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Open Access: Paying for open access

Overview

While it is usually possible to make your work openly available at no cost, some publishers require the payment of an open access article processing charge (APC). This payment means that your work will be open immediately upon publication with a Creative Commons licence, via the publisher's website.

Some journals are fully open access, meaning that you will always have to pay an APC to publish in them. Other publishers operate a 'hybrid' model in subscription journals which means you can choose to publish either in the traditional manner where the work will sit behind a paywall, or you can pay an APC to make your article freely accessible. APCs usually range between £800 and £2000, though they can be higher or lower. The average charge has been estimated by UKRI to be £1727 (exc. VAT).

The Library has purchased a number of open access agreements and memberships with publishers - Open access transformative deals, memberships and pre-payment agreements.  Some of these allow University of Bath corresponding authors to publish open access in their eligible journals with no charge, and others provide discounts on the cost of APCs.  Publishers will normally notify you of this option, if available, at the submission or acceptance stage, and your request will be sent to our dashboard for approval. We sign up to new agreements each year and details are added to the list.  Please contact the open access team if you require more information on these OA transformative deals.

This page provides information on the funding options available to cover these charges and will help you determine whether you are eligible for funding support. If you have any queries about your eligibility please contact the Open Access Team at openaccess@bath.ac.uk.

Funding options and eligibility

Before making a request, please look over the information provided on the rest of this page regarding funding eligibility - including specific funder information.  Please also check the publisher-specific open access agreements we have signed up to here: Open Access Publisher Deals . Taking advantage of these deals may mean we get significant reduction in the price of your Open Access article processing charge (APC).

Please make sure that you have funding in place before submitting to your chosen journal or committing to pay any open access charges.  If you have any questions regarding funding options or eligibility, then please contact openaccess@bath.ac.uk.

Making a request:

  1. To request financial support for the payment of your article processing charge (APC), we request that authors submit details via our APC request form. Having this formal record of your request helps when processing invoices and reporting to funding bodies.

  2. After receiving your request we will check that the publication meets the requirements of your funder and also whether funding is available. We will then send you an email confirming whether we can support the payment from either our UKRI or COAF block grant or the Bath Open Access Fund. We endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible.

  3. If we are unable to support the APC through either of our funds, we will provide guidance on how you can still make your work openly available.

  4. If we can support the payment, we will provide instructions on how to proceed with requesting and paying for the open access fee.

  5. The details of your request will be recorded on our database so that we can tie up the details and approve payment when the invoice arrives.  Please note that the offer of financial support relates specifically to this article being published in this journal.  The offer of support is not transferrable.  If you resubmit the same article to another journal, you will need to contact us and re-apply for support.

  6. If we do not have a pre-payment account with your publisher, we prefer that payment be made via invoice and not credit card.  Once the invoice has been received and approved, Finance aim to make payments on, or as close as possible, to the due date, which is traditionally 30 days after the invoice date.  If you receive any payment reminders, please also forward these to us to deal with.

  7. As Library funds are very limited, we would be grateful if you could keep us updated with regard to the publication status of your paper.  Please let us know straight away if the funds are no longer needed so that we can reallocate them.  If payment has not been requested by the journal, or we have not heard from you by 30 June of the current financial year, we will automatically assume the funds can be reallocated to a new applicant and the offer of funding will be withdrawn.

  8. Page/colour/submission charges - please note that the APC request form does not cover these.  We are not able to pay any additional non-open access publication charges from our open access funds.  You and your co-authors must find an alternative source of funds for this or ask the publisher for a waiver.

We have received notification of our UKRI open access block grant for 2022/3 and can now accept requests for funding for UKRI-funded articles.

The new UKRI Open Access Policy applies to articles submitted from 1 April 2022.  All articles which acknowledge funding from UKRI must be open access immediately on publication with a CC-BY licence.Further details are on our 'Meeting Funder Requirements' page. 

Check before you submit!  UKRI funded authors should establish if their chosen journal is compliant with the policy before submission and before applying for funding.  Please use our Journal Checker Form to enquire about specific journals and whether they offer a compliant route.

We have a number of open access Transformative Agreements with publishers which provide University of Bath affiliated corresponding authors the opportunity to publish open access with no additional charge in eligible journals.

If your chosen journal is not included in an open access agreement we may be able to pay the APC from the block grant via the APC Request Form. Please note that we are no longer able to cover additional publication costs (eg page and colour charges) from the UKRI block grant.

Please read the below information as it may affect whether we can support your APC.

Please make sure that you have funding in place before submitting to your chosen journal or committing to pay any open access charges.

