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Open Access costs

In many cases you can comply with REF2021 and other funders’ Open Access requirements without paying a fee, by uploading your Author Accepted Manuscript in Pure. The criteria for paying Open Access fees (known as 'Article Processing Charges' or APCs) depends both on your research funder and individual publisher policies, as well as your choice of Open Access route and availability of funds.

The University has central funding available to support the Open Access policies for UK Research Councils, Wellcome Trust and other charities. Some funders provide Open Access costs in individual grants.

To claim Article Processing Charges (APCs) from our UK Research Councils or Charity Open Access Fund, or to ask advice about paying APCs from grants, send the following details to before committing to any OA fees.

  •     Your name, School and email address
  •     Journal and publisher
  •     Article title, manuscript ID or DOI
  •     Funder name and external Grant ID


UKRI Block Grant for open access

The University of St Andrews currently receives a Block Grant from RCUK (now UKRI) to cover the costs of compliance with their open access policy. Nov 2017: our current allocation is not sufficient to cover all requests for APCs, therefore we need to adjust our criteria from a first-come basis to one that enables continued freedom for authors to publish in the most appropriate journal while staying within the constraints of funding. We will no longer be able to pay APCs for articles via the 'gold' route in hybrid (subscriptions-based) journals.

The UKRI Block Grant can therefore be used under the new criteria to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs):

  • We will pay APCs for articles published in fully OA journals (as listed in
  • In exceptional circumstances, we will pay publication costs such as page charges in hybrid journals only where these fees are required in order to publish. This applies when fees are mandatory, there is no other source of funds and no waiver available from the journal.
  • We may be able to pay APCs if articles are funded by MRC and the 'green' OA embargo exceeds 6 months
  • We will pay APCs for hybrid journals that are included in an offsetting deal where additional costs are minimal (currently these deals are: Springer Compact; T&F; IoP).

The RCUK Policy on Open Access applies to peer-reviewed research papers in journals and conference proceedings. For hybrid journals, Research Council-funded authors can usually comply via the 'green' route to open access, and for fully open access journals (listed in APCs can be claimed while funds are available.

To make a claim for APCs, or for further advice on 'Gold' or 'Green' options for your publication, contact Open Access Support with your Grant ID(s) and details of your article.

See further details on how to comply with RCUK Policy on Open Access


Wellcome Trust / Charity open access fund

The Wellcome Trust and five other members of the Association of Medical Research Charities have established a joint Charity Open Access Fund (COAF). Researchers funded by Arthritis Research UK, BloodwiseBritish Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Parkinson's UK now have access to COAF.

Where funds are used to pay an APC, the charities require use of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence. Please refer to the Wellcome Trust's CC-BY FAQ for more information.

The Trust has now extended its open access policy to include scholarly monographs and book chapters. Monographs and chapters can be deposited using the Wellcome Trust's deposit form. Funding for monographs and chapters is not available from COAF, but will be provided directly by the Trust. See more in the Wellcome Trust guide for open access to monographs and book chapters.

See further details on compliance and how to claim from COAF.

To make a claim for APCs, or for further advice on compliance options for your publication, contact Open Access Support

APCs paid from EU (Horizon2020) grants

All Open Access costs from Horizon2020 projects must be paid from the relevant grant. The strict H2020 Open Access requirements mean that APCs must usually be paid. An average APC is £1500 but can be as much as £4000.

For other research funders you should check the terms and conditions of your grant, and you may need to include the costs of Open Access in your budget.


Institutional Open Access Fund

UPDATE: Please note that we may not be able to cover APCs due to limited funds - please contact us in advance to check.

The University has a small fund available to support the University’s Open Access Policy, available for fully Open Access venues only where the author has no other source of funds.

Most funders will allow a claim for open access costs during the period of grant. Where no funds are available, the University will consider supporting open access costs that meet the following criteria:

  • the submitting or corresponding author is a member of University of St Andrews staff (affiliated students may be considered for funding, provided the St Andrews affiliation is clearly acknowledged)
  • the journal or publishing venue is completely open access (i.e. 'hybrid' journals are not included) and is indexed in DOAB or DOAJ
  • the journal meets the usual standards of quality and peer review for scholarly communication
  • the author is required to pay a fee in order to publish
  • the author confirms there is no other source of funding
  • where possible, the resulting publication should be made available under a Creative Commons (CC-BY) licence
  • new open access 'business models', membership schemes and offsetting deals may be available and additional APC claims may be considered in special circumstances.

To enquire about this fund, contact Open Access Support with details of your publication and provide confirmation of the above criteria before committing to any fees.

Paying APCs: Check our publisher deals

The University has a number of memberships and special deals in place with publishers that may give discounts on APCs. Check our list of OA memberships or contact Digital Research for information.

If you have any queries about APCs or Open Access requirements, contact