Edinburgh Napier University supports the ‘green’ route to open access, where authors deposit copies of their research in the institutional repository. Many authors also want to publish articles in ‘gold’ open access in journals with Creative Commons licenses.
There are a large number of open access journals that do not require an article processing charge (APC) to be paid in order to publish articles as open access – the Directory of Open Access Journals lists thousands of these ‘APC-free’ journals. However, for those journals that do require an APC, it can be hard for authors to find funding to pay them. Sometimes departments or funders can cover the costs but this is not always possible.
Some publishers now include APCs in the journal agreements that libraries sign up to, so that both subscriptions and APC costs are covered by the same agreement. This is called ‘offsetting’ as the two costs are offset against each other. For example, the journal agreement that Napier has with Springer to gain access to subscription content in Springer journals also allows Napier authors to publish their articles as open access at no additional cost.
On the open access blog, the library team maintains a list of agreements that we have with publishers which include open access costs. It varies a lot between different publishers so check the list to see whether free or discounted APCs are available with your publisher of choice.