Paying for open access articles

Some open access publishing routes require you to pay an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher. The 'average' charge is £2,000 to £3,000 but there is a lot of variation: diamond/platinum journals do not charge for publication and the highest APCs are in hybrid titles and can be as high as £10,000.

There is no causal link between payment amount (or presence), journal quality and open access availability. Costs are set by the journal and publisher and reflect internal calculations. Authors are urged to assess journals on their academic merit and not the cost of publication.

Oxford University has signed deals with publishers that allow Oxford researchers discounts or fully paid article processing charges.

There is also block grant funding for authors who acknowledge specific funders.

If you are unfunded 

If you don’t get any funding for your research, there are three ways to achieve open access that do not require the author to pay for it.

  1. Publish in a diamond/platinum open access journal. These journals subsidise open access publication and do not have article processing charges.
  2. Publish in a journal covered by a University of Oxford publisher agreement. Journal titles included in these deals have their APCs covered by the cost of the deal itself. Any Oxford University corresponding author can make use of these deals.
  3. Publish in a journal which allows self-deposit. To find out if a journal allows this option, find it on Sherpa Romeo and check their policy for the 'accepted manuscript'. If they allow it, you can deposit your accepted manuscript into the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA). There is no cost for this.

If you have research funding

If you have funding for your research, there are two ways to get funding for your APC:

  1. Oxford manages four APC block grants, supplied by specific funders and available to authors who acknowledge their research funding. You need to apply for these block grants via the University’s article processing team.
  2. Other funders have alternate routes to apply for open access funds. You can check details on their policy page. If you are not sure how to access these funds, you are very welcome to seek advice via the open access helpdesk.