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I just finished my PhD and I have just started my PostDoc position in another university.

I have 2 remaining publications resulting from my PhD thesis that need to get published, that I have written without my PhD advisor (our relationship was really poor and they were trying to stop me from graduating).

The main affiliation for these publications is the uni where I conducted my PhD, but I can also add the new uni. I am now wondering which department is supposed to cover the publication fees for these two papers, and whether it would be considered acceptable to ask my new PostDoc advisor for money for the papers.

I plan (if everythings runs smoothly) to publish the papers in journals with whom both unis have university agreements, so the money will not come out directly from the new PIs pocket, but still I would assume there may be a bound how much they can publish from their lab.

How do people who move positions usually tackle this?

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    Some publications are free (all my pubs were). Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 22:43
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    Can you submit to a subscription journal and skip the APCs entirely?
    – Allure
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 2:22
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    You need to speak to your current PI about this as they will know specific funding available. Also... despite not getting on with your previous supervisor it's not okay to publish work that they have possible paid for (you've not said your field, is it lab work?) Also speak to you current PI about legal implications of this.
    – JayBee
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 6:33
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    @can'tstopmenow - that's fair enough. It's just you didn't state research area. If data was collected using their lab equipment it is usual to offer authorship. speak to your current PI about it. Also, many journals offer "free" publication (but your paper may be behind a paywall). Many academics take this approach in the absence of funding (Universities only offer to pay for papers under specific circumstances and t will differ across different institutions).
    – JayBee
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 15:14
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    @ScottSeidman Nah there are open access agreements. These are normally covered from the uni library/publication office that is central to the university. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:15

4 Answers 4

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If the unis have publishing agreements with the journals, look up what they say. These agreements typically do not come with limits (in the same way old style library journal subscriptions did not come with a limit on the articles that could be accessed). Instead they cover the publishing cost if certain conditions are met. The agreements I have encountered are all based off the affiliation of the corresponding author. If the corresponding author is affiliated to the (a) uni with a publishing agreement, the publishing fees are covered. However, this might very well be different with other agreements and other journals.

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This is something you have to negotiate. The possible funders are your original institution, your advisor (via a grant, perhaps), your new institution, and the PI, if any, at the new place. All or none might be willing to pay publication fees.

If you are moving then it is best to talk about this as part of a startup fund with the new institution. If they really want you then they will want to absorb such things.

Many institutions also pay such fees as a matter of course for the faculty.

As Anonymous M suggests, a co-author might have funding.

The final "fund" is your pocket.

But there are no general rules about such things. It is up to you to negotiate it - or beg.

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    This answer seems a bit achronistic since the OP has indicated that there are university publishing agreements in play.
    – TimRias
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 22:52
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    If OP is in a field were publications fees are common, I would assume that the new institution/ new PI would be quite willing to pay for it. Getting a publication associated to you where all the research and writing is already done and paid for and all that remains is the publication fee is usually a very good deal.
    – quarague
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 7:28
  • @quarague That is only true if the affiliation on the paper will point to the new institution. But normally the affiliation points to where the research was done - and then perhaps something like a "current address" is also added. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 8:29
  • @VladimirFГероямслава The papers are not yet sent out, so the publication will include the new address as affiliation if new PI agrees. I wanted before asking them to sample ansewrs here to see what is considered as normal. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 14:32
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    @can'tstopmenow Who has the affiliation, should pay for the publication. It is as simple as that. But usually the old PI would not allow this and would not just let the credit for you doing the work at his institution vanish. My publications, that I was finishing after my postdoc ended, were certainly still affiliated with the University where I did the postdoc. However, if they really were stopping you from graduating, you can argue that you finished the work elsewhere. However, all that should be agreed in the group of the coauthors of the paper, the old PI could still do bad stuff. Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 14:36
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This is from a mathematics perspective, but I'd just recommend asking senior people who have some investment in your success and also may have money by descending order of how good your relationship is with them.

When I went MSc -> PhD, the fees for a (conference) paper mostly based on my MSc thesis were picked up by the coauthor who was from neither my MSc or PhD institutions. These things are costs of doing business. They should hopefully be small enough that somebody with money in your immediate orbit cares enough to cover them. Worst case scenario, if genuinely nobody will cover the fees, reach out to the potential publishers and explain your situation as an early-career researcher.

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    This seems wise. If your new employer is pushing publications (as most academic employers are) then they will probably pay the associated costs. If they are not pushing publications they will probably not (but then why are you publishing or why are you working for them?). If they are pushing publication but will not pay the cost, that is a giant red flag.
    – emory
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 12:16
  • @Anonymous M To be honest my experience so far in academia is that everyone cares about their own success and those in leadership and mentor positions (who are the ones supposed to be helping their mentees) are selected because they were successful at acting selfishly. None of my advisors so far cared about my success. In contrast, my PhD advisor tried to make me quit, while my Master's advisor became competitive & hostile once I announced that I will leave their lab. And I wouldnt want to burden the people who support me with my publication costs if the paper is not related to their research Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 18:32
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    @can'tstopmenow I can only tell you about my experience, which is effectively the opposite of what you describe. Ultimately there should be someone up the chain of command who does actually care about your success because, at its most mercenary, your failure reflects poorly on them.
    – user137975
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 18:54
  • @AnonymousM My Master's advisor had this view. So he was quite supportive to the group members, but once someone left, he turned mean and competitive. Like trying to show you that they are better than the group you joined, and ensuring that you will not continue your project with other people. He got really nasty with spreading rumors about me, even to former colleagues. Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 19:33
  • @AnonymousM My PhD advisor felt almost proud when students quitted their theses/projects, because this indicated (to his view) that his work was difficult and not suited for everyone. I remember him telling me that his last master student quit his thesis after 6months work and he was LAUGHING. Like he wasn't responsible if his students failed. The truth is that he was a very bad mentor and not good at explaining. But he was also actively trying to confuse you when he felt that you had understood everything. Not sure what kind of training practice that was, but Im glad it is over. Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 19:38
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In my experience this is normally done based on your affiliation at time of acceptance, which is also the affiliation that appears on the published version. Universities are generally happy for this to go through their transformative agreement without worrying about where the research was done - they want you to publish papers while affiliated to them, they want these papers to be open access, and they are willing to pay for that. I have never heard of there being a limit on how many papers you can publish.

Some journals may have requirements that the affiliation matches where the research was done, but I would be less confident that an institution that no longer employs me would be willing to cover this. However, if there were nontrivial revisions required I think you could genuinely put both affiliations even in this case.

I have had some papers accepted where the research was done at a previous institution, a transformative agreement applied and I was corresponding author. In most cases this was done through the new institution's agreement. The exception was a case where the revision happened at the old institution but was accepted shortly after the move.

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