Provided by Jürgen Dengler (on behalf of all VCS Chief Editors) and Peter Minchin (IAVS Vice-President and Publication Officer)
Like all journals, the IAVS gold open access (OA) journal Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) needs to collect the costs of publishing from some source, be it authors, readers, research institutions or the IAVS budget. Based on suggestions of the VCS Chief Editors and the IAVS Publications Committee, the IAVS Governing Board has approved a scheme of article processing charges (APCs) for submissions in the year 2024. Thanks to generous support by IAVS, papers first-authored by IAVS members from lower- and middle-income countries will remain completely exempt from APCs in the next year, while those from upper-income countries benefit from an 85% discount on the regular APCs. The regular APCs, for non-IAVS members and IAVS members with access to funding to pay APCs, remain as they were at 2,000 EUR for standard articles with a length of 8-20 printed pages (with some modification for very short and very long articles). This means that, from 1 January 2024 onwards, IAVS members from the richer countries who do not have access to funding to pay APCs will only have to pay a very low APC of only 300 EUR for a standard article. For details, see the journal page (https://vcs.pensoft.net/about#Article-Processing-Charges). Please note that APCs are always charged based on the date of the original submission, meaning that papers submitted by IAVS members up until 31 December, 2023 are completely exempt from APCs, even for those from richer countries.
This 2024 APC scheme has been set with the double aim of (a) reducing the annual subsidies by IAVS successively and (b) keeping the financial publication barriers to authors as low as possible. IAVS plans to start phasing out subsidies to VCS next year, with the hope of achieving a small profit from 2025 onwards. In 2024 we offer to publish free of charge for authors from all lower- and middle-income countries (149 countries; 65%) and for a very low APC of only 300 EUR for upper-income countries (80 countries; 35%). However, this generous offer to IAVS members is only possible, if a moderate number of authors are able and willing to pay relatively high APCs of 2000 EUR per article (albeit still lower than in many other ecological journals), either because they are IAVS members and have easy access to APC funding from their universities/projects or because they do not wish to join IAVS. Many thanks to all those whose APC payments allow us to remove publication barriers as far as possible from our authors.
We thus would like to encourage IAVS members to submit interesting manuscripts to VCS that develop or employ vegetation classification systems with any method and at any spatial scale. Apart from regular research papers, VCS also offers Reviews and Syntheses, Forum Papers, methodological papers (“VCS Methods”) and Reports. There are Permanent Sections on “Ecoinformatics” and “Phytosociological Nomenclature” and four ongoing Special Collections (Latin American vegetation, African vegetation, grasslands of Asia, forest and forest edge vegetation in Europe) in collaboration with three Regional Sections and two Working Groups of IAVS (see https://vcs.pensoft.net/collections).
We look forward to your submission!