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Open Access: Paying for open access


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 - listed below under Open access transformative deals, memberships and pre-payment agreements.  Some of these allow University of Bath corresponding authors to publish open access in their 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

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 (listed below). Taking advantage of these deals may mean we get significant reduction in the price of 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.  If you have any questions regarding funding options or eligibility, then please contact

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 the COAF fund nor the Bath Open Access fund.  You and your co-authors must find an alternative source of funds for this or ask the publisher for a waiver.  We can contribute only limited funds from the UKRI block grant towards these costs (max £750 per article). Please check with the open access team before agreeing to pay these charges to the publisher.

If you have been funded by a Research Council then you may be able to access our UKRI Open Access block grant. Whilst we encourage authors to self-archive their author accepted manuscript in Pure where possible, we understand that sometimes it is necessary for an OA fee to be paid so the article is open immediately.

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, but not Research England) at the end of your paper
  • it must be a peer-reviewed, original research article or a non-commissioned review article (review articles commissioned by the publisher are not eligible)
  • you must be publishing in an academic journal or conference proceeding which is either:
    • a fully open access publication
    • a hybrid publication where the publisher participates in an off-setting deal or provides a membership discount (see details below)
  • if you are publishing in a hybrid journal but we do not participate in a discount scheme with the publisher you will need approval from your Director of Research

Publishers taking a sustainable and affordable approach to the transition to OA by reducing the cost of publishing in hybrid journals via offsetting deals and membership schemes include: American Chemical Society, BMJ, Royal Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics, Sage, Springer Nature (Springer Compact titles only), 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); if a CC-BY license is not offered by the publisher then we will not be able to support the APC
  • if applicable, papers should include a statement regarding how to access the underlying research data
  • research funded by the MRC or BBSRC must be made available via PubMed Central or Europe PubMed Central respectively

Please note: The fund will cover up to three APCs per author/grant per annual block grant allocation (01 April – 31 March).

Page charges and other mandatory costs can also be paid under UKRI policy at the discretion of the individual institution.

  • To maximise fund use for APCs, payment of these costs will be capped at £750 and will only be made to publishers that are fully OA or provide a Green OA option that complies with the UKRI policy.
  • 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.
  • If you have considered these alternatives and you still wish to apply for page charges, you may do so, but please be aware that we can only cover a proportion of the cost. If we have agreed to pay, we will honour this.
  • We do not pay colour charges because we consider these to be avoidable in online journals.  Please contact us if you need any advice on this.

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 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.

The other COAF 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.

Authors funded by any of the other charities should contact their funder using the email address listed below.

Links to COAF charities' open access policies:

Wellcome Trust

British Heart Foundation


Versus Arthritis

Cancer Research UK

Parkinson’s UK

To 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 for more information.

Other COAF charities: if you need help with funding an open access payment you should contact your relevant research funder(s) directly.  The email addresses are:


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 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 speak to a member of the Open Access Team.


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.

UPDATE (6 January 2021): the Bath Open Access Fund is now fully spent for the current budget year due to a rapid increase in the number of APC funding requests.  If you have lodged a request but no longer require the funding, please let us know so that we can release the amount back into the fund. 

Other options for gold open access are our publisher prepay and Read & Publish deals - see below for details. 

Alternatively please consider the green (self-archiving) route to open access by depositing your accepted manuscript in Pure.

If you aren't funded by a Research Council, Wellcome/COAF partner, 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

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

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.

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 APC is reduced or waived. If you are considering publishing with one of the below publishers, please read about what agreement we have in place and whether you might be able to benefit from it. If in doubt, please contact for further information.

We have an agreement with ACS which provides 25 open access tokens per year. These can be used by any Bath corresponding author for research articles and commissioned reviews published in the following journals: Chemical Reviews, Accounts of Chemical Research, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS Nano, ACS Energy Letters, Nano Letters, ACS Catalysis, ACS Central Science, ACS Omega and Chemistry of Materials. When you receive your acceptance email from ACS, if you have submitted to one of the above journals please follow the link they send and ask for your article to be made open access. The library will check it is in a qualifying journal and accept the request, provided there are sufficient tokens. This scheme will sit alongside the existing open access funds, so that if the tokens run out or you are publishing in an ACS journal which is not covered by the agreement you may still be eligible for support. Please contact the open access team or submit out online APC request form
Our agreement with Bentham is that corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Bath who submit an article to a Bentham Science open access journal or select the open access option in a hybrid journal will receive a 40% discount on the article processing charge (APC). Please ensure that you are listed as the corresponding author, with a Bath affiliation and e-mail address entered into the publisher’s submission system.
We have a pre-payment account with BMC which is available for use to Bath corresponding authors who do not have Research Council funding. To access this account you will need to complete our online APC request form - available from the link above. If eligible, the Open Access team will provide you with a membership code which you then quote to the publisher. If you are funded by a Research Council then you may still be able to publish open access with this publisher, however payment will be done via invoice.


