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150

Once upon a time, before the internet existed, the only way to distribute scientific content to a worldwide audience was through print. There are obvious costs related to printed publications such as paper, ink, printing, distribution, etc. Commercial publishing houses were established, which took care of this task, as well as the editing, the type-setting, ...


128

Of course you can request one - just send an email. You'll brighten up the publisher's office for the afternoon, and they'll be chuckling all the way home. So just as long as you don't seriously expect to get your money back, you'll be fine. When you paid your fee, you were paying for access to read the paper. As long as that access was provided, then the ...


110

Academics aren't upset about not getting paid for refereeing/reviewing - they're upset because journals charge too much. There's really four points in the statement "academics do pretty much all the work for free and publishers get the money" Academics do most of the work Publishers do a comparatively small amount of work Publishers get the money Academics ...


104

No, it is not acceptable. You can of course email the organisers and ask if you can participate without paying, but do not be surprised if they say no. (Please note that conference registration fees cover lots of things besides the lunch. Among others, conference registration fees may cover the rent of the hall in which you are sitting, and expenses ...


70

Assuming they liked your presentation, and consider putting you on the shortlist, but are not sure at which position compared to some other candidate; now, reflect, which impression this makes. You made a nontrivial mistake which is also quite costly. You ask them to cover that mistake of yours. Even if they would be willing to do so (and assume it would ...


63

I don't think there's any universal policy behind this. One reason is lack of interest: in many cases I'd bet nobody involved has thought much about the issue, the world isn't clamoring for the budget, and publicly releasing it would take at least a little work. Inertia is a common reason for not doing things. Another reason is to avoid arguments. The ...


58

Ubiquity Press breaks down their £300 ($500) APC as follows: 38% indirect costs for things not related to the publishing of a single paper but which are needed for the business (£114 or $190) 34% covers editorial and production aspects, which appears to be the costs associated with producing the paper, managing submissions, responding to authors, preparing ...


50

Most international conferences are paid for by the registration fees of the attendees. The higher the ratio of attendees to speakers, the more registrations the conference can afford to comp (give for free). When a large fraction of the attendees are also speakers, as is the case with a lot of peer-review-centric conferences, then it's often the case that ...


50

A system where everyone applies everywhere is not in the interest of any of the participants. Handling the applications requires significant effort on both sides and the applications are less meaningful. In particular, plenty of people will receive multiple offers inevitably turning all but one down. That requires waiting lists etc. In the end, some ...


49

You can ask for anything you want, but you will not get a refund. The terms and condition of the site where you purchased it most likely clearly stated that it wasn't an option. One example from Taylor & Francis: The content in this site is provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. Taylor & Francis ...


48

(I always thought at least the speaker's registration was stand expense that was borne by the conference organisers). Absolutely not. Typically, only invited speakers do not have to pay registration fees and, sometimes, they get their travelling expenses refunded by the organizers. Conferences may also have reduced registration fees for students and young ...


48

An easy thing to do that can be very helpful to your students is to put a copy of the textbook (or two or three copies) on reserve in the university library. Students can then photocopy critical sections of the book (e.g. the homework exercises.) This is particularly helpful at the start of the semester when students are waiting for copies of the book that ...


46

I tried digging through the 2013 annual report of Elsevier. Under "Revenue" (page 111) they list both "subscriptions" and "transactional" - but the latter include not only reprints, but also books etc. As you can see, even if we lump books and reprints together, it is still less than subscriptions. To get a more complete answer you may have to ask them ...


46

There is already a strong incentive not to submit a paper that you know has very little chance of acceptance. While a paper is under review for one conference, it may not be submitted to another (according to the standard policies in fields where conference papers are "real" publications). If you submit a paper that is nowhere near ready, you hurt yourself: ...


45

I agree with the other answers, but they are anecdotal, and you asked for some "definitive" answers to help you convince your colleagues and advisor. Here's what I found: IEEE None of the IEEE journals has a required charge for non-open access publications. The publication FAQ says: For a detailed listing of paper charges by publication, download the ...


45

If you don't have the authority to change the textbook on your own, at least for your own section, then your target should be, not the publisher, but the person or committee that does have that happy power.* Show them this: http://aimath.org/textbooks/approved-textbooks/ and propose that you teach a section of your course using the appropriate open access ...


41

Leaving aside arguments for and against the current system, here's what will happen if you --- as an individual academic --- are contacted by a publisher and attempt to charge a fee: You will most likely be contacted, not by a "publisher" per se, but by an editor, who is another hard-working academic getting little or no monetary compensation for their job. ...


36

Regardless of political considerations, the answer to your question is that publishing companies are collecting the revenue from subscriptions and individual article sales. Some publishers are commercial operations, some are non-profit (such as the American Institute of Physics). The price you pay at this time is related only to the publishing process (...


34

I know this doesn't refer strictly to the final version of a paper, but the arXiv pre-print server provides a useful bit of information to contribute to this discussion. According to its website, it receives around 76,000 publications per year. Its operating costs are on the order of $826,000 per year. You do the maths, and it comes to just over $10/article....


33

I had your same reaction at my first conference. Now, I have just finished helping to organize a small conference (computer science). As @dan1111 wrote, conference really do not come for free. These are typical items you need to cover with the registration fees: Room costs (if the conference is held at a conference center / hotel; credits @Andrew) Welcome ...


33

You should let your PI know what resources you need to carry out your work, and discuss how such resources can be provided. You should not be footing the bill in the first place, so there should be no need to monetize to recover.


31

Absolutely not. While open-source journals can charge authors to help recoup the publishing costs in the absence of paid subscriptions, it is completely dishonest for a journal to "republish" a work that has already appeared in print. It is even more dishonest for them to charge you to do it. At best this is just an advertising service; at worst it's a scam....


29

Ask your advisor. Your university is likely to have a maximum allowable per diem that is based on the city that the conference is in. It varies from university to university, but mine just pays the per diem for that city regardless of how much you actually spend. Many universities do it this way. It saves time and money processing expenses on a meal-by-meal ...


27

While I can't give actual firm numbers, I know that two (non-academic) consumers of academic articles are law firms and pharmaceutical/life science companies. One of my former classmates worked as a research assistant for a law firm that handles biotech and patent cases, and I recall having a conversation with him where he said they easily spend $20-30,000/...


26

There is, in fact, a resource with the information you asked for, for institutions in the United States. Detailed information on individual academic libraries' expenditures (by university) is available from the National Center for Education Statistics in the United States, as part of their Libraries Statistics Program. The data from these surveys, ...


26

The answer by Danny Ruijters already says a lot and mine will have some intersection with his or hers, but there is at least one forgotten crucial element. For simplicity I will consider mainly the classical, still dominant mode of publication, by subscription. [Added in edit] Short summary: publishers charge for access because that is how they make money, ...


25

There is an easy solution. Turn off the services. If your services are important (to someone else), then that someone else will figure a way to finance them. This is not your problem.


24

I have never paid for the publication of any journal paper, including papers in Springer, Elsevier, IEEE, ACM, SIAM, and AMS journals. Some of those journals do advertise "page charges", but in my experience these are strictly voluntary. I've never paid them, and my papers were published anyway.


24

I have found, by direct experience, that publishers are sometimes willing to offer steep discounts. At any rate I pulled this off once, and arranged for my students to be able to buy their book at an approximately 40% discount to what was available on Amazon or anywhere else. This involved the students buying their books directly by mail from a private page ...


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