To be eligible to use the fund:

  • you must be acknowledging funding from one or more of the UKRI Research Councils (EPSRC, BBSRC, ESRC, STFC, NERC, AHRC, MRC and Innovate UK, Research England)
  • it must be a peer-reviewed, original research article or a review article (invited or commissioned review articles are also in scope of the policy)
  • you must be publishing in an academic journal or conference proceeding with an ISSN which is either:
    • a fully open access publication
    • a hybrid publication which is included in an open access transformative arrangement (transformative agreement or transformative journal) - please see below for details of the agreements that Bath has signed up to

Publishers taking a sustainable and affordable approach to the transition to OA by reducing the cost of publishing in hybrid journals via transformative agreements include: BMJ, Royal Society, Institute of Physics, Sage, Springer Nature (Springer Compact deal), Taylor & Francis, Wiley, and Oxford University Press.

Further requirements:

  • your grant number must be included in the acknowledgements section
  • you must select a CC-BY License when prompted by the publisher (see our OA Licensing tab for further information about Creative Commons licenses) or a CC-BY-ND licence if you have applied for and been granted an exception by UKRI prior to submission; if a CC-BY or CC-BY-ND licence is not offered by the publisher, we will not be able to support the APC
  • all papers which acknowledge UKRI funding should include a statement regarding how to access the underlying research data - this applies even if there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.
  • research funded by the MRC or BBSRC must be made available via PubMed Central or Europe PubMed Central respectively

Page charges and other mandatory costs: from 1 April 2022 these additional publication charges cannot be paid from the UKRI block grant.

  • If you are considering submitting an article to a journal with page charges, please check whether there is any other source of funding (held by you or co-authors) which will cover these costs and/or whether another equally suitable journal without page charges exists for this article.
  • Alternatively, if funds are not available it may be possible to request a waiver from the publisher

To make a formal request for support from this fund, please fill out our APC request form. 

From January 2021 onwards Wellcome will continue to provide support for eligible OA costs to ensure compliance with their new policy and will supplement individual research grants for this purpose. You need to contact Wellcome at openaccess@wellcome.org direct, and request funding.  You will need  to provide the name of the journal, title of the paper, cost of the APC and your grant reference number(s).

The open access team can advise on Wellcome open access policy and green open access via Pure.

Other charities will be funding open access payments via block grants to eligible institutions or via additional funds within research grants:  

Versus Arthritis - funded authors should make open access funding requests directly to Versus Arthritis via their Grant Tracker account.

British Heart Foundation (BHF) have provided a small open access block grant to fund APCs for BHF-funded papers - please use our APC Request form to apply for funding.
be eligible for open access funding:

  • your paper must be an original peer-reviewed research article or study protocol (conference proceedings, editorials, letters or commentaries are not eligible)
  • it must not be a commissioned or invited review article
  • a CC-BY licence must be chosen
  • the final version of the article must be deposited in PubMed Central at the time of publication - a link to the article on the publisher site is not sufficient
  • the publisher has agreed to COAF's publisher requirements (a requirement since 1 April 2017)

Wellcome Trust also mandates that monographs and book chapters be made open access. It has a separate funding mechanism to manage payment of these costs for its funded researchers. Please email openaccess@wellcome.ac.uk for more information.

If you are funded by one of the following charities and need help with an open access payment you should contact the  funder(s) directly.  The email addresses are:

Links to previous COAF charities' open access policies:

Wellcome Trust

British Heart Foundation

Bloodwise

Versus Arthritis

Cancer Research UK

Parkinson’s UK

The Bath open access fund is available to University of Bath staff and research postgraduates who do not have research funding.  Further details of eligibility criteria are below.  If you think your article is eligible and you'd like to apply for funding, please submit our online APC request form.

If you aren't funded by a Research Council, Innovate UK, Wellcome/BHF, or other funding body which may be able to pay for your open access fee, then you may have the option of using the Bath Open Access Fund.

To be eligible:

The Library’s Open Access Team can advise on whether your journal is eligible (email details to openaccess@bath.ac.uk).

Please submit your request via our APC request form. Having this formal record of your request helps when processing invoices and reporting to funding bodies.

Please note: funding is allocated on a first-come first-served basis so we cannot guarantee that funds will always be available. Since many journals require you to agree to the payment when you submit your article, it is a good idea to ensure you have funding before you proceed with the submission process. Do not commit to paying an APC until you have received confirmation of funding from the Open Access team.

The funding year is 1 August to 31 July and all invoices must be received by the open access team by 30 June each year in order to be paid during the funding period.  Please forward all invoices and reminders to openaccess@bath.ac.uk

If your request for funding is approved, we will earmark the amount of the APC for you until the invoice is paid.  If your article is not accepted by the journal, or you no longer require funding for the specified article, please let the team know as soon as possible. Funding is approved for a specified article in a specified journal - it cannot be transferred to a different one.

NOTE: the Bath Open Access Fund is used for the payment of open access article processing charges (APCs) and cannot be used to pay additional publication charges such as page, colour or submission charges.  These remain the responsibility of the author and/or their department.

The Research Strategy Open Access Fund has been made available to University of Bath researchers who wish to publish high impact articles in hybrid journals which are not included in one of our publisher transformative agreements, are not registered transformative journals as defined by JISC or Plan S, and do not currently have an open access route (either gold or green) which is compliant with UKRI, Wellcome, CRUK, NIHR, BHF or other funders' open access policies.

