How adding the wrong publication date into your metadata can cost you money

We charge a one-off fee for each content item registered with us, and these fees are usually invoiced each quarter in arrears. These fees are different based on different factors such as the type of content you’ve registered, and whether the publication date of the content means that it’s considered backfile or current content.

After our first quarter (January - March) content registration invoices were sent out to members at the beginning of April this year, we had a couple of queries from members who thought they had registered backfile content, but had been charged at the rate for current content.

We discovered this was because the publication date in the metadata for these items made it look as though the content was current rather than backfile. To help avoid this situation in the future, we wanted to remind everyone about the importance of accurate and complete metadata for publication dates.

About current and backfile content registration fees

Current content is any content with a publication date of the current year or the two previous calendar years. So in 2022, current content is anything with a publication date of 2022, 2021, or 2020. Backfile content is any content with a publication date earlier than that. So in 2022, this is any content with a publication date of 2019 or earlier. These dates will change when we get into 2023.

For journal articles, current content is charged at US$1 per record, and backfile is charged at US$0.15 per record. So if you have a backfile article that was published in 2015, but you accidentally include a publication date of 2022 in your metadata, you will be charged US$1 for that record, rather than US$0.15.

How we determine whether content is current or backfile

We look at the information in the publication date field.

  • If you use our web deposit form, this is what you’ve entered into the “publication date” field.
  • If you deposit XML directly with us, this is what’s in the <publication_date> element.
  • If you use the Crossref XML plugin in your OJS platform, the date published for each article will be set automatically to the date when you actually publish the issue. If you need to backdate the issue, this post on the PKP forum explains more. Alternatively, you can change the “date published” field on individual articles.

Our system looks at each individual item separately, so even if you’ve put a publication date in at journal or issue level, you still need to add a publication date at the article level too.

Our system also allows you to submit both print and electronic publication dates for your registered items. If you choose to submit just one or the other, that’s the date that will be used to determine the fee. If you choose to submit both, the fee will be based on the print publication date.

What to do if there’s a problem

As you can only update a publication date by running a full re-deposit, it’s important to get it right the first time. However, if you have registered the wrong publication date and have received an invoice for the wrong amount, please re-deposit your content and then get in contact with us. If you do this as soon as you spot the error, we’ll be able to send a new invoice for the correct amount.

Find out more about:

Content registration fees

Our billing schedule