Article Processing Charges

Publishing is not without costs. Subscription journals recoup the costs of publication by charging a fee to access the content. As Gold Open Access content is freely available the costs are defrayed through article-processing charges (APCs).

APCs are levied after article acceptance prior to publication and vary depending on the respective publisher, journal and discipline. There are also journals whose processing and publication costs are covered by other sources, for example a sponsoring party like a society, and so do not charge an APC.

What does an APC cover?

As well as permanent, immediate, and worldwide access to the full article text the APC covers:

  • Editorial work: peer review, administrative support, commissioning content, journal development.
  • Technical infrastructure and innovation: development, maintenance and operation of online journal system and websites.
  • Production of articles: formatting and mark-up of articles and inclusion in indexing services
  • Marketing of journal and content: making sure readers and authors know about the work published in the title
  • Customer service: responding to authors and readers

Who is responsible for paying the APC?

Although the authors are responsible for making or arranging payment of the APC in most cases they can rely on their institutions and funders for financial support. These bodies can cover APCs in a variety of ways for example; by establishing an OA fund, making it part of their general funding or by paying the fees as part of a membership model.


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