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  4. Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Transitional Agreements

Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Transitional Agreements

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are 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 are in the form of the UKRI block grant; there is no central provision for APCs other than for articles from UKRI funding. For information on how to access the UKRI block grant please go to the UKRI block grant page.

Transitional agreements

Due to various institutional subscription deals we have with academic publishers, several transitional agreements are 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). These deals are paid for from Library budgets and allow OU affiliated authors to publish Open Access at no cost to them or at a reduced cost (see individual deals for details). These agreements can change at short notice so please check this page for updates.

Important information about our deals

The following deals are open to all current OU-affiliated research staff and postgraduate research students (excluding visiting researchers). You must be the corresponding author to benefit from these deals, unless the deal specifically states otherwise. If asked, please state your institutional affiliation with The OU. In most cases, affiliation with The OU will be verified by your institutional email address ( 

The OU prefers outputs to be published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) licence. This is typically the default licence type applied by the publisher but please check before you proceed. This is also the required licence type if you are funded by UKRI. Publishing under this licence has many benefits in terms of increasing the impact of your work and maximising possibilities for re-use. 

We strongly recommend that you contact us to check eligibility before choosing an Open Access licence, as you may be liable for the fee if it is not eligible under the agreement.

Please note the majority of these deals do not cover additional charges for optional extras, such as accelerated publication or colour printing (where these apply), so please check before submission if such charges apply. The author will be responsible for funding these extra costs.


American Chemical Society (ACS)

This deal applies to hybrid and fully OA journals within ACS Web Editions. It is highly recommened for ease of identification and administrative matters that corresponding authors utilise a current OU email address extension.

American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applies to hybrid OA journals and research article types only. Gold titles not included. You must use your institutional address and OU email address for submission.

Bentham Science

Applies to all hybrid and Gold journals. The following article types are covered: Research, Review, Case Reports and Letters.


Applicable to research article types only, in any of Brill's journals (including Gold titles). For questions on Open Access publishing at Brill please contact​.

Cambridge University Press

Applicable within any Gold or hybrid journals within Cambridge University Press Complete Journals Collections. Eligible articles: Research, Review Articles and Rapid Communications (RRR), Plus Brief Report and Case Report article types, which are often linked to research articles. For further details on how to publish under this deal, linked below: 

Company of Biologists

All hybrid and fully OA journals included, and all article types eligible. To benefit from this deal you must submit your article using the online submission system for your chosen journal title, and follow the steps in the Guide for Authors linked to below:

De Gruyter

All hybrid journals are covered under this deal. You must be the corresponding author and use your affiliated institutional email address when submitting your article. 


This agreement covers the following hybrid article types: Research, Review, Case Reports, Data in Brief, Full-length Article, Micro-Article, Original Software Publication, Practice Guideline, Protocol, Replication Study, Review Article, Short Communication, Short Survey, Video Article/ Practice Guideline. Fully OA titles are not included but there is an option to include them with a 15% discount on APCs.

Future Science Group

This deal is available for both corresponding and contributing authors publishing in any hybrid or fully Gold titles, for any article type. To benefit from this deal you must list your OU affiliation in the online submission system and complete an Open Access form (see author guidance linked to below).

Geological Society - Lyell Collection

This agreement applies to any article type in six Geological Society hybrid journals and three hybrid book series. The six hybrid journal titles included are: Journal of the Geological Society, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Petroleum Geoscience, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, Scottish Journal of Geology, and Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society.  

Institute of Physics (IOP)

This agreement applies to any IOP Publishing's hybrid journal titles and selected Gold journals. This deal applies to all primary research article types as well as reviews: Letters, Papers, Reviews and Special Issue articles. 

IWA Publishing 

This deal covers subscribe to open and fully OA titles and is open to all article types. You must ensure your institutional affiliation and institutional e-mail address is correctly entered in the publisher’s submission system.

JMIR Publications 

JMIR are piloting a Flat Fee OA Publishing agreement whereby OU corresponding authors can publish fully OA in any article type. The cap is unlimited for 1 year. Authors are required to use an OU email address and include an OU affiliation on the article.

