Paying for open access: how much will it cost?
FAQ: How do I find out whether a journal has an option for immediate open access and if so, how much it will cost?
Does your proposed funder require immediate open access to all research outputs?
Do you need to include the cost of APCs in your bid?
Do you need to make sure your work has the earliest possible visibility and impact?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you will need to know whether any journal you choose to publish in offers an immediate (‘gold’) open access option and if so, how much it will cost.
Step 1: Does the journal offer a paid OA option?
SHERPA/RoMEO is a useful tool for this purpose.
First search for your preferred journal:
SHERPA/RoMEO will display the publisher’s policy on self-archiving (i.e. deposit in NECTAR) and a series of links to useful information. In the example below you can see that the journal is published by Springer Verlag and their paid OA option for this journal is named ‘Open Choice’.
Step 2: How much will it cost?
Follow the link to ‘Open Choice’. You will find out that this is a ‘hybrid’ journal (i.e. one which is published under a subscription model but offers OA upon payment of an extra fee) and the cost of publishing in this way is EUR 2200 (excl. VAT). This ‘article processing charge’ (APC) does not include any other publication charges such as colour figures in print or oversize articles but it will allow you to retain the copyright in your work and make your article available under a CC BY licence.
If your journal is not listed on SHERPA/RoMEO then you should check out the journal website. A search there for ‘open access’ should locate the necessary information.
Step 3: Is a discount available?
Open Access fees can be very high. A recent Jisc survey of UK HEIs calculated the average APC to be £1745, with the average for hybrid journals being “consistently several hundred pounds higher than for fully open access journals” (Shamash, 2016). If there is a viable alternative, such as depositing the full text of your work in NECTAR, then you may choose follow the ‘green’ rather than the ‘gold’ route to OA.
Given the high costs of APCs are paid on top of existing library subscriptions to the same journals, Jisc have been very active in negotiating offsetting deals with publishers. The University of Northampton currently benefits from two of these: the Taylor & Francis voucher scheme and the Springer Compact agreement.
Since the example shown above is a Springer journal, it may qualify for the Springer deal. According to the journals list on this page, it does qualify, so no OA fee is payable in this case.
Step 4: Getting help
If you would like any help in finding out about APCs, the deals available or anything related to open access then contact the Open Access team in LLS.
If you are a member of the University of Northampton and would like to apply to our Open Access Fund then you can find out how to do this here: University Open Access Fund.