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Open Access: Paying for Open Access

Article Processing Charges

Some Open Access publishers rely on author fees to substitute for income generated from readers.  Funding may be available for University of Hull authors faced with an 'article processing charge' (APC) or other costs for making their output Gold,  i.e. free to view on the publisher's platform, with an open licence.

  • Increasingly, research funders encourage award-holders to plan ahead by costing APCs into their initial bid for funding.  Some funders will reimburse the institution for costs incurred - see adjacent panel.

  • UK university libraries have collectively agreed deals with some publishers to offset the cost of their authors' APCs against their subscriptions to the journals concerned - see below.

  • Other publishers have adopted an 'institutional membership' model,  whereby an upfront payment entitles corresponding authors from that institution to a fee waiver or discount - see below.

Research funders' support for APCs

Since 2013, UKRI (formerly RCUK) has issued an annual Block Grant to HEIs, to enable them to cover the costs of Gold Open Access to papers arising from funded research, in accordance with the UKRI Open Access Policy.

Hull authors holding a UKRI award can access this fund by completing the application form within the Library Services channel of Sharepoint.

Hull authors should note that the University does not endorse the use of the UKRI Block Grant to pay publishers' additional charges unrelated to open access status:  for instance, payments for supplementary pages or colour plates.

Research England has advocated the use of quality-related (QR) research funding to support Gold Open Access APC payments which are not associated with an externally-funded project.  The University of Hull has not adopted an institution-wide policy on covering the costs of APCs; decisions on making use of this option sit at a Faculty/Departmental/individual level as appropriate.

All H2020 projects must provide open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications that stem from project activities, immediately or otherwise within 6/12 months of publication where publisher embargoes apply.”  
The European Commission's "Guidelines to the Rules on Open Access" (2017)  for Horizon 2020-funded projects do not express a preference for for gold or green as a means of complying with this obligation.
Jisc's Frank Manista has published a helpful summary of Open Access Requirements for Horizon 2020-Funded Projects (April 2019).
Advice for Hull researchers on incorporating open access costs into an application for EU funding is available from the Research Funding Office:
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Publisher-specific accounts (for authors who are not supported by their funder for APCs)

The University of Hull has opened a deposit account with Frontiers, an open science publisher offering 70 journal titles.  A Hull corresponding author may publish in any Frontiers journal with their fee paid by their institution, while funds are available.

To submit your article under this institutional agreement, please select 'University of Hull’ as institutional payer in the invoice section when submitting your article.

PLOS was founded in 2003 as a nonprofit Open Access publisher, innovator and advocacy organization with a mission to advance progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. 

University of Hull Library has opened a deposit account with PLOS to cover article processing charges for Hull corresponding authors. Simply select your institution at the point you submit the article.

Be aware that publication fees vary by journal, and the Library may close the account when demand can no longer be met from the funds available.

Information for authors:

As a pilot, a £2500 fund has been deposited with PeerJ to support open access publishing in all PeerJ titles by researchers from the University of Hull. These funds are available on a first-come, first served basis and can be claimed by anyone with an Accepted manuscript at PeerJ.  Create an account with your University of Hull email address in order to submit. 


University of Hull has taken out Open Access membership, entitling authors to a 25% discount on the article processing charge.

The Library has opened a deposit account with SAGE to enable Hull corresponding authors to publish in SAGE Choice journals, with costs covered by their institution.

UK universities have collectively agreed a deal with Springer which covers fees for readers and authors in a single subscription.  When an article is submitted to a title in the Springer Open Choice list, the corresponding author simply needs to select their institution in order to be verified.

The Library has an arrangement with Taylor & Francis which entitles a University of Hull corresponding author to a discount of 25% on the APC for any Open Select title.

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