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I need to publish my paper in law but, to my knowledge, journals charge money in the form of an article-processing charge. Any tips on how to publish your research for free?

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Submit to a subscription journal and indicate you do not want open access.

Here's an example of a subscription law journal.

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  • +1 Indeed! Publishing charges are mostly confined to open-access journals or open-access options with journals that offer both paywall access and open-access. ... and no need to figure out any "clever" solution to the problem. Apr 3 at 9:59
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Not all journals have page charges, though they were common in the past. Journals without page charges depend for revenue on subscriptions or sponsorship by a professional organization (or grants, or ...). Open access journals and open access options have quite high charges as that is their main (only?) revenue source.

Some journals in some fields will waive fees in some cases. If you are an independent researcher, for example, or work at a small place with infrequent publishing by faculty. But you need to ask the editor when you submit so that you don't waste time.

I don't know about law, but a journal published by a professional association might be willing. On the other hand, they might require membership.

Don't wait until the paper is deep in the process before you ask. Be sure you understand the consequences of publishing anywhere.

Also, I doubt that Open Access journals are likely to waive their, much higher, fees. And, there especially, you need to ask at the beginning of the process so that you can withdraw if necessary.

Note also that some universities and research organizations will pay fees for employee publications and it is fairly common for grants to cover such fees, though you need to plan for that and win such a grant.

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Apart from subscription journals there are non-commercial journals, some of which are free to read and to publish in, such as Journal of Machine Learning Research. Some institutions such as universities or scientific societies run their own journals and some of them are free to read and publish in.

Also there are subscription journals that ask for page charges that are in fact voluntary and hardly anybody pays them.

Furthermore, many subscription journals allow authors to put the accepted version of the paper (before final edits) on free repositories, which basically means that everybody can read it for free even without paying Open Access charges.

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