What is an Article Processing Charge (APC)?

One of the new business models supporting open access to journal articles is an author‐side payment to the publisher of a processing fee to publish accepted articles.  This fee is called an Article Processing Charge or APC.  A consequence of paying an APC is Gold Open Access, i.e., open access to the published article on the publisher’s website.

All hybrid journals and some open access journals levy an APC. Typically, APCs are paid by the author’s sponsor (funding agency or employer) and waived in cases of economic hardship.  Few APCs are paid by the author, though practice varies across disciplines.  Many funding agencies approve of grant funds being spent on APCs to publish open access.1

Why have I been asked to pay to publish my article?

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are charged to authors of scholarly articles during the publication process.  APCs are used by open access journals in lieu of subscription fees that libraries and readers traditionally have paid to gain access to research articles.

APCs shift the burden of journal production costs (editing, peer review, hosting, archiving, preservation), to authors from readers.

Paying an APC results in an article that is available to anyone with an internet connection. Corporate, non-profit, society, academic, and other publishers use a variety of models to meet their income needs and publishing service costs, and charging APCs is one model.2

The Library has no funding to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) However we provide support to researchers on Open Access Publishing. Please contact Library Open Access Team at openaccess@ku.edu.tr for advice or further information about APCs or to arrange for a presentation about OA Publishing.


1.Solomon, D. J., & Björk, B. C. (2012). Publication fees in open access publishing: Sources of funding and factors influencing choice of journal. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(1), 98-107.

2.University of Nevada Las Vegas Library, Open Access Guide, August 2019

Directly Work with Publishers (APC Payment)

Publishing with traditional publishers

Many publishers today will offer scholars options for making their works available through traditional business models or through open access models. These options are available to you when you sign publication agreements. Your responsibility as an author is to read your publication agreements carefully, understand them, make careful decisions in negotiating them, and retain copies of them for future use.

Open access publishing

Many traditional scholarly journals now offer new models of scholarly publishing to accommodate open access, allowing for broader distribution of journal articles. Some publishers also offer open access publishing for books.

Hybrid journals

Many traditional scholarly journals now offer an open access option, often involving a fee paid to the publisher, commonly referred to as an article processing charge (APC) or author publication fee. If the author chooses the open access option and pays the required fee, the individual article will be made available as an open access article. In hybrid journals, articles that are not selected under the open access option are available through standard subscription or sale only.

When an author chooses for his or her article to be published as an open access article in a hybrid journal, the publisher has the legal right to make it available broadly to the world under the conditions of the publication agreement. The SHERPA/RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving database provides links to publisher copyright policies that detail publication options for various journals.

Fully open access journals

Fully open access journals offer even greater possibilities for global accessibility of copyrighted works. Open access journals may charge an Article Processing Charge (APC). When an author publishes in an open access journal, the publisher has the legal right to make the article available broadly to the world under the conditions of the publication agreement.

A list of open access journal publishers may be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals. This is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Self-archiving in open access repositories (KUIR)

Many scholarly journal publishers allow authors to self-archive versions of their scholarly articles in institutional or subject-based open access digital repositories, allowing for a parallel distribution of articles: one by the publisher and another through an open access repository. The publisher final version (usually a pdf) is distributed by the publisher, while the open access version, usually called the author’s final version (post-print) and in manuscript form, is permitted by the publisher to be made available in a digital repository like Koç University Institutional Repository (KUIR) either immediately or after an embargo period.

When selecting a publisher, you may want to review publisher policies on self-archiving to assess your possibilities if you are interested in open access options. The SHERPA/RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving database provides summaries of publisher policies on self-archiving and indicates which version of your work publishers allows you to deposit to KU Institutional Repository (KUIR) or on your own website.

You may also consult publisher websites directly for author self-archiving policy. The publisher sites are usually more up to date and more detailed.

Koç University encourages deposit of authors’ versions of scholarly journal articles in open access digital repositories like KUIR when this is done lawfully and following established practices to ensure that there are no copyright, contract, or other legal violations. This means that deposit is consistent with publisher policies and with the publication agreement.

