Funding for ‘Gold’ Open Access – Article Processing Charges

When publishing ‘gold’ Open Access, publishers may request an Article Processing Charge (APC) to cover publication costs. If there is a justifiable need for your research to be ‘gold’ Open Access, there may be different funding routes available to you:

  • your individual research grant
  • general Open Access funds from your funding body (such as from NIHR)
  • the RCUK block grant for all Research Council funded projects
  • the SHU Open Access Fund

Please note the arrangements we have with some publishers (details below) that may reduce or eliminate the costs of ‘Gold’ Open Access.

You can request funding for Gold Open Access by completing the form “I request support for Gold Open Access“.

The RCUK Block Grant

All peer-reviewed research articles arising from research funded by one of the 7 Research Councils and published in academic journals or conference proceedings must be made Open Access.  Please see our page on Funder Open Access requirements for more details about the requirements and the ‘Gold’ and ‘Green’ options.  The University receives money from the RCUK to support ‘Gold’ Open Access and you can apply by completing the form “I request support for Gold Open Access” and sending it to the Library Research Support Team as directed on the form.

The SHU Open Access Fund

The SHU Open Access Fund is available to support ‘Gold’ Open Access publication of research from SHU authors.

Please apply by completing the form “I request support for Gold Open Access” and sending it to your Unit of Assessment Coordinator or to the Library Research Support Team as directed on the form.

Application criteria

You can apply for funding to kick-start your research career, or to support Open Access for your research output for other reasons. The Career Kick-Start Fund supports applications from:

  • early career researchers – staff who are new – or returning – to research and want to engage with research. This includes those in their first permanent academic post and those who have completed their doctorate or equivalent professional experience fairly recently. It could also include those who have not been actively engaged in research recently, for example due to teaching commitments, but are now seeking to kick-start their research.
  • maternity, adoption and/or parental leave returners in the first 24 months back at work after a period of leave of 26 weeks or longer.

The other criteria under which you can make a case for funding include:

  • your research is funded by RCUK.
  • your work is likely to contribute to the next REF submission.
  • the research findings are likely to be high profile or impactful in terms of news coverage and public interest.
  • the best fit journal for your research is an Open-Access-only journal.
  • your research output aligns with the UK Global Challenges Research Fund or the UK Industrial Strategy.
  • your research output is a monograph or monograph chapter.
  • your article is to be submitted to a journal published by Sage or Taylor & Francis which offers reduced APCs for SHU authors

Given the limits to our resources, both the research and the journal you wish to submit your work to must meet certain quality criteria to be eligible for funding for ‘Gold’ Open Access.  If you are applying under the ‘Career kick-start’ or under the REF criteria, part of the approval process will be an assessment by the appropriate Unit of Assessment Co-ordinator.  Please see the application form for more details.

Gold open access arrangements with publishers

The University has arrangements in place with a number of publishers that may reduce or eliminate the costs of ‘gold’ Open Access article processing charges (APCs).

Publisher Arrangement Action
Springer and BioMed Central All articles from SHU corresponding authors that are published in Springer and BioMed Central journals can be made available via ‘gold’ Open Access.
Please note that Nature Research, Palgrave and Springer Nature are not covered by the Library’s special arrangement.
Please choose the ‘gold’ route to Open Access when submitting your article – there is no need to submit a form for requesting support for ‘gold’ Open Access
Royal Society of Chemistry SHU authors receive a 15% discount on article processing charges when publishing in journals from the Royal Society of Chemistry If you are considering this, then please fill out the form
I request support for Gold Open Access” and send it to your Unit of Assessment Coordinator
Sage SHU authors pay a reduced article processing charge of £200 when publishing with Sage If you are considering this, then please fill out the form
I request support for Gold Open Access” and send it to the Library Research Support Team (library-research-support@shu.ac.uk)
Taylor and Francis SHU authors pay a reduced article processing charge of £450 when publishing with Taylor and Francis If you are considering this, then please fill out the form
I request support for Gold Open Access” and send it to the Library Research Support Team (library-research-support@shu.ac.uk)

Some funders (such as NIHR) have their own agreements with publishers.

Gold open access usually means a Creative Commons License

If you publish your work in a ‘Gold’ Open Access journal, your research will usually be distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons License.  This is used to grant certain permissions to the readers of your work. Your funder may require your work to be distributed under a particular Creative Commons licence (see: Funder Open access requirements).  For example, if you have Research Council funding, your work must be published with a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY).  Please contact the Library Research Support Team (library-research-support@shu.ac.uk) if you are unsure of your funder requirements.

Some journals charge an additional or higher fee for publishing under a CC-BY licence. If you are requesting support for gold Open Access via your Unit of Assessment Coordinator and your funder requires your work to be distributed under a CC-BY licence, you can include any additional charge for this in your application.

Checking the trustworthiness of journals

It is important to be aware that some journals and publishers operate an exploitative business model (sometimes known as ‘predatory’) by charging Article Processing Charges without providing proper editorial and publishing services, such as peer review.  The journals therefore lack academic rigour and credibility.

We recommend that you check that any journal is trustworthy and high quality, before submitting your work.

  • the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists reputable Open Access journals.
  • have a look at our pages on how to check the trustworthiness of a journal.
  • discuss it with your supervisor or with the Library Research Support Team.