Rodrigues RS, Abadal E, de Araújo BKH (2020). Open access publishers: The new players. PLoS ONE 15(6): e0233432. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233432
The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal. The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees. The research method involved the use of the DOAJ database, the Seal option and the following indicators: publisher, title, country, number of articles, knowledge area, article processing charges in USD, time for publication in weeks, and year of indexing in DOAJ. The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles. We’ve identified three models of expansion: a) a few titles with hundreds of articles; b) a high number of titles with a mix of big and small journals; and c) a high number of titles with medium-size journals. We identify a high number of titles without APCs (27%) in all areas while medicine was found to be the most expensive area. Commercial publishers clearly exercise control over the scope of journals and the creation of new titles, according to the interests of their companies, which are not necessarily the same as those of the scientific community or of society in general.