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Abstract

Open access (OA) journals distribute their content at no charge and use other means of funding the publication process. Publication fees or article-processing charges (APC)s have become the predominant means for funding professional OA publishing. We surveyed 1,038 authors who recently published articles in 74 OA journals that charge APCs stratified into seven discipline categories. Authors were asked about the source of funding for the APC, factors influencing their choice of a journal and past history publishing in OA and subscription journals. Additional information about the journal and the authors' country were obtained from the journal website. A total of 429 (41%) authors from 69 journals completed the survey. There were large differences in the source of funding among disciplines. Journals with impact factors charged higher APCs as did journals from disciplines where grant funding is plentiful. Fit, quality, and speed of publication were the most important factors in the authors' choice of a journal. OA was less important but a significant factor for many authors in their choice of a journal to publish. These findings are consistent with other research on OA publishing and suggest that OA publishing funded through APCs is likely to continue to grow.