What is an APC and what are authors paying for?
As costs are involved in every stage of the publication process, from administrating peer review to copy-editing and hosting the final article on dedicated servers, authors are asked to pay an article processing charge (APC) in order for their article to be published open access under a Creative Commons licence.
Where can I find out the price of a journal’s APC?
For more information on individual journal APCs, view our lists of journals offering open access or visit the journal's website.
What funding sources are available to cover APCs?
Many research funders and institutions provide APC funding to support the costs of publishing via the immediate (gold) open access route. Visit our OA funding and policy support page to learn more about APC funding options and our free OA funding support service for authors.
Can my institution or funder pay the APC on my behalf?
Authors can request that the invoice be sent to their institution or funder if this organisation has agreed to cover the costs of the APC.
In some cases, authors’ funders or institutions may have a formal arrangement with Springer Nature, covering APC costs in some journals. Over 500 institutions are part of Springer Nature’s membership program for journals in the BMC and SpringerOpen portfolios. Member institutions actively support open access by arranging fully-prepaid or discounted APCs for their affiliated researchers. To check if your institution is a member, please visit our membership pages for BMC and SpringerOpen.
There are also a number of society-owned BMC and SpringerOpen journals where the APC is fully sponsored by a society or partner. Information about APC sponsorship is provided on individual journal websites where applicable.
Springer Nature has agreements with some institutions to cover the APCs for their affiliated researchers (Springer Compact). Corresponding authors based at these institutions can publish their articles open access in over 1,700 Springer Open Choice hybrid journals.
Are APC fee waivers available?
APC waivers may be offered to authors publishing in fully OA journals in cases of financial need. Please see the APC section of the journal policies page for further details.
Nature and Nature Research journals - gold open access support for lower income countries
A dedicated fund has been made available to enable authors from many countries (currently those classified by the World Bank as low-income (LIC) or lower-middle-income economies (LMICs)) to publish their primary research OA in Nature and the Nature research journals.
This initiative does not represent a change in any of our publishing policies. It is a specific provision to support a subset of authors and only applies to our highly selective Nature Portfolio transformative journals as they transition to OA and will be reviewed at the end of 2023.
This applies to the following titles: Nature; Nature Aging; Nature Astronomy; Nature Biomedical Engineering; Nature Biotechnology; Nature Cancer; Nature Cardiovascular Research; Nature Catalysis; Nature Cell Biology; Nature Chemical Biology; Nature Chemistry; Nature Climate Change; Nature Computational Science; Nature Ecology & Evolution; Nature Electronics; Nature Energy; Nature Food; Nature Genetics; Nature Geoscience; Nature Human Behaviour; Nature Immunology; Nature Machine Intelligence; Nature Materials; Nature Medicine; Nature Mental Health; Nature Metabolism; Nature Methods; Nature Microbiology; Nature Nanotechnology; Nature Neuroscience; Nature Photonics; Nature Physics; Nature Plants; Nature Structural & Molecular Biology; Nature Sustainability; Nature Synthesis and Nature Water.
This does not include Nature Communications or Scientific Reports.
Corresponding authors from qualifying countries* whose papers are accepted in principle for publication in Nature or a Nature Research journal will be contacted by the journal and asked whether they would like their paper published OA at no cost.
* Qualifying countries:
- Burkina Faso
- Cabo Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo, Dem. Rep.
- Congo, Rep.
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Egypt, Arab Rep.
- El Salvador
- Gambia, The
- Kyrgyz Republic
- Lao PDR
- Micronesia, Fed. Sts.
- Papua New Guinea
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- West Bank and Gaza
- Yemen, Rep.
How do you ensure that payment of APCs by authors has no influence on whether an article is accepted for publication in journals operating under the hybrid open access model?
For more information on the editorial and peer review process for hybrid journals, please see the 'Other OA policies' section of our journal policies page.
When do I need to confirm that I wish to publish open access via an APC?
Authors submitting to fully open access journals will be asked to confirm at submission that they understand that the journal uses an open access model and that if their article is accepted they must pay an article processing charge. Authors submitting to hybrid journals are given the option to make their articles open access on acceptance.
At what point do I need to pay the APC?
For fully open access journals, the corresponding author will be notified that payment is due upon editorial acceptance of their article.
For hybrid journals, the corresponding author will be asked at editorial acceptance to indicate whether they would like to publish their manuscript as open access. If the open access option is selected, the corresponding author will then be prompted to provide billing information.
We advise prompt payment, as failure to provide payment information or to complete payment may lead to delays in publication.
How long do I have to make the payment?
Credit card payments are processed immediately.
Usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of original invoice. Invoices will be chased periodically, but if after 60 days no payment is received, the author will be contacted. Please note that for fully open access journals, payment other than by credit card carries an administrative surcharge of £50/$75/€55.
Failure to pay invoices within the stated credit term may result in restrictions placed upon authors' ability to publish with Springer Nature in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings. In the case of articles that Springer Nature publishes on behalf of partners, the partner organisation and, where appropriate, the journal editors may be notified of non-payment and will make a decision on what penalty to levy on the author. However, Springer Nature recognizes that often authors do not pay the APC personally, and if an author's institution is to pay the APC, it may take some time for an invoice to be paid.
What is your APC refund policy?
Springer Nature will refund an article processing charge (APC) if an error on our part has resulted in a failure to publish an article under the open access terms selected by the authors. Please see the APC section of the journal policies page for further details.
How will readers know whether articles are available via open access?
All open access articles clearly indicate that the article has been published as open access and are marked with Creative Commons licence text.
Are open access articles available in the print format of a journal?
Where journals publish a print version, open access articles are included in the print journal issue and clearly indicate that the article has been published as open access under a Creative Commons licence.
Do any additional page or colour charges apply in addition to the APC?
In most cases, fully open access journals published by Springer Nature do not charge additional fees for page or colour figure costs; all publication costs are included in the APC. Some titles owned by our society partners may charge page and colour charges in addition to the APC. Please check individual journal instructions for authors for further details.
For hybrid journals, page and colour charges vary by journal, therefore please check individual journal instructions for authors for further details.
Does the listed APC include taxes?
VAT or local taxes will be added to the listed APC where applicable. Further details for journals published on nature.com can be found here. Details for journals published by Springer can be found here. If your question has not been answered, please contact us.
When are APC prices reviewed?
Springer Nature reviews our APC prices annually to ensure our pricing remains consistent and fair for our authors, across our entire open access portfolio. Prices are updated to be reflective of the costs involved in publishing journals, promoting the final research, and the investment being made in improving systems to deliver a superior and sustainable service to the research community.
The APC price will usually be determined from the date on which the article is accepted for publication.