We have signed up to a Publish & Read (pilot) deal with BMJ from 1 Feb 2021. This is exclusively for articles funded by the following: UKRI, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Blood Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinsons UK, Versus Arthritis. It includes only hybrid (subscription) journals - 28 in total, as follows: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Archives of Disease in Childhood ADC: Education & Practice ADC: Fetal & Neonatal BMJ Quality & Safety British Journal of Ophthalmology British Journal of Sports Medicine Emergency Medicine Journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine Evidence-Based Mental Health Evidence-Based Nursing Frontline Gastroenterology Gut Heart Injury Prevention Journal of Medical Ethics Medical Humanities Journal of Clinical Pathology Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health Journal of Medical Genetics Journal of Neuro Interventional Surgery Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry Practical Neurology Occupational and Environmental Medicine Postgraduate Medical Journal Sexually Transmitted Infections Thorax Tobacco Control. Our existing pre-payment account with BMJ will run alongside this, and is available to all Bath corresponding authors who do not have research funding. It covers both hybrid and fully open access journals. During submission of your article you will be prompted to select your open access agreement affiliation, your ‘agreement name’ or ‘institution’ will be available to select in the dropdown options. You will be asked to confirm the publication licence: please make sure to select the CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) licence. Upon acceptance, the open access team we will be able to review and approve or deny the request from our central dashboard. If your request is approved, you will receive a confirmation email from RightsLink®. Please complete our APC Request Form - link above - prior to submission.


