused there, it would be sent to the author. But if the author wasn't able to pay the fee, then (in the past at least) the paper would still be published. It wasn't a condition of publishing, but a request.

If you are writing grants, include something for publishing fees unless it isn't permitted or isn't needed.

But note that there are costs associated with publishing, even if it is mostly done by volunteers and publishing is online. Someone need to pay for the web site and the space to host the papers. These costs need to be paid somehow.

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  • Do you have any idea what percent, if any, of those ones that are predatory are indexed in such databases as Web of Science or Scopus? – Sasan Feb 12 '19 at 21:15
  • Sorry, no clue about that. – Buffy Feb 12 '19 at 21:19
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    @user157323 The best way to identify non-predatory journals is that they will be the places that people you respect publish work you respect cited by people you respect (and not just a single publication, but a trend of publishing in your field). – Bryan Krause Feb 12 '19 at 21:20
  • @user157323, true enough but easier for an old hand than a young researcher with less experience. – Buffy Feb 12 '19 at 21:50
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Based on some comments, I think providing some insight from Economics, Business and Finance (not my areas but I am familiar with their practices), where submission fees have become prevalent. This is the expansion of a comment I left in the first answer, and perhaps selfishly I would not want it to get lost.

A reliable but not exclusive guide for traditional publishers is the Academic Journal Guide by Chartered ABS. It does not include PLOS or some journals with good impact factors, but is a common quality benchmark (publication quality, promotion etc).

Finance is an easy one to deal with, as it includes only 8 4* journals. Economics, Management etc are easy to cross-check but more numerous. Links provided for the submission instructions, as I provide only an summary.

The Journal of Finance - published by Wiley:

Submission Fees: High-Income Economies. AFA Members: $250, Non-Members: $300, Middle-Income Economies. AFA Members: $100, Non-Members: $150, Low-Income Economies. No Submission Fee Return/Refund Policy: if editorial decision taken 100 days after submission, applies to first submission only, refund at desk reject.

Journal of Financial Economics - published by Elsevier

Submission fees: $900 for journal subscribers, $1,000 for non-subscribers (institutional subscriptions do not count). Referees are paid an honorarium out of the submission fee. There are no page charges.

Refund: on the last submission if accepted for publication.

The Review of Financial Studies - published by Oxford University Press

Submission fees: SFS Member Fee $240, Nonmember Fee: $300 [Paying the nonmember fee gives the submitting author a one-year SFS membership.] Refund: The fee is waived if conditionally accepted. Invited Dual Submission: The first round fee is waived; subsequent rounds require the submission fee.

The Journal of Corporate Finance - published by Elsevier

Submission fees: US$ 300 at first submission, US$ 270 at revision submission. The submission fee applies to every round, unless waived by the Publisher. Refund: none, even at desk rejection (my note: this is a very common rule in Elsevier journals)

Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis - published by the University of Washington

Submission fees: $350. Refund: $275 at desk rejection.

Journal of Financial Intermediation - published by Elsevier

Submission fee: US$400 for all new submissions and for revisions. Refund: None. Desk rejected papers will no longer be refunded starting 1st January 2018.

Journal of Money, Credit and Banking - published by Wiley

Submission fees: $150 for subscribers and $200 for non-subscribers, no submission fee for a resubmitted revised paper. Refund: not mentioned (my note: probably no refund)

Review of Finance - published by Oxford University Press

Submission fee: €300 for a regular submission or resubmission, reduced to €250 for EFA members. Refund: full if the editorial decision is rendered after more than 100 days. The clock starts from the day that the submission is moved out of the holding tank and assigned to an Editor. If the paper is desk rejected without an external report, all but €100 of the fee is refunded.

On the other hand, SAGE journals such as the reputable Journal of Management, have no submission fees.

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