Submission fees are a common phenomenon in the fields of economics, finance and accounting: a large number of publishers, societies and journals charge submission fees for submissions in these areas. (Please note that a small number of titles in other subject areas also charge submission fees. In these cases, practices might differ from what is described below. We recommend checking the relevant guide for authors for full details.)
The expectation is that levying a fee will encourage authors to submit their work only if it is well-written, and relevant to the target journal. All the submission fee monies collected by Elsevier journals are “journal community funds”, which means they are reinvested back into the community in various forms; see below for more details.
Elsevier recognizes the community's wide use of submission fees but remains open for dialogue on this issue. Should you have any feedback or suggestions for other ways to use submission fees, please contact Bethan Keall(opens in new tab/window), Publishing Director for Economics, Finance & Accounting.
Submission fees at Elsevier
Along with many other journals in the wider community, around 45 of the economics, finance and accounting journals published by Elsevier levy submission fees. If a journal charges submission fees, this is clearly flagged in the journal's guide for authors and during the submission process. As described below, all monies derived from submission fees are used to support the journal(s) and wider community.
Submission fee use and benefits
The submission fee policy for Elsevier journals is agreed upon by the respective journal's editors and the publisher. Each Elsevier journal adopts its own policy and manner in which the submission fee collection and payments are administered (e.g., by Elsevier or by the editorial office). Regardless of the precise method of collecting the fees, all the monies collected are “journal community funds” and are reinvested back into the community in various forms.
In addition to being used to support editorial activities generally, other examples of submission fee uses for Elsevier journals include:
The organization and/or sponsoring of conferences and workshops that are relevant to the journal and/or the wider academic community
Examples include the annual Theory and Experiments in Monetary Economics Conference sponsored by the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization(opens in new tab/window); the Camp Resources events sponsored by the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management(opens in new tab/window); and the Silvaplana Workshop in Political Economy(opens in new tab/window), sponsored by the European Journal of Political Economy(opens in new tab/window)
The payment of language editing services for selected authors/articles
Access to finance research data for African researchers through subscription to a specialized database
Yearly prizes/awards (such as best paper prizes, best referee, best associate editors, etc.), for example, the Journal of Financial Intermediation(opens in new tab/window) annual best paper award; the annual best paper awards granted by the International Review of Financial Analysis(opens in new tab/window); the Bhagwati Award, a biennial best paper award granted by the Journal of International Economics(opens in new tab/window)
Payments to reviewers who deliver quality review reports within a given time limit
Submission fee waivers and discounts
Journals differ in their policies regarding submission fee waivers and discounts. All Elsevier journals that charge a submission fee offer a number of waivers for authors with limited means, and for those from developing countries. Some special issues have their submission fees waived, for instance, all the submissions to the "Covid-19 and the Economy(opens in new tab/window)" special issue of Finance Research Letters.
Other examples of waivers are for Associate Editors / Editorial Board members and frequent reviewers that submit to the journal as authors ,and for authors of solicited contributions, for instance, the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation.
Some journals also offer submission fee discounts for students, including the Journal of Public Economics.
For details of waivers for a particular journal, please consult the relevant guide for authors, which can be found on the relevant journal homepage, and/or contact the editorial office.
Resources and further reading
Can Highly Selective Journals Survive on APCs?(opens in new tab/window), Scholarly Kitchen
Submission fees(opens in new tab/window), Cofactor Science