Authors should include the following statement in their cover letter upon submission: Requesting APF waiver through the Open University-JMIR OA deal via Jisc.

Optica Publishing Group 

Both Gold and hybrid Research and Review article types are covered in this deal.

Oxford University Press

Research and Review articles in fully OA and hybrid journals are eligible. This deal applies to all OUP titles in the OUP Full Collection. Eligible authors will be identified by OUP during the article submission process, but you must use your institutional email address during the submission process to be identified. 


Any PLOS journal titles included. For PLOS Biology, Medicine and Sustainability & Transform this deal applies to all corresponding and contributing authors, and for the remaining six titles (which are covered under a different Flat Fee agreement: PLOS Computational Biology, Pathogens, Genetics, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Digital Health and PLOS One) this is restricted to corressponding authors only. This deal applies to all article types. 

Portland Press

All seven Portland Press journals included: Biochemical Journal; Clinical Science; Neuronal Signalling; Bioscience Reports; Biochemical Society Transactions; Essays in Biochemistry; and Emerging Topics in Life Sciences. Applicable to all article types.

Rockefeller University Press

All article types in RUP's three hybrid journals are eligible: Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), and Journal of General Physiology (JGP). 

Royal Society

Hybrid and fully Open Access (Gold) journal titles included. Articles are published under a CC BY license. Corresponding authors must use their institutional email address in order to be identified as eligible.

Royal Society of Chemistry

Applicable to hybrid articles. Must be the corresponding author as designated upon article submission, and the OU must be stated as your affiliation in the author submission workflow. Fully OA (gold) titles are not included however, there is a 15% APC discount for all articles accepted in RSC Gold OA journals.


Authors can publish Gold in SAGE Choice (hybrid OA) journals. 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. 

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 ( 

Springer Nature

Springer Hybrid OA journals only. You must be publishing either an original paper, review paper, brief communication or continuing education (Springer terminology).

Taylor & Francis

Taylor & Francis and Routledge hybrid (Open Select) journals only. Eligible article types include: article, review, research article, review article, report, short communication, case report, note, original article, and guest editorials.

Please be aware that there is a cap on the number of publications that are covered by this deal, so it is operated on a first come, first served basis.


Authors publishing original research and review articles in Wiley's hybrid (OnlineOpen) or fully Open Access (Gold) journals. You must indicate your affiliation with the OU's Wiley Open Access Account in the payment question during manuscript submission. There is a cap on the number of publications that are covered by this deal, so it is operated on a first come, first served basis. Please check the listings below to see if your chosen journal is eligible (including the Wiley Journal Flips listing) and if extra charges will be levied. Please note that extra charges will not be covered by the APC deal.

NB: A number of Wiley journal titles have now flipped from hybrid to fully Gold Open Access and are now managed by Hindawi. These titles are no longer eligible under our Wiley deal. Please check the list of Wiley Journal Flips before you submit. If you still wish to submit to these titles, you will need to source funding for the APC from elsewhere. If you have any queries at all, please contact the Research Support team for advice.


Discounted Agreements

The following agreements allow OU affiliated authors to publish Open Access at a reduced cost. Please note that for any discounts listed below authors are responsible for sourcing the remainder of the publishing fee themselves; this may be through research grants, the UKRI Block Grant, or faculty budgets (where available).


Equinox offers anywhere between 20-55% discount on APC payments. Applicable to all article types.

  • More information for authors here.
  • Runs until 31st December 2022.


MDPI offer a 10% APC discount. The discount applies to all accepted articles and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount (e.g., discount vouchers, or society membership discounts).

  • Please manually select The OU at submission to be eligble for this deal.
  • More information for authors can be found on the MDPI author guidelines webpage.
  • Runs until 31st March 2023.

Bristol University Press/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.


New and upcoming deals for 2023


De Gruyter

This deal covers hybrid titles only, and all types of article are accepted. The CC BY licence is the default type.


John Benjamins

Authors can publish a research article in any of the John Benjamins hybrid titles. Although articles should have the CC BY licence by default, authors should check before proceeding. 


Page last updated: 28 November 2022

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