What do you get if you publish a paper in a highly-ranked journal? Some prestige, certainly. If you’re in academia, it certainly helps your application for tenure, and it’s no bad thing come grant renewal time. Looks good on your CV if you’re applying for another job, no doubt. But how about a big pile of cash?
That is apparently just what you get in some organizations and in some countries. This collaboration between Science and Retraction Watch has the numbers, although I wish that there were more information. For example, the top payout found in each country is listed, but I would also be interested in the median, and in the total number of institutions that offer such bonuses. No countries in continental Europe appear, so the practice seems unknown (or at least uncommon) there. The UK and the US both show up, though, with similar top payouts (in the $6000 range), but again, I’d like to know more about just how widespread this is. To give you an idea, the only two US examples actually given in the paper are the $10 that Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL) gives anyone whose published work gets cited, and the Miller College of Business (Muncie, IN), which pays $2000 for publication in a list of approved business journals. Those would make it seem like direct pay-to-publish is not quite in the mainstream of US academia, but it’s hard to say.