The University of Bath Library has signed a Read and Publish deal with IOP. This deal enables unlimited open access publishing for University of Bath corresponding authors in 44 of IOP’s subscription journals, without barriers or charges to authors. A list of IOP journals included in this deal can be found here. For journals not included in this list, please make a request via our APC form.
Journal articles with a corresponding author affiliated to the University of Bath are eligible for a 10% discount on all APCs. This agreement is available for all Bath authors.
We have a Read & Publish agreement with the Microbiology Society for 2021 covering the full Microbiology Society portfolio of four hybrid and two full OA journals. Subscription/hybrid titles: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, Journal of General Virology, Journal of Medical Microbiology, Microbiology. Fully open access titles: Microbial Genomics, Access Microbiology. Pre-submission, potential authors will be guided to check whether their institution is covered for open access. Corresponding authors from participating institutions will be notified of the scheme through the manuscript peer review process.
We have signed up to the JISC OUP Read & Publish deal from March 2021. This provides University of Bath corresponding authors with open access publishing in the majority of OUP's hybrid and fully open access journals. List of journals included in the deal is here. Please use your University of Bath email address and affiliation when submitting. When asked to select a licence, please be aware that research funders require a CC-BY. Detailed author instructions are available here. Any enquiries about the OUP deal should be addressed to: or via the APC request form.
We have a pre-payment account with PeerJ which is available for use by all Bath affiliated authors. This works on a membership basis. Please apply for funding via the APC Request form.
We have signed up to a PLOS Flat Fee Arrangement from 1 April 2021 until December 2023. Publication fees for open access will be automatically covered by the flat fee publisher agreement for the following titles: PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS ONE. To be eligible for full payment of publication fees, the corresponding author must be affiliated with the University of Bath. Please ensure that you use your University email address and identify your affiliation in the publisher submission system. Articles will be automatically published with a Creative Commons CC-BY Attribution license; PLOS articles are syndicated to PubMed Central/Europe PMC and PLOS requires data sharing where not subject to legal or ethical restrictions. PLOS is a non-profit, fully open access publisher.
Our agreement with Portland Press allows all University of Bath corresponding authors to publish open access in Portland Press's five subscription and two fully open access journals: Biochemical Journal, Biochemical Society Transactions, Bioscience Reports, Clinical Science, Essays in Biochemistry, Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, and Neuronal Signalling. When you submit to the journal, ensure that you are listed as the corresponding author, with a Bath affiliation and e-mail address entered into the publisher’s submission system. You will receive an e-mail confirming that the paper will be published open access under the CC-BY licence without any additional fees.
We have an annual agreement that provides 25% off the cost of an APC for the following journal titles: Biology Letters, Interface Focus, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Notes and Records of the Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, and Open Biology, and Royal Society Open Science. Open to all Bath corresponding authors.
If you are the corresponding author for an article in an RSC hybrid journal then, as a member of the University of Bath, you will not have to pay open access article processing charges (APCs). You simply need to tell the RSC that you wish the article to be made open access with a CC-BY licence. This is due to the library having signed up to a 'Read and Publish' agreement with the RSC. This transformative open access agreement means that the Library have paid an annual amount to the publisher to cover both our online subscription to RSC journals and the open access publishing fees for University of Bath corresponding authors. This waiver of open access fees (APCs) applies to all RSC journals except RSC Advances (which is a fully OA journal) and Chemical Science. Chemical Science has no publication charges.
We have signed a Read & Publish agreement for unlimited open access publishing in Sage's subscription journals. In addition, authors publishing in any of Sage's fully open access journals will receive a 20% discount on the open access article processing charge. All University of Bath corresponding authors can publish open access in almost all Sage, IMechE and RSM subscription journals. This encompasses original research papers, review papers, brief communications, short reports and case studies. Book reviews, editorials, abstracts and news items are excluded. A list of journals included in this deal can be found here . On submission to the journal, please ensure that you are listed as the corresponding author and provide your University of Bath affiliation and email address. This enables Sage to identify your paper as eligible for open access. The Library OA team will receive a request to approve the article for funding. Note: if you are not correctly identified as the corresponding author, Sage may not be able to convert your article to open access later. Once approved, Sage will inform co-authors that the article can be published open access at no additional cost. Within 14 days, one author must confirm that the authors agree to publish open access, and choose a licence. If the funder of the paper requires CC-BY, please ensure that you select it. Most funders require CC-BY and this is our recommended choice of licence for OA papers. Sage, IMechE and RSM papers in gold (fully open access) journals are eligible for a discount on standard rates. Please use our online APC request form to apply for funding. University of Bath’s normal eligibility criteria apply.
With the Springer Compact deal, if you are the corresponding author for an article in a Springer 'OpenChoice' journal - see list: here - then, as a member of the University of Bath, you are eligible for your APC to be waived. This agreement is available to all Bath corresponding authors regardless of funder. Please note that this agreement does not cover papers published in Nature, BioMed Central or 'SpringerOpen' titles.
We have signed up to a JISC Read & Publish deal with Taylor & Francis from April 2021. If you are the corresponding author for a research article in a Taylor and Francis 'Open Select' hybrid journal in any subject area then, as a member of the University of Bath, you are eligible for cost-free open access publishing. We also have a pre-payment account with Taylor and Francis which covers APCs in journals outside of the Read & Publish deal. This is available to all UKRI funded Bath corresponding authors. If you are not UKRI funded then you may still be able to publish open access in these journals; payment will be done via invoice. Please use our online APC request form - available from the link above - to apply for funding.
We have a Read & Publish deal with Wiley which has been reactivated for 2021.

This is available to all Bath-affiliated corresponding authors and provides gold open access publishing in Wiley journals with no payment required by the author, regardless of funder.

Bath-affiliated corresponding authors can publish original research and review articles in any of Wiley’s fully gold open access or hybrid (subscription) OnlineOpen journals (see below for details). You will need to select the institutional open access option at the submission stage for fully gold journals or at the acceptance stage for hybrid journals. You will also need to provide details of any funders acknowledged in your work. Your request will be sent to our dashboard for assessment by the Open Access team.

NOTE: from the end of June 2021, there may be some restrictions on eligibility for this deal due to the very high rate of spending. It may be necessary to limit APC payments to UKRI or Wellcome-funded articles only.

A list of Wiley’s fully gold journals included in the deal can be found here . A list of Wiley’s hybrid (subscription) journals that offer OnlineOpen included in the deal can be found here . For journals not included in this list, please make a request via our APC form.

All queries about publishing open access in Wiley's journals should be addressed to: