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  3. 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 the various institutional subscriptions we have with academic publishers, several offsetting deals are now available to OU researchers who wish to publish Gold OA. Offsetting deals are exploratory models in the shift from subscription to OA publishing so are likely to change at short notice.


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)


Sage currently offer a discounted APC of £200 to all Open University researchers publishing in SAGE Choice journals as the corresponding author.

To access the discounted rate corresponding authors should enter £200 in the Discounts/special journal pricing may apply field and Nesli in the Promo Code field on completion of forms at point of acceptance.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

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

  • be the Corresponding author
  • declare your affiliation as The Open University, UK
  • publish in any hybrid RSC title

This deal replaces the old Gold for Gold option and runs from January 2017 to the end of December 2019.

Taylor & Francis

Taylor and Francis currently offer a discounted APC rate of £450 + VAT for OU researchers publishing in a Taylor and Francis Open Select (hybrid OA) journal. Authors need to declare an affiliation with the Open University and add "NESLI2 APC" as a discount code.

Policy Press

Policy Press offer a 20% discount on APCs for OU authors as the OU currently subscribes to their online content. This reduces the price of an APC with Policy Press from £1,500 to £1,200.

Contact the Library Research Support team