To be eligible, you need to be currently affiliated to the University of Bath and to have explored possible compliant journals but feel that the journal you have selected is the best fit for your research.  We suggest you discuss the options with the open access team before submitting a request for funding.

Please use the Bath Journal Search to check whether journals are included in one of our open access transformative agreements or contact the open access team at: openaccess@bath.ac.uk

ERC

APCs for European Research Council-funded works can be claimed as direct eligible costs from your grant if publication is expected during the period of the grant. For more information, read the ERC guidelines.


Horizon Europe (2021-2027)

Grant-holders must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to their funding.  Research can be made open access using the green route: at the latest at the time of publication, uploading a copy of the final peer reviewed manuscript (or final published version if permitted by the publisher) to a trusted repository. Immediate open access must be provided to the deposited publication under the latest available version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public Licence (CC BY) or a licence with equivalent rights; for monographs and other long-text formats, the licence may exclude commercial uses and derivative works (e.g. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND).

If using the gold route, only publication fees in fully open access venues for peer-reviewed scientific publications are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project The article must still be uploaded to an appropriate repository on publication.


Horizon 2020

Grant-holders must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to their funding. Horizon 2020 research can be made open access using the green route: uploading a copy of the author’s accepted manuscript to a repository, such as Pure, by the date of publication at the latest. However, this can only be done if the journal offers a 6 month embargo. A 12 month embargo is acceptable for publications in the social sciences and humanities. Horizon 2020 provide an amendment to publishing agreement that authors and publishers can sign to ensure authors have the rights they need to comply. The gold (paid) route is also acceptable. Article processing charges can be reimbursed by Horizon 2020 if they occur during the duration of the grant. Costs incurred once a project is completed cannot be refunded from that project's budget. The article must still be uploaded to an appropriate repository. For more information, visit the Horizon 2020 website or contact the Open Access Team.


FP7

Until February 2018, open access funding for beneficiaries of FP7 grants was obtainable via the FP7 post-grant Open Access pilot.

National Institute for Health Research (UK)

If you are funded by the NIHR and need to pay an APC, you are expected to make provision for the payment from your award. If you have any queries, please contact your awarding NIHR Programme Coordinating Centre for further advice.

National Institutes of Health (US)

Publication costs, including author fees, may be charged to NIH grants and contracts. Please see their policy pages for further information.

The Academy of Medical Sciences

Whilst the Academy won’t fund APCs separately, you can cost them into grant applications. Where the publication has been wholly funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences underspend can be used to pay open access fees.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Foundation is willing to pay reasonable publisher fees in order to make publications openly available immediately via a CC-BY 4.0 licence. Researchers should not pay these fees out of their budget or seek reimbursement from the Foundation. They should use Chronos, a new service developed by the foundation, to manage the payment of open access fees.


Diabetes UK

Although Diabetes UK encourage the paid route to open access, they do not provide additional funds to pay for APCs. Under-spend on a grant may be used to meet the cost of open access fees if the publication has been wholly funded by Diabetes UK. Written permission from the charity is required.

Alzheimer Research UK

Although Alzheimer Research UK do not require articles which arise from their funding to be made openly available, applicants can request fees to cover open access publications at the time of submitting a proposal. Please note, however, that grant holders cannot apply for further funds for publication once a grant has been awarded.


Alzheimer's Society

The Society will not provide any additional funding to support open access costs. If your grant finishes with an underspend they are happy to consider requests for it to be used for APCs.


Leverhulme Trust

APCs can be included either within the 25% associated costs allowable on Research Project Grants and Research Programme Grants, or within the research expenses category for Fellowships. Open access charges should only be incurred during the period of a Leverhulme award. If these costs are not incurred during the life of the grant, the funds cannot be switched to any other budget heading, and must be returned to the Trust.

If your article does not meet the criteria for funding support for paid open access, there are still a number of things that you can do:

  1. Deposit your author accepted manuscript (AAM) in Pure. Most journals will allow you to upload an AAM to an institutional repository like Pure. This is a perfectly acceptable way of making your work open access as well as meeting your funder’s requirements.
  2. Ask your Associate Dean (Research) or Director of Research. By exception, your Associate Dean (Research) or Director of Research can authorise payment from the Bath Open Access Fund for a journal that would not otherwise be eligible. You will need to justify why paid open access would be beneficial (e.g. the paper has international co-authorship and open access would help draw international readers).
  3. Ask your department for funding. If green open access isn’t an option for your chosen journal, you may still need to find funding for the APC so it is worth asking your department to see if any financial support is available.

Open access transformative deals, memberships, and pre-payment agreements

The University of Bath has signed up to a number of publisher agreements which may mean the cost of the Open Access article processing charge (APC) is reduced or waived. Full details of these publishers can be found on our Open Access Agreements page.

If you are considering publishing with one of these publishers, please read about the agreement we have in place and whether you might be able to benefit from it. If in doubt, please contact openaccess@bath.ac.uk for further information.