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Open Access Toolkit: Article Processing Charges

What is an Article Processing Charge?

An Article Processing Charge (APC), also referred to as a publication fee, is sometimes levied to authors to make their publications open access in either open access journal or hybrid journal. These fees are usually paid by an author's institution from discretionary funds available from the Faculty or a School or from research funding.

Gold Open Access refers to instances where authors publish in scholarly journals that have been specifically set up to allow free and immediate open access to their articles. These journals do not charge a separate subscription price to institutions or individual readers. Typically, the publishing costs are charged to the author via an APC. The Directory of Open Access Journals is a searchable list of gold open access journals.

Hybrid Open Access journal is a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access. This status typically requires the payment of a publication fee to the publisher in order to publish an article open access, in addition to the continued payment of subscriptions to access all other content. The Sherpa/Romeo database has a list of publishers of hybrid journals. Note that the colours (green and yellow) used in the Sherpa/Romeo database do not reflect gold open access and green open access.

Article Processing Charge (APC) discounts

The University Library is a support member of number of Open Access (OA) services.  This means that UWA researchers can publish at these services at the reduced rate:

  • BioMed Central – 15% discount on APCs
  • SpringerOpen - 15% discount on APCs. No discount is available for Springer "Open Choice".
  • Nucleic Acid Research – 50% discount on APCs.
  • The Royal Society - 25% discount on APCs.
  • MDPI - 10% discount on APCs when using an UWA email address.
  • Through partnership with SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), UWA researchers can publish Open Access at no cost in selected High-Energy Physics journals.  

You will be automatically recognised as a UWA author if you submit from a UWA IP address. If submissions are from outside the UWA IP range confirmation of affiliation is requested i.e. a UWA email stem.

There is no charge to the author to upload a permitted version of their article into the UWA Profiles and Research Repository.

UWA APC fund

In September 2018, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) announced the establishment of an APC (Article Processing Charge) fund for eligible UWA staff  and HDR (Higher Degree by Research) students to assist with the costs of publishing an article in a top 10% Gold Open Access journals. 

Hybrid journals that require a subscription to access the content unless the author pays an APC on top of the subscription cost already paid by the University are not eligible for this fund.

The fund is a safety net option for staff and students who have no other source of funding such as an ARC or NHMRC grant or internal research funds to cover the cost.

The fund is open to all UWA current academic staff (full-time and part-time), including adjuncts and honorary appointments as well as HDR students.

Applications for support will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. The journal is included in the top 10% journals based on the JIF (Journal Impact Factor Percentile in InCites for 2017/18)
  2. The UWA author is either first or corresponding author
  3. The UWA author has bylined the University of Western Australia
  4. The author has not previously accessed the APC fund in the current calendar year
  5. The fund applies only to publications accepted for publication from September 2018 onwards.

The fund will be administrated by the University Library and all invoices must be addressed to the University of Western Australia Library.

Contributions toward supporting an APC fee will be to a maximum of AUD 3,500.

What if the APC cost exceeds 3500 AUD?

If the APC cost exceeds 3500 (AUD), the APC fund applicant must obtain two separate invoices, one for the University Library (for up to 3500 AUD or the equivalent in foreign currency), and a separate invoice for the entity paying the outstanding balance.

How do I apply?

If your manuscript has been submitted to a journal on the APC eligible list and it has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication you can apply for APC fund in just two simple steps: 

  1. Assess your eligibility based on criteria outlined in the 'Who is eligible for APC fund at UWA' section 
  2. Submit online APC Application Request via Service Desk

 The Repository team will assess your application and advise you of the outcome via the Service Desk you have created. 

If it is unclear that the applicant is the first or a corresponding author, and the University of Western Australia by-line is missing or is incorrect, the author must provide other evidence of this. 

APC Fund Online Application Form


Need assistance?

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For further contact information visit the UWA Library Contact us page.