IS research support



Article processing charges (APCs)

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

The University of Kent has an APC fund. It may also be possible to use project funds for APCs.

Are you eligible for APC funding?

You must meet at least one of these criteria:

  • you are publishing with Springer journals that allow you to publish Gold Open Access for free - please see the details for 'Free and discounted APCs' below
  • your work is funded by a member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • your research is highly rated by your school and the journal is an Open Access journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

You must meet all of these criteria:

  1. you are a Kent staff member or research postgraduate
  2. you are the author who enters into the contract with the publisher and agrees the terms under which the article will be used in future
  3. the article has been accepted for publication (pre-prints will be considered if intended to be published in a fully Open Access journal)
  4. you are applying within 2 months of publication
  5. the article is published under a CC BY licence
  6. the University of Kent is given as the institutional affiliation.

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.

Apply for APC funding


Information you'll need

  • project title
  • article title
  • author names, with lead author defined
  • title of intended journal
  • funder and grant reference number
  • cost (where possible)
  • confirmation by email from your Head of School/Director of Research that your work is classed as 3* or 4*; this has to be an objective assessment, and the person who provides it must not be an author of the article concerned

What's not covered

Additional publisher costs, such as page or colour charges, can't be paid for using the APC fund.

What happens next?

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

What you must do

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 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


Free and discounted APCs

Some APCs are free or discounted at the point of use. This is because the library has institutional memberships or offset agreements with some publishers.

See what discounts are available


Price or discount

Which journals are covered

How to access


Free APCs

You can choose to make articles published in any of these Springer journals Open Access without paying for an APC.

The cost of doing so is covered by an increased subscription charge for all Springer journals, paid for by the Library.

Identify yourself as part of the University of Kent during Springer’s submission process.

Complete our APC application form so that we can keep a record of the articles we approve.

Find out more about free Open Access in Springer journals

Royal Society of Chemistry

15% discounts on APCs

All RSC journals     

  1. Complete our APC application form to take advantage of the discount.
  2. Then complete the RSC’s Open Access application using the form Apply for gold open access by payment of a charge.
  3. Then choose a Creative Commons licence.

Taylor & Francis

75% discount on each APC

These Taylor & Francis journals

The discount is determined by the library’s total spend with the publisher.

Just complete our APC application form.

You don’t need to do anything else to take advantage of the discounts, the library does that.


25% discount on each APC

All Wiley journals

The library has a prepaid account in which payments are made in advance to cover APCs.

Just complete our APC application form.

You don’t need to do anything else to take advantage of the discounts, the library does that.

SAGE Choice/Gold OA

75% discount on each APC

Most of the 1000+ SAGE journals

The discount is determined by our total spend with the publisher. Sage don't provide a list, but most of their journals can be discounted for a significant amount.

Just complete our APC application form.

You don’t need to do anything else to take advantage of the discounts, the library does that.

My APC was funded from a different source

If your APC was funded by

  • another institution (because it's a joint paper and you're not the lead author)
  • yourself
  • another funding source:

upload the appropriate version (pdf) to KAR and tick the "Article Processing Charge" box in the record. This tells us that you have permission to use the Publisher pdf.

If your funding body is paying the APC, they normally require you to apply a specific type of Creative Commons licence.


Need help with APCs?

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Last Updated: 08/02/2019