APC guidance


Guidance on how to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC)

Where do I find the money to pay OA publishing costs?

Are there discounts available in certain journals?

Does UHI have any agreements with publishers?

Who do I ask for advice on open access requirements?

Guidance is available to researchers across the university to help answer these questions within the library webpages and between library and research office staff. In a collaboration between the Research Office and UHI Libraries three staff will monitor a dedicated email address and answer questions on the various and sometimes interlinked aspects of open access, APC's, REF and publisher subscription deals. The Research Information Systems Officer, eResources Manager and a part time post of APC/OA Compliance Officer often liaise to help answer your questions.

Contact openaccesscompliance@uhi.ac.uk

However, there are key points and steps that you need to follow to understand how to pay any APC charges, or if you need to pay any at all.

  • In all cases you must be the lead, or corresponding author, for an APC payment request to be considered from any university fund.
  • Priority on APC payments from the Research Office fund would normally be given to outputs expected to achieve 3*/4* rating in the REF. Cover, page or submission charges will not be covered from institutional funds.

UHI Libraries guide to APC discounts and open access publishing

Step 1 - check if there are any discounts available for your potential publishers. content

Step 1 - check if there are any discounts available for your potential publishers.

Step 1 - check if there are any discounts available for your potential publishers.

At the earliest point possible, and before you have chosen a particular journal, please refer to the information on the Library Guide or contact the open access compliance officer. There may be vouchers and discounts on APC's you can take advantage of to ensure your work is openly available in the best journal.

UHI Libraries APC discounts and open access publishing guide

Step 2 - University policy - green access content

Step 2 - University policy - green access

Step 2 - University policy - green access

University policy on Open Access (OA) is to use the 'Green' route wherever possible. If your preferred journal does not offer an acceptable open access option, it is worth contacting them to see if the licence terms can be negotiated. It may be possible, for example, for you to retain the copyright over your research (many licence agreements require you to hand this over to the publishers). This would then allow you to make the research available elsewhere, in addition to being published in the journal.

University staff may also be entitled to publisher discounts due to the subscriptions the university has; this is what you should check in step 1 above.

You can read more about 'Green' Open Access, university policy and how it affects you, and general OA FAQs at:

Step 3 - 'Gold' access options content

Step 3 - 'Gold' access options

Step 3 - 'Gold' access options

If you have reached the point of choosing a journal to publish in and for some reason you cannot use the university preferred option of 'Green' access, instead you wish to use the publisher 'Gold' access option that requires payment of an APC you should fund the payment from the following sources:

  1. The Project grant funding
  2. Local APC fund

You should always attempt to pay an APC from project grant funds first, if your funder has allowed funding for publishing. If this is not possible then you should contact you local head of research to ascertain if there are local funds available to pay the APC for your article.

Remember in step 1 you should have researched your options by referring to the Library Guide on APC's and publishing discounts.

If both these routes fail there is a small fund held at the Research Office in Ness Walk but you must have tried both previous routes first, or payment from the RO fund will not be considered.

Step 4 - Making a request to the Research Office APC fund content

Step 4 - Making a request to the Research Office APC fund

Step 4 - Making a request to the Research Office APC fund

If project and local funds have been exhausted, if you are not able to utilize the pre-paid APC deals with Springer or Wiley, and your article is considered essential as a high scoring REF submission piece, you can apply to the Research Office fund. This fund is very limited in value (as the university does not receive block grant funding from the research councils) and is therefore focussed on REF outputs that cannot achieve APC funding by any other means.

Again, you must be the lead author on the article to be considered. Your request will be submitted to The Dean of Research and the aim is to have a maximum turn-around one week to receive an answer following submission of this form to the Research Office. You will receive a response, whatever the outcome, and further instructions of how to proceed. Making an application does not guarantee funding will be available, but we try to help where we can.

Contacts content



Morag Llewellyn

Journal APC discounts, vouchers, general APC guidance

t - 01851 770408

Stuart Knight

APC payments (Research Office fund only)

t - 01463 279462