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Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Transitional Agreements

On this page you will find:

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are the most widely used funding model for Gold Open Access (OA) academic journal publishing. In this model, the author (or their institution) pays the publisher a fee to get the final version of their article (the version of record) published OA.

APCs vary in amount, from a few hundred pounds to several thousand. The most prestigious journals are often the most expensive.

Journals that charge APCs may be fully OA or Hybrid.

  • Fully OA journals – every article in every issue requires payment of an APC and is published Gold OA.
  • Hybrid journals – articles are accessible via a traditional pay-to-read subscription model, but the author can opt-in to paying an APC for their specific article to be published as Gold OA. Hybrid journals tend to have more expensive APCs than fully OA journals.

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 long-form publications different Gold OA fees apply, for example Book Processing Charges (BPCs). For more information on long-form Gold OA publishing please go to the UKRI long-form publications fund page.

Transitional agreements

The OU Library has agreements with academic publishers to purchase journal titles in large packages. Increasing numbers of these agreements are transitioning from a traditional (pay to read) subscription model to a fully Gold OA (pay to publish) model.

This means that Library funds that were once paying specifically for OU students and staff to access journal content kept behind a paywall are now increasingly being used to pay APCs that allow anyone anywhere in the world to access OU-authored journal content without a paywall.

You will find on this page a list of the transitional agreements and APC discounts available to OU researchers who wish to publish Gold OA. 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. These agreements can change at short notice so please check this page for updates.

Eligibility

Eligibility to publish via an OU transitional agreement revolves around the identity of the corresponding author.

The corresponding author is the primary contact for the publisher during the submission, peer review, and publication process of a manuscript. If your research has multiple authors, you must choose one author to be the corresponding author. If you would like to benefit from an OU transitional agreement, then the corresponding author must be an OU-affiliated member of research staff (excludes visiting and honorary roles) or a current postgraduate student.

Please use your instititional email address (@open.ac.uk) when using The OU's transitional agreements. Your affiliation with The OU will be verified by your institutional email address (@open.ac.uk).

Important eligibility information for UKRI-funded researchers

If you have pending publications for UKRI-funded research and you are leaving The OU or moving to an Associate Lecturer or visiting role within The OU, please contact the Research Support Team to discuss the options for funding your APC.

Licences

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.

Additional charges

Please note the majority of these deals do not cover additional charges for optional extras, such as accelerated publication, overlength fees 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.

Search for a journal in our transitional agreements

Use our SciFree Journal Search Tool to find out if your chosen journal is part of our publishing deals. You can search by journal name, ISSN, keyword or subject area. Use this Journal Search Tool in conjunction with the publisher listing below to check if the deal has any restrictions or additional instructions. The tool can also be accessed via our dedicated OU SciFree search page.

 

List of OU transitional agreements

PUBLISHER 

END DATE

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

TYPE(S) OF PUBLICATION COVERED

FULLY OA (GOLD) TITLES INCLUDED?

ARTICLE TYPES COVERED

PUBLISHER INFORMATION

American Chemical Society (ACS)

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA journals within ACS editions

Yes

All research articles in all ACS journals

Link to ACS publisher information.

American Institute of Physics (AIP)

29th February 2024

Corresponding authors 

Hybrid

No

Research article only

Link to AIP publisher information.

American Physical Society (APS)

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No

Included but not limited to: regular articles, letters, rapid communications, reviews, perspectives, and short papers

Link to APS publisher information.

Annual Reviews 

31st December 2025

Article authorship is by invitation only 

Hybrid 

Yes

All

Link to Annual Reviews publisher information.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All research articles and conference proceedings

Link to ACM publisher information.

Bentham Science

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors 

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

Research articles, reviews, case reports, and letters

Link to Bentham Science publisher information.

Brill

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

Research, review articles, and conference papers

Link to Brill publisher information.

Bristol University Press/Policy Press

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No

Original peer-reviewed research. Other research outputs may be considered in line with funder policy mandates.

Link to Bristol University Press publisher information.

Cambridge University Press

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

Research, review articles and rapid communications, Plus Brief Report and Case reports.

Link to Cambridge University Press publisher information.

