The MfN has two in-house journals, Fossil Record (FR) and Zoosystematics and Evolution (Z&E), for which I just received exciting news. Our PR department emailed that both journals will go Open Access in 2014, changing from Wiley to Copernicus Publishing (FR) and Pensoft Publishing (Z&E).
Obviously, the cost of publishing must be paid somehow. Although the academic editors and reviewers for many journals, including FR and Z&E, are volunteers, there invariably is some staff to pay (even in the case of Palaeontologia Electronica (PE), where I volunteer as Style Editor), and the more services are actually offered by the journal, there more it costs. Additonally, if there are paper copies printed, that needs money. PE offers print-on-demand for that reason.
In the case of Fossil Record, there will be page charges. Let’s assume that you are LaTeX-capable and use their template. You’ll end up paying 50 € +19% VAT per page, i.e., nearly 60 € per page. That sounds like a lot! On the other hand, PLOS ONE wants $1350 per paper, which translates into a nearly 17-pager in FR right now. So, be concise and save money 😉 Sadly, there is no waiver for those without funding, but at least there is a free contingent of pages. These will be awarded bases on the Editor-in-Chief’s decision, for manuscripts with a general interest and – this I like very much – for authors from developing countries. Additionally, you can use online supplements, for example for additional photos or 3D data and so on.
For Z&E things are a bit different. The journal has been listed by Thompson Reuters for years, but still-publisher Wiley did not ask for an impact factor (IF) to be determined. This means that Z&E is IF-less for now. Until it has an IF, the journal will be free of article processing charges; i.e., the next two years will be free!