Suna Kıraç Library provides information and support on open access in its website on Open Access & Scholarly Communication

Copyright Clearance Center and Other Vendors (APC Payment to Make Older Papers OA)

The best time to arrange Gold open access is at acceptance. In general, we advise you to use the Green route for papers already published, deposit them to Koç University Institutional Repository (KUIR)

However, there are some services offered by third-party companies like Copyright Clearance Center to make your older papers open access.

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) provides collective copyright licensing services for corporate and academic users of copyrighted materials. CCC procures agreements with rightsholders, primarily academic publishers, and then acts as their agent in arranging collective licensing for institutions and one-time licensing for document delivery services, course packs, and other access and uses of texts. CCC manages the APC process for several publishers, with a very high collection rate and dedicated customer service for authors.

The Open Access Agreement Manager module works in tandem with the RightsLink Author APC Manager to allow authors to request APC funding from their respective institutions or funders, ensure special billing agreements are honored, and give much-needed tools to institutions and funders for approving, tracking and reporting APC funding requests.

Read & Publish Agreements, Membership, and Institutional Discounts

Publisher APC Discounts & Deals

As a result of Library subscriptions and other deals, authors at the Koç University can receive a discount on Article Processing Charges (APCs), which enables articles to be made Open Access immediately on publication. In some cases, we have already paid a fee and there is no APC charge at all.

Below is an outline of the discounts we currently receive from publishers, and what Koç University authors have to do to obtain this discount.

Please note that these are the publishers with whom we have arranged some form of subscription or membership. Most other publishers will also have Open Access options, but we do not receive a discount.

Read & Publish Agreements and Open Access Publisher Discounts for Koç University (KU) Researchers

Koç University Library’s commitment to open access extends to institutional memberships with a variety of Open Access publishers and organizations. These memberships provide benefits to researchers at the University, often through discounts on APC (article processing charge) for OA publishing. The Library also provides APC discounts through our negotiated license agreements direct with selected publishers and via TUBİTAK ULAKBİM.

A discount or APC waiver applies to Koç University researchers to publish open access articles from the publishers listed below.

  • American Chemical Society (ACS): The Library has signed a new Read & Publish agreement with ACS allowing corresponding authors from Koç University to publish open access in all ACS journals (excluding additions, corrections, editorials, and book chapters) including ACS Omega, JACS Au, ACS Au collection, and all ACS hybrid journals without paying the article processing charge (APC). Please click here for detailed information.
  • Cambridge University Press (CUP): A Read and Publish agreement has been signed for Cambridge University Press (CUP) journals. As a result of the agreement, the publications to be made as Corresponding Author will be published as open access without paying the article processing charge (APC). Please click here for detailed information about the CUP Read & Publish agreement.
  • Association of Computing Machinery (ACM): Within the scope of the agreement signed with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as of 2022, Koç University authors will not pay any Article Processing Charge (APC) for open access articles to be published in ACM’s Hybrid and Gold Open Access journals, and conference proceedings. There will be no limit to the number of articles to be published. Please click here for detailed information.
  • SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics): is an international partnership among libraries, key funding agencies and research centers in different countries. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3centrally pays the costs involved in maintaining open access for key journals in high-energy physics. TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM’s recent decision to join SCOAP3 means that KU faculty no longer need to pay the Article Processing Charges (APCs) when submitting articles to participating publishers and journals.

APC waivers and discounts List

The following publishers offer KU researchers a discount or APC waiver for Article Processing charge (APC) for publishing open access articles.


Publisher or Journal Amount Description
American Chemical Society (ACS) Read & Publish %100 (Free) Due to the Read & Publish agreement, publications to be made as Corresponding Author in ACS journals will be published as open access without paying the article processing charge (APC).
Cambridge University Press (CUP) Read & Publish %100 (Free) Koç University researchers can publish open access articles in Cambridge University Press (CUP) open access and hybrid journals. Article processing charge (APC) is not charged to the corresponding author under the Read & Publish agreement.
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Read & Publish %100 (Free) Within the scope of the read & publish agreement, publications to be made as the corresponding author in ACM Digital Library journals will be published as open access without paying the article processing charge (APC).
SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) %100 (Free) SCOAP3centrally pays the costs involved in maintaining open access for key journals in high-energy physics. TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM’s recent decision to join SCOAP3 means that KU faculty no longer need to pay the Article Processing Charges (APCs) when submitting articles to participating publishers and journals.