An article processing charge (APC) is a fee paid to the publisher to make an article freely available online. This is called Gold Open Access.

To apply for an APC follow the instructions below. However, the Library has agreements with publishers that allow you to publish Open Access for free without needing to apply for an APC.

Check before you choose

Use our Read and Publish journal search to identify journals which are part of our agreements. Please take these agreements into consideration when deciding where to publish.

What's not covered by an APC

Additional publisher costs, such as submission charges or page or colour charges, are not covered by by the APC fund or any of our read and publish agreements.

Articles, review articles, conference proceedings and case reports are usually covered by these agreements and the APC fund. Book reviews, letters and obituaries are not. The terms used to define publication types differ from publisher to publisher, so check the terms of the agreement outlined by your intended publisher or journal on their sites.  

Apply for APC funding

The University has two funds available for APCs not covered by our Read and Publish agreements.

  • UKRI fund: we receive a block grant from UKRI to cover the costs of APCs for articles arising from UKRI funded projects. This fund runs from April to March.
  • Institutional fund: we make funds available to cover costs of some APCs from projects not funded by UKRI. This fund runs from August to July.

We do not receive grants from any other source or funder.

Please check if any of the publishers with free APCs are suitable for your article.

See the Open Access Publishing Sharepoint site for information about the current status of APC funds and the latest news and announcements.

Application process

You need to meet these criteria: 

  • you're a Kent staff member or research postgraduate;
  • you use a Kent email address from submission onwards 
  • you are the corresponding author; 
  • you have an accurate cost for the APC;
  • the article has been accepted for publication (for fully Open Access journals, submitted articles that have not yet been accepted will be considered);
  • the article is published under a CC BY licence
  • the University of Kent is given as the institutional affiliation;
  • the funding council is acknowledged in the work;
  • in addition, under the UKRI 2022 Open Access policy, the UKRI fund can only be used for APCS in journals that are open journals, OR journals that JISC endorse as transformative journals committed to transitioning to open and described in this Sherpa list as TJ.

Your application will be subject to a quality assessment by your divisional director of research and innovation. 

How to apply

If it's a joint paper, only apply if you are the author who is entering into the contract with the publisher; if that's someone else, they need to apply for the APC at their home institution.

You need this information:

  • project title
  • article title
  • author names, with lead author defined
  • title of intended journal
  • funder and grant reference number
  • cost.

What happens next?

We'll email you with a reference number and lead you through the rest of the process.

When your article is accepted

Don't rely on your application for an APC being successful to meet the Open Access requirements for the REF. As soon as your article is accepted you should:

  1. deposit your author accepted manuscript in KAR and check Sherpa Romeo for embargo information.
  2. if an embargo is needed, choose the "restrict to repository staff only" option and set the embargo when the article gets published - see the summary guide (pdf) for help.
  3. if in any doubt, email researchsupport@kent.ac.uk for advice.

When your article gets published

If you're successful with your application for an APC:

  1. view the journal online and check that the publisher has applied the APC and that the article is Open Access
  2. upload the Version of Record to KAR, apply a Creative Commons license and tick the "Article Processing Charge" box in the KAR record.


Need research support or advice? Email researchsupport@kent.ac.uk

Find out all the ways you can get in touch.

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