The International Journal of Research (IJR) maintains an Article Processing Charge (APC) of just $20, which is considerably low compared to many other open-access journals. Here is a detailed justification for this fee, taking into account the operational costs such as hosting, domain services, and other necessary expenditures:

1. Low Overhead Costs

  • Digital Operations: IJR operates primarily in a digital format, which significantly reduces the overhead costs associated with physical office space, printing, and distribution that traditional journals often incur.
  • Volunteer-based Editorial Board: The journal may primarily rely on a volunteer-based editorial board and peer reviewers, which helps keep labor costs low.

2. Efficient Use of Technology

  • Automated Systems: IJR may utilize automated systems for manuscript submission, tracking, and communication, which reduces the manpower needed for these tasks and consequently lowers operational costs.
  • Open Source Software: The use of open-source software for the journal management system (e.g., OJS - Open Journal Systems) eliminates the costs associated with expensive proprietary journal management software.

3. Economical Hosting and Domain Services

  • Cost-effective Hosting Solutions: IJR likely opts for affordable web hosting services that offer sufficient functionality and reliability at a lower cost.
  • Long-term Domain Registration: Registering the domain name for longer periods can often reduce the overall cost of the domain.

4. Sponsorships and Subsidies

  • Academic or Non-profit Sponsorship: The journal may receive support or sponsorship from academic institutions, research bodies, or non-profit organizations, which helps subsidize the operational costs.
  • Grants and Donations: Grants from research foundations or donations from the academic community can further support the journal, allowing it to maintain a lower APC.

5. Scale of Operations

  • Economies of Scale: By maintaining a broad scope and accepting a wide range of articles across various disciplines, IJR can distribute its operational costs across a larger number of published articles, thereby reducing the cost per article.

6. Focus on Accessibility and Community Service

  • Mission to Enhance Accessibility: The low APC is aligned with IJR’s mission to make scholarly publishing more accessible to researchers from all over the world, including those from low-income countries or institutions with limited funding for research publications.
  • Community-Oriented Approach: Keeping the APC low ensures that the barrier to entry for publication is minimal, fostering a more inclusive community of contributors.

The $20 APC charged by IJR reflects a strategic decision to balance operational costs with the journal’s commitment to open access and global research dissemination. By minimizing overheads, leveraging technology, and possibly receiving external support, IJR is able to maintain this low fee, which helps promote a wider sharing of knowledge and participation from the global academic community.