A lot of project budgets include funding for Article Processing Charges (APCs)/Gold Open Access. However the situation can arise whereby a project has ended, and can’t be extended, before the paper is accepted by the journal; or APCs hadn’t been included in the original budget.

Although PSSRU has funded APCs in the past, we need to reduce our General Revenue expenditure, and one way of doing this is seeking alternative funding for APCs as well as accepting that not all articles will follow the Gold Open Access route and it might be sufficient for some articles to follow the Green Open Access route (see the section below for descriptions of these).

We will introduce this change gradually so to help get an idea of the situation, please can you let Sarah know if you have an article that has been submitted to a journal, where you had planned to ask for funding from General Revenue for APCs. Please let Sarah know the name of the journal and the cost of the APC. Please note that providing this information does not mean that funding will necessarily be approved.

The University has arrangements in place with different publishers whereby APCs are already covered or charged at a reduced rate.

Background to Open Access

There are two main routes to Open Access – Green and Gold. The information below has been copied from https://www.kent.ac.uk/library/research/open-access/how.html

  • Green Open Access

This route means you deposit a version of your work in a repository, such as the Kent Academic Repository (KAR), or a specialist subject repository. We encourage you to use KAR, as that will make sure you are REF compliant. 



  • You are usually only allowed to use the Author Accepted Manuscript(final peer reviewed version) not the Version of Record (publisher’s pdf).
  • You usually need to use an embargo, which means your work won’t be Open Access until a set period of time has passed. 
  • Gold Open Access

This route means paying an article processing charge (APC) or book processing charge (BPC) to make your work Open Access. The University has funds available to pay these charges.

Most journals use the traditional subscription model and provide Open Access for individual articles through APCs. Some journals are purely Open Access and are funded only by APCs not subscriptions (an example is the Public Library of Science). Some journals provide Open Access free of charge (the University hosts several of these open access journals)



  • It costs money.
  • It could be argued that some publishers are being paid twice: for a subscription to the journal, and for each article which is made Open Access through payment of an APC.

Sources of funding

Please look at this page on the Office for Scholarly Communications page to find details of journals where APCs are already funded by the University, or the criteria that need to be met in order to receive Universtiy funding for APCs.


You must meet at least one of these criteria:

  • you are publishing with Springer journals that allow you to publish Gold Open Access for free – please see the details for ‘Free and discounted APCs’ below
  • your work is funded by a member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) eg ESRC, MRC
  • your research is highly rated by your school and the journal is an Open Access journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

You must meet all of these criteria:

  1. you are a Kent staff member or research postgraduate
  2. you are the author who enters into the contract with the publisher and agrees the terms under which the article will be used in future
  3. the article has been accepted for publication (pre-prints will be considered if intended to be published in a fully Open Access journal)
  4. you are applying within 2 months of publication
  5. the article is published under a CC BY licence
  6. the University of Kent is given as the institutional affiliation.

Going forward

  • Include funding for APCs in grant applications

If project funding is not available – find out whether there are any appropriate journals with no APCs/that have APC funding provided by the University before you start writing your article so that your article can be written for the most appropriate journal.