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Research Publishing (Open Access)

Open access compliance and REF 2021

Article Processing Charges (APCs): sources of funding

Open Access (OA) journals and hybrid journals may require an additional payment to the publisher to be made to have a paper immediately open access on the date of publication. This charge known as aAPC (Article Processing Charge) is usually payable when the manuscript is editorially accepted and before publication and is charged to either the author, research funder, institution or employer. 

Applications for funding for APCs can be made to the University's Research Office by completing the Article Processing Charge online request form. This has to be made by the corresponding author. If you are not the corresponding author and the corresponding author is employed at another University then they must apply to their home institution for funding.

Before you decide which journal you would like your article to be published in it is useful to check if a publisher deal is available to offset the cost of APCs or if there is some other means of funding eg a charity.

APC publisher deals

In instances where the University of the Highlands and Islands already has a subscription relationship with a publisher, discounted deals to mitigate article processing charges may be available for their journal titles. Please check the list provided below for details. 

  • Springer (free OA publishing): UHI authors who are the 'corresponding author' can publish articles in more than 1,900 Springer open access hybrid journals for free. For more information and to view eligible journals please refer to Springer Open Choice (look for the spreadsheet that says Hybrid journals). For the UK this 'agreement' runs until the end of December 2021.
  • Wiley (free OA publishing): UHI authors who are the 'corresponding author' can publish articles in any of Wiley's fully gold open access or Wiley's hybrid (subscription) journals that offer OnlineOpen with no further open access costs. For more information about how to publish open access with Wiley and eligibility criteria please refer to Wiley open access agreements. For the UK this 'agreement' runs until the end of December 2023. Find a Wiley journal that matches your criteria.
  • Brill (free OA publishing): Throughout 2020 UHI authors who are the 'corresponding author' can publish articles in any of Brills online journals (hybrid and gold). For more information about how to publish open access with Brill and eligibility criteria please refer to the Brill Journals 2020 bridging agreement. For questions on open access publishing at Brill please contact
  • Other publishers: Multiple publishers are currently negotiating similar blanket agreements with the appropriate university library consortia (Jisc Collections for the UK and/or SHEDL for Scotland). We will keep this section up to date as soon as any new agreement is added to the list of the existing ones.

Don't forget to recheck this page for new deals that the University is constantly negotiating.


The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership between six health research charities, including Wellcome, to enable free and unrestricted access to the published outputs of the research we support.

NOTE: â€‹COAF is ending on 30 September 2020. COAF relies on all partners sharing a common open access (OA) policy. This will no longer be the case from January 2021 when Wellcome implements its Plan S-aligned OA policy. Consequently, COAF will end on 30 September 2020.

Additionally, researchers funded by the Wellcome Trust may apply for APC costs from the Trust itself, even if not affiliated to a COAF-funded institution. However, researchers should be aware of publisher requirements set by Wellcome, relating to depositing, licensing and invoicing.