University Policy

Open Access and Article Processing Charge Policy

Since the University’s first Open Access Publishing Policy was produced in 2006 the landscape of open access publishing has continued to evolve; there is greater recognition of the benefits of open access publishing, key research funders are requiring that research articles stemming from their funding are made open access immediately via the publisher (known as author-pays publishing or the “gold” route) to a greater degree, and in the publishing sector more open access and hybrid journals are being developed.

As a result the University’s policy on open access has been revised. The Open Access and Article Processing Charge (APC) Policy (LINK) sets out the University’s renewed commitment to open access publishing and how open access publishing will be supported at the University from 1st April 2013. There is an accompanying decision tree which shows the different routes to open access.

Open access publishing is an evolving area of national policy with publishers and funders continuing to consider and revise their policies. Therefore, the University’s adoption of an open access policy will be phased. The University’s policy and support for open access publishing will be reviewed after six months and then annually, or at the discretion of the Research Committee, to ensure it is providing the best level of support and complies with its stakeholders in this shifting landscape. During this transitional period we shall also be monitoring costs, the distribution of funds across disciplines and individuals, unexpected outcomes arising from the policy as well as changes to funder’s and government policies.

We welcome comments, feedback and any issues presented by the policy – please email

In revising this policy the following principles are being followed:

  • The University of Stirling is committed to making the outputs of research publically accessible via the green and the gold route in a manner which is compliant with funder, publisher, ethical, commercial and legal requirements as appropriate.
  • Researchers must always comply with their funder requirements regarding open access.
  • Potential article processing charges should be considered at the grant application stage and included into bid costs wherever appropriate.
  • The full text of all research papers (and other research outputs detailed under section 4.1) should be added to the Research Management System (RMS) for deposit in STORRE. Items in STORRE will be made open access via the green route wherever possible (and in line with embargo periods).
  • The University Article Processing Charge (APC) Fund will support the costs of gold open access for research papers meeting the eligibility criteria for the fund which are set by the Research Committee and reviewed annually.
  • The University is responsible for providing appropriate support and training regarding open access publishing

Article Processing Charge (APC) Fund

Previously, the University has operated a pot of funding for BioMed Central publications. This fund has distributed over £62,000 of funding since 2008 and all funds have now been fully allocated. In its place we are establishing a publication fund which will continue, and extend, the support available for open access publishing, in line with funder requirements.

Funding APCs is an additional cost to the University alongside journal subscriptions costs of over £1 million per year. Therefore, eligibility criteria have been set for research papers which can be supported. These criteria are consistent with the principles of the policy. The criteria are detailed within the Open Access and APC Fund Policy. The eligibility criteria for applying to the fund are set by the Research Committee and reviewed annually.

To apply to the fund you should complete an Application to the Article Processing Charge Fund.

This form should be completed prior to submitting your article to the funder – otherwise funds will not be reserved for your paper.

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