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I am in between jobs and want to send a quick note to a journal. However, I do not have any lab to pay the ridiculous publishing fees, is there any way I can ask the journal to waive the publishing fees? Is being unaffiliated sufficient grounds for this?

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    Do you consider journals which do not charge a publishing fee? – Dmitry Savostyanov Jan 28 '16 at 22:04
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    All you can do is ask... worst case, they say no. – Nate Eldredge Jan 28 '16 at 22:52
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    What is the field? – Dmitry Savostyanov Jan 28 '16 at 23:16
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    Also see Sources to cover open-access fees – ff524 Jan 28 '16 at 23:26
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    Many highly reputable journals won't charge you to publish (many disreputable journals will): why do you want to pay to publish? – EnergyNumbers Jan 29 '16 at 10:59
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Being unaffiliated is not always sufficient grounds for a fee waiver. However, most journals do consider waiving off the publication fees if the author is genuinely not in a position to pay the fees. You should write to the journal explaining that you are currently unaffiliated and do not have sufficient funds to pay the fee. If the journal is convinced, you might get a partial or complete fee waiver.

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This surely depends on the journal, and probably on your specific case (I don't imagine it's common to have a blanket waiver for authors without affiliation). Many journals do provide support to authors without funding. For instance, look at the PLOS FAQ #4:

https://www.plos.org/publications/publication-fees/

Publication Fee Assistance is intended for authors who demonstrate financial need. [...] PLOS considers applications on a case-by-case basis.

Try looking at the webpages for journals you're considering for such information. If you can't find anything, you can try contacting the journal.

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