Update on Ampersand and Article Processing Charges

Good news, everyone! It looks like, based on part of my complaint last week about Elsevier’s mishandling of an intriguing linguistics journal called Ampersand, they’ve updated their Author’s Guide with the correct information about the article processing charges.

Originally, the website said there was a discount for papers submitted in 2014 amounting to fees of $400. Considering it is 2015, the discount was out of date and no longer applies; the usual price is $600. In the PDF of the Author’s Guide where all of the author information was collected, the price was stated as an outrageous $3000. It seems like this was a copy/paste error from their documentation on hybrid open access journals. This looks bad for the publisher and the journal — to have different figures in different places, including what seems to be a copy/paste error, makes me wonder what ‘added value’ the publisher is giving journals like this anyway. Clear documentation from the outset and timely page updates don’t seem to be part of the package of added values.

I’m still concerned about the labyrinthine and misleading licensing of all Elsevier open access titles and articles, but I’m happy to see this one small step in favor of clear communication with authors (and more reasonable article processing fees). I’m still not Elsevier’s biggest fan, but it makes me glad that they are willing to correct their mistakes.

Big thanks to Kevin Watson, one of the journal’s editors, who read my post, inquired about the misleading fee information, and then contacted me to let me know they were updated.