Company of Biologists

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to Company of Biologists publisher information.

De Gruyter

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to De Gruyter publisher information.

Elsevier

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid (Core, Cell Press & The Lancet).

No, but discount available

Core hybrid: research and review articles, case reports, data in brief, microarticle, original software publication, protocol, replication study, short communication, short survey, video article. practice guideline

Cell Press: some exceptions apply.

The Lancet: some exceptions apply.

Link to Elsevier publisher information.

Future Science Group

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All types excluding Drug Evaluation articles

Link to Future Science Group publisher information.

Geological Society

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No

All

Link to Geological Society publisher information.

Institute of Physics (IOP)

29th February 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Some - see list of eligible journals

Articles, research papers, special issues, letters, review articles

Link to Institute of Physics publisher information.

IWA Publishing 

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Subscribe to Open (S2O) and Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to IWA publisher information.

John Benjamins

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No

Research articles

Link to John Benjamins publisher information.

JMIR Publications

31st March 2024

Corresponding authors

Submissions should include your OU affiliation, OU email and mention in cover letter "requesting APC waiver via the Open-JMIR unlimited OA publishing deal".

Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to JMIR publisher information.

Optica Publishing Group

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

Research and Review articles

Link to Optica publisher information.

Oxford University Press

29 February 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

Research and Review articles

Link to Oxford University Press publisher information.

PLOS

31st December 2024

Corresponding and contributing authors

Fully OA

Yes

Research articles

Link to PLOS publisher information.

Portland Press

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to Portland Press publisher information.

Rockefeller University Press

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No

All

Link to Rockefeller University Press.

Royal Society

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to Royal Society publisher information.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No, but discount available

All peer reviewed types including: full papers, communications and reviews.

Link to RSC publisher information.

SAGE

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No, but discount available

Research, review, brief communications, short reports, case studies.

Link to SAGE publisher information.

Society for Neuroscience 31st December 2024 Corresponding authors Hybrid No Research, review articles Link to Society for Neuroscience publisher information

SPIE

30th June 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

All

Link to SPIE Publisher information.

Springer Nature

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No, but discount available

Springer: original papers, review papers, brief communications and continuing education.

Nature: research articles including analysis, brief communications, registered reports, technical reports. 

Link to Springer Nature publisher information.

Taylor and Francis

29th February 2024

Corresponding authors

Hybrid

No

Article, review, research and review articles, report, short communication, case report, note, original article, guest editorial.

Link to Taylor and Francis publisher information.

Wiley

31st December 2025

Corresponding authors

Hybrid and Fully OA

Yes

Primary research and review types.

Link to Wiley publisher information.

World Scientific Publishing 

31st December 2024

Corresponding authors

WSPC owned subscription journals

No, but discount available

Research and review articles.

Link to World Scientific publisher information.

Publisher APC discounts

Some publishers whose transitional agreements only cover publication in hybrid journals offer a discount on APCs for their Fully OA titles.

PUBLISHER END DATE OF AGREEMENT WHO IS ELIGBLE? TYPE(S) OF PUBLICATION COVERED DISCOUNTED RATE ARTICLE TYPES COVERED PUBLISHER INFORMATION
Elsevier 31st December 2024 Corresponding authors Fully OA 15% All Link to Elsevier publisher information.
Equinox 31st December 2025 Corresponding authors Fully OA 20-55%  All  Link to Equinox publisher information.
MDPI 31st December 2024 Corresponding and co-authors Fully OA 20% All Link to MDPI publisher information.
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 31st December 2024 Corresponding authors Fully OA 15% All peer reviewed types including: full papers, communications and reviews. Link to RSC publisher information.
SAGE 31st December 2024 Corresponding authors Fully OA 20% Research, review, case reports Link to SAGE publisher information.
Springer Nature 31st December 2025 Corresponding authors Fully OA 15%

UKRI funded authors of the following:

Springer: original papers, review papers, brief communications and continuing education.

Nature: research articles including analysis, brief communications, registered reports, technical reports.

Link to Springer Nature publisher information.
World Scientific Publishing 31st December 2024 Corresponding authors Fully OA 20% Research and review articles Link to World Scientific publisher information.

 

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