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The economics of journal publishing is changing and varies from publisher to publisher. Most OA publishing is supported by author fees. Fees are sometimes waived or reduced depending on the circumstances of the authors. Fees range from about $3,000/article to no charge at all. Often author fees can be paid from grant funds.
Even with very high author fees, it has been argued that the total cost for access is lower than the traditional economic publishing model. Discussions about the economics of scholarly publishing may speculate on the ability of traditional, subscription-model journals to survive. Since these are often the top ranked journals in a field, OA is seen as a threat to a model that has developed over centuries.
Some external funders require open access or public access of articles about research that they fund.