The Public Library of Science (PLOS) has announced that they were hiking the price of publishing in PLOS ONE by $145, from $1350 to $1495–an increase of 11%. This is the first rate increase since 2009. This interesting information came from The Scholarly Kitchen in their article, “When Pragmatism Collides With Fundamentalism-PLOS Hikes Publication Fees.”

Much like the increase in a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas, this increase barely covers inflation. Again much like these two often referenced economical markers, why did such a small price increase arouse such a negative reaction?

If you look at the PLOS’ latest financial statement, it appears they operate more like a commercial publisher than a charity. PLOS’ profit margins are some of the highest in the industry, making one wonder why such a profitable non-for-profit needed to raise rates. But again, I have to wonder why such a minimal increase has warranted the social media backlash.

Melody K. Smith

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