Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Open Access publishing
  3. How to publish Open Access
  4. Article Processing Charges (APCs) and offsetting deals

Article Processing Charges (APCs) and offsetting deals

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

Article Processing Charges (APCs) have become the dominant funding model for Open Access (OA) publishing, especially amongst commercial publishers. In this model the author (or their surrogate) pays the publisher a fee to get their article published OA. APCs vary in amount, from a few hundred pounds to several thousand, and the most prestigious journals will frequently be the most expensive. Hybrid journals tend to have more expensive APCs than pure OA journals, and some pure OA journals do not charge an APC, rather they will be funded by individual institutions or membership models.

The only dedicated funds for APCs at The Open University is in the form of the UKRI/RCUK block grant, there is no central provision for APCs other than for articles from UKRI/RCUK funding. For how to access the UKRI/RCUK block grant please go to the UKRI/RCUK block grant page.

Offsetting deals

Due to various institutional subscriptions we have with academic publishers, several offsetting deal are now available to OU researchers who wish to publish Gold OA (where the final journal article is immediately freely available to read and download on the publisher website). Offsetting deals are exploratory models in the shift from pay-to-read (the journal subscription) to pay-to-publish, so are likely to change at short notice. Please check this page for updates.

The following deals are open to all current OU-affiliated research staff and postgraduate research students (excludes visiting researchers). You will need to use your institutional email address during the publication process to be able to benefit from these deals. Please note that the OU has a preference for outputs to be published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license (typically the default license applied by the publisher). Publishing under this license has many benefits in terms of increasing the impact of your work and maximising possibilities for re-use. The following short video explains more:



Equinox offer a 20% discount on APC payments for OU affiliated corresponding authors.

ICE Thomas Telford

ICE Thomas Telford offer a 15% APC discount for Current Engineering collection subscribers, which will apply for OU affiliated corresponding authors. 

Institute of Physics

There is no charge for OU affiliated corresponding authors publishing in IOP Publishing Hybrid journals. IOPP will identify all qualifying articles and publish them by default on an open access basis. Please note, this deal does not cover page charges, which are levied by some partner journals.


MDPI offer a 10% APC discount for OU affiliated corresponding authors (must use institutional email address to verify eligibility). The discount applies to journal articles and book processing charges. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount (e.g. discount vouchers, or society membership discounts).

Oxford University Press

OUP offer a discount on hybrid journal Open Access APCs of 10% for OU affiliated corresponding authors.

Policy Press

Policy Press offer a 20% discount on APCs for OU authors, as the OU currently subscribes to their online content. They also offer 10% off open access book APCs.

Rockefeller University Press

There is no charge for OU affiliated corresponding authors publishing in RUP's three hyrbid journals: Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), and Journal of General Physiology (JGP). 

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

RSC currently offer Gold Open Access to OU researchers at no extra charge via their Read and Publish scheme. To be eligible:

  • you must be the corresponding author and declare your affiliation as The Open University, UK
  • you must be publishing in a hybrid RSC title (the exceptions are Chemical Science, RSC Advances, Nanoscale Advances, RSC Chemical Biology, Materials Advances and Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP) - though RSC are currently waiving APC charges for most of these titles too).

To benefit from this deal, doube check that you are listed as the corresponding author in the online submission system and on your manuscript; use your official institutional email address to submit your manuscript; and ensure you state your institutional affiliation in your manuscript. Do not sign the standard license to publish - upon acceptance of your manuscript, you will be able to choose and sign the CC BY or CC BY-NC open access license (but remember, the OU has a preference for CC BY).


SAGE are currently waiving APC charges to all Open University researchers publishing in SAGE Choice (hybrid OA) journals as the corresponding author. Eligible authors will be contacted directly to ask if they would like to benefit from this deal, so you do not need to take any action.

All articles published on or before 1st January 2020 are eligible, so authors may receive emails from SAGE asking if they would like to retrospectively make previously published articles Gold OA at no extra cost. You'll need to be quick, authors have 5 days from the date of the email to confirm if they would like to publish Gold.

They also offer a 20% discount off list price to publish in licensed SAGE wholly Gold OA journals. The 20% discount can be obtained by quoting code JISC2020 in the RightsLink portal. For Open Access Journals where RightsLink portal is not used, the corresponding author must contact to request the discount. If the corresponding author does not request the discount via the code, they may request an amended invoice by contacting SAGE's Open Access customer service team prior to payment being made ( 


OU researchers publishing in Springer can get articles published Gold at no extra charge. To be eligible you need to be:

  • publishing in a Springer Open Choice journal i.e. a Springer hybrid journal AND
  • the corresponding author AND
  • affiliated to the OU AND
  • publishing either an original paper, review paper, brief communication or continuing education (Springer terminology)

This deal is in place until 31st December 2021.

Taylor & Francis

Taylor and Francis currently offer 75% discount on their APC rate for OU affiliated corresponding authors publishing in a Taylor and Francis Open Select (hybrid OA) journal. Authors need to use their insititutional email address, and their Open University affiliation will be recognised and the discount automatically applied. Discounted APCs are valid until 31st December 2020.


Important update: Due to unprecedented demand, from 12 October 2020, gold OA funding under this deal will be limited to Wellcome, UKRI, Blood Cancer UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson's UK and Versus Arthritis funded research only, to guarantee that all research funded will be published open acess in 2020. Articles accepted for publication after this date will still be entitled to a 25% discount on gold open access fees, but it will be up to the authors to source the funds to cover these costs if they wish to publish gold.

OU researchers publishing original research and review articles in Wiley's hybrid (OnlineOpen) or full open access journals can get published open access at no additional charge.

To benefit from this deal you need to be the corresponding author, and must indicate your affiliation with the OU's Wiley Open Access Account in the payment question during manuscript submission. Authors will need to search for and select the Open University in order to retrieve the Account Code. Please ensure you also enter your funder's details. From 12 October 2020 only articles with the following ackowledged research funders will be eligible for this deal:  Wellcome, UKRI, Blood Cancer UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson's UK and Versus Arthritis 

Please note that the Wiley Open Access Account cannot be used to cover additional charges (e.g. cover, colour and page charges).

Contact us

Library Research Support team