Who Pays?

For Researchers and Students

The open access publishing model makes one’s research freely available to anyone and everyone in the true spirit of scientific discovery. OA publishing treats publication as the last phase of the research process. Instead of charging users a fee to read the content, an article-processing charge (APC) is levied after an article has undergone peer review and has been accepted for publication.

As the open access movement progresses, institutions are also shifting their payment models from paying for journal subscriptions, to paying for their researchers’ APCs¹. Some of the largest and fastest growing funding options in open access publishing are:

¹Institutional Funding
Many academic institutions have open access policies with funds available for their researchers.
Funder Mandates and OA Funds
The Research Councils UK, The Wellcome Trust, The NIH, FWF, NWO and many other research funders have adopted mandates requiring researchers to make their work freely available.
Membership Program
Many institutions are participating in membership programs to support researchers in publishing open access.
Waiver Fund
Springer and BioMed Central provide automatic waivers to authors based in countries identified by the World Bank as low-income as of September 2013 and consider waiver requests from any author who cannot pay the full APC.

To find your institution’s OA policy click here. For a list of funder policies and mandates click here.

For Libraries and Institutions

To meet the cost of publishing open access, authors are asked to pay an open access fee or article-processing charge (APC) per published paper or book. To make the process even easier for the individual authors, institutions can join one of our Open Access Membership plans. Depending on the type of Membership, Member institutions cover some or all of the publication cost for their individual researchers when they submit to an open access journal.

Prepay Membership
Enables an institution to cover the whole cost of publishing with no additional fees paid by their authors. Discounts apply.
Shared Support Membership
The cost of publishing is split between the institution and author. Discounts apply.
Supporter Membership
Members pay a flat rate annual membership fee based on the number of science and medical researchers and graduate students at their institution. A discount on the article-processing charge (APC) is given when publishing in the journals.

The open access publishers, Springer Open and BioMed Central, serve over 500 institutions with Open Access Memberships. For more information on how you can get involved click here.

For Societies

For societies looking to launch new journals or move an existing journal, the benefits of open access are evident. For instance, the SpringerOpen journal: Annals of Intensive Care, launched in 2011 together with the French Society for Intensive Care (SLRF), achieved PubMed listing just four months after launch and reports 300,000 accesses to over 85 published articles in the first 18 months of publication. Examples such as this show how OA can provide journals with a solid basis for success. Additional benefits to societies who decide to publish their articles OA:

1. Society revenue through article-processing charges
2. Opportunity to arrange discounts for society members via a pre-pay arrangement
3. Free article feed to societies that want to run a mirror site of the journal or host an archive
4. Detailed reporting on submissions, workflow, turnaround times, etc.
5. Marketing opportunities such as conference promotions, online advertising, social media support, etc.
6. A forum to publish meeting reports and supplements

For more information on society OA publishing click here.

Special Waivers

Open access clears a path for people all over the world to contribute to science and research. A critical part of this is the developing country waivers that are now being offered by key publishers. These provide an automatic waiver to authors based in any country which was classified by the World Bank as Low-income economies or Lower-middle-income economies as of December 2013.

Eligible submissions can make use of these waivers to cover 100% of their APC charge – thereby promoting the sciences abroad as well as expediting the discovery new breakthroughs in science. See a list of eligible countries here.

Outside of these low-income economies, any author who has difficulty in paying the full APC may request a waiver consideration.