Open access charges can vary considerably. This page gives you information on publishing options.

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An average article processing charge for open access publication is around £2,040 (based on 2015-16 data analysed by the Wellcome Trust in 2017) but this can vary significantly depending on the journal. Current charges should be advertised on publisher websites, for example via the 'instructions for authors'.


Funds available

If your article is acknowledging research grants from the COAF or RCUK funders:

  • SGUL has funds from RCUK and COAF funders to help pay for open access fees for papers acknowledging their grant, and we may be able to authorise payment of an open access publication charge (see COAF and RCUK pages for how to access these funds)
  • The journal you chose to publish in must be one that has an open access option that complies with the funder requirements - you can check this by using the SHERPA-FACT service (Funders & Authors Compliance Tool)
  • Approval for the fee and an SGUL Purchase Order will need to be generated before an invoice is raised. Please see the guidance about Claiming open Access Publication fees
  • Please ensure you know how you are going to pay any open access charges before submission. At present, funds are available from COAF & RCUK (as outlined above), and some other funders make money available to SGUL for publications arising out of their research. If you have any queries on the funders requirements or funding for open access fees, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Discounts for SGUL researchers

If you are publishing your article on open access and are required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC), there are several APC discount schemes and other benefits you may be able to take advantage of.


BioMed Central (BMC)

SGUL has an institutional Open Access membership with BioMed Central (BMC) which means researchers affiliated with SGUL will receive a 15% discount on all article-processing costs (APCs) when publishing in any BMC or SpringerOpen journal. (List of BMC journal titles available. List of SpringerOpen journal titles available.)


How to receive the discount:

  1. If you submit a manuscript from within SGUL’s IP range, the discount will be automatically applied.
  2. If you submit a manuscript from outside SGUL’s IP range (e.g. from home or overseas) you need to:
    1. Choose the option “I believe that I am covered by an institutional membership arrangement” on BMC’s APC agreement page
    2. Select St George’s, University of London from the drop-down list
    3. BMC’s Customer Service team will then handle your discount request before sending instructions on how to complete your submission
  3. Before raising the publisher invoice, complete SGUL's Open Access Claim Form. This will enable you to request a SGUL purchase order which you can quote on the publisher’s invoice

(Please note: if your research acknowledges RCUK and COAF funders, funds to pay the fee are available. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.)


About BioMed Central:

  • The BioMed Central and SpringerOpen portfolios publish nearly 500 journals - across all areas of science, technology, medicine, engineering, chemistry, and mathematics
  • Publishing open access could mean your manuscript will benefit from high visibility and an international readership
  • There are no space constraints or colour figure charges with BioMed Central


For further details of the open access arrangements for Springer Open Choice (which is a separate programme for open access publishing in Springer's subscription-based journals), please see below.


Springer Open Choice

SGUL subscribes to a journal package from Springer. Until December 2018, the publisher is piloting a scheme where APCs are waived for all institutional subscribers.

For many Springer subscription journals that offer an option to publish under a CC-BY licence (those in the Springer Open Choice programme), no separate fee will be charged to SGUL*.

A full list of open choice journals can be found by going to Open access agreement for UK authors and clicking on the second link under the heading "Which institutions and Springer journals are covered by the OA agreement?"

Once your article is accepted by Springer, they will send the corresponding author a link to an online ‘MyPublication’ form where the corresponding author will be asked to state their affiliation & agree to the open access terms.

You need to use your SGUL institutional email address and not a private email address as this will help Springer to better identify your eligibility under the agreement.

During the article production process, Springer and the SGUL Library will verify your eligibility for an APC waiver.

*Until the funds available under the national deal have been used


Society of General Microbiology

Discounts are available to members of the Society and to corresponding authors whose institutions subscribe to a journal published by the Society. SGUL subscribes to Microbiology, Journal of General Virology, Journal of Medical Microbiology, & Journal of Medical Microbiology Case Reports (JMM Case Reports) . Article Processing Charges for Microbial Genomics are free for the launch year of the journal (2016).

Please see the Microbiology Society open access pricing page for further information.



SGUL subscribes to a journal package from Sage Publishing and the publisher has reduced its Gold APCs for articles in many of their journals to just £200. For information see the Sage Choice page. If you are planning on submitting to a Sage journal and publishing on open access please get in touch with us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BMJ Case Reports

For authors submitting an article to BMJ Case reports, SGUL has fellowship codes for both SGUL and the St Georges NHS trust. The fellowship code will enable you to submit your article to the BMJ. See further information and please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further help.


Low cost or no cost publication options available to all

Cogent OA

Cogent OA has introduced a Freedom APC, a ‘pay what you want’ model. For authors with sufficient funding or support from their institution, they are suggesting an APC contribution of $1,250.00



This journal is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Max Planck Society & Howard Hughes Medical Institute. There is an open access publication fee of $2,500, however eLife operates a waiver scheme. Where no other funds are available, authors may apply for a fee waiver once their submission has been invited for full peer review. Waiver requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information please see the Publication Fees FAQ.


Peer J

See the table of pricing at It is much cheaper to publish in Peer J than with more established publishers. While SGUL Library does not have a membership Peer J are a reputable publisher.

Work published in Peer J is published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.


Wellcome Open Research

The funder-based open publishing platform Wellcome Open Research publishes scholarly articles reporting any basic scientific, translational and clinical research that has been funded (or co-funded) by Wellcome.

It has been established for over a year, and offers fast open access publication under the CC-BY licence, open peer review, and deposit and indexing in PubMed and other major bibliographic databases.

SGUL researchers funded by Wellcome Trust can publish for free on Wellcome Open Research: each publication must have at least one author who has been, or still is, a recipient of a Wellcome grant.

Read the anniversary blog post to discover more about what has been published over the first year, and find out how the publishing process works.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need further guidance.


Green Open Access

Bear in mind that if you cannot opt to pay an APC, many journals permit you to make your final accepted manuscript available via a repository (at no charge), usually following an embargo period from the date of publication (the embargo period is normally between 6-12 months). Again, if you are acknowledging a specific funder, check first that the journal’s embargo period doesn’t exceed the maximum your funder allows.

SGUL’s repository is SORA (all SGUL researchers have a CRIS profile and can deposit their papers into SORA using the CRIS). There are other external subject repositories (e.g. EPMC for medical papers). By using this route to open access, funders may specify a maximum embargo period (e.g. 6 months) which you would need to check that the journal will allow. Publisher policies around open access can be found by looking them up on the SHERPA RoMEO service.

There is also more information on Green Open Access on the Library OA FAQs page.



For all enquiries about open access, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2017 10:32