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Apply for Gold open access publishing funds

If you choose to publish via a Gold Open Access route, you may be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for journal articles and conference papers or Book Processing Charge (BPC) for monographs and other long form publications.  The following information tells you who is eligible and how to apply for funding. 

About the Open Access Publishing Fund

The University currently funds open access publishing for eligible authors publishing journal articles and conference papers with an ISSN.  While funding and resources to make other publications, such as monographs, open access are not yet available, it is a growing area and publication platforms are introducing open access models in support. Authors are invited to flag routes of interest to Open Access.


In the future, we will be implementing support for monograph OA publishing to make more of our research outputs accessible and discoverable in line with our research strategy and  UKRI's announcement in August 2021 of a requirement for open access monographs from 2024 in its new open access policy.

Brunel receives an institutional block award from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to help make outputs arising from UKRI funded research at the University open and reusable.  This fund is available to researchers who are publishing outputs which acknowledge an research grant as open access is a condition of funding. 

Research funds previously awarded to researchers for publishing costs should be used before applying for funding from the central block grant. For other authors, a central fund is available to all members of academic staff to support Gold open access publishing.  

Funding is limited, and authors are advised to contact Open Access in advance of submitting a manuscript to a publisher to check whether funding is available, that the publication route meets funder grant conditions and REF requirements, and  

Hybrid publications

Hybrid journals are those which contain some freely available open access content and paywalled content. From 1 January 2021, UKRI, European Commission and many other public funders will no longer support publication in hybrid journals unless they are published under a funder approved transformative arrangement.  For UK corresponding authors, only transformative agreements negotiated on behalf of the HE sector by Jisc are eligible for funding. 

To comply with funder requirements and be eligible to have open access costs paid, if your publication acknowledges UKRI, EU, Wellcome Trust and other Plan S funders, you must also secure permission on submission to make your Author Accepted Manuscript freely available in our institutional repository, BURA, under a CC-BY licence without embargo, on acceptance for publication. 

Where funds are limited, we will prioritise funding for articles published in pure open access titles. 

Other institutions hold block grants from UKRI and other public funders (including the Wellcome Trust, ARUK, CRUK and other medical charity funders) and the BIS department to cover Gold open access charges. Co-authors based at other institutions may have access to these additional funding streams.

How to apply

If you are submitting your paper to a fully open access journal, please contact Open Access before submission to check whether there are sufficient available funds or suitable routes. 

All authors choosing a paid open access route are advised