Education for Health

: 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 67-

Paying to publish: Should we?

Sharath Burugina Nagaraja1, Ritesh G. Menezes2,  
1 Department of Community Medicine, ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 College of Medicine, King Fahd Hospital of the University, University of Dammam, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sharath Burugina Nagaraja
Department of Community Medicine, ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Rajajinagar, Bangalore - 560 010, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Nagaraja SB, Menezes RG. Paying to publish: Should we?.Educ Health 2014;27:67-67

How to cite this URL:
Nagaraja SB, Menezes RG. Paying to publish: Should we?. Educ Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Oct 28 ];27:67-67
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

In response to the article entitled, "In the news! an opinion-paying to publish", [1] we would like to raise two issues stated by the author.

First, the author has concluded that under the pay-for-publication system, the quality of the papers accepted for publication can no longer be guaranteed. This statement unfairly undermines the quality of online publications. In fact, over the years, the quality of research publications has been augmented from many perspectives: (a) When compared with non-paid journals, the electronic interface provided to interact with these journals are user-friendly and one seldom has problems in submitting or reviewing the manuscript; (b) After submission, the responses by the journal to the manuscript in terms of acceptance or rejection or reviewers' comments are rapid and swift (not like other non-paid journals); (c) Many of the international online journals, though paid journals, graciously waive off the processing and publication charges if the author expresses and justifies inability to pay; (d) Being reviewers for online international paid journals, in our experience, there is no flexibility for a paid journal manuscript to get published without contesting a reviewer's comments; (e) The journals are judged by their "impact factor", where every journal tries to maximize its impact factor irrespective of its paid and non-paid factor. As in any business, the producer always looks for top class platforms to showcase his or her work, and it can come with substantial cost. Overall, it is ridiculous to attribute publication charges to improper scrutiny and publication. In "In the News", the author has viewed the word "pay-to-publish" negatively. In the long run, only those journals with top quality services tend to survive while lesser quality journals keep improving. We welcome the open access movement across the globe.

Second, the author has suggested submission charges for manuscripts regardless of their acceptance or rejection. He also seems to be convinced that authors should pay. In the Indian context, we would like to disagree with the "author pay" perspective. With basic, operational and translational research gaining momentum in the country, we believe that a lot of valuable research remains unpublished, and, if published, authors have failed to get the attention of international audiences because their studies are published in national journals. Even, the concept of "institutional pay" is in a rudimentary stage. Most institutions do not support this at a policy level; administrators think this practice benefits only a small group of researchers. In this scenario, we would urge steps toward a national level policy for publication that encourages and emphasizes institutions to support publication fees in both national and international journals. [2] This will definitely boost scientific research in the country and would be a means for all research activities to be shared across the globe.


1van Dalen J. In the news! An opinion - paying to publish. Educ Health 2013;26:66-7.
2Nagaraja SB, Menezes RG. Research publication in India faces new challenges. Lancet 2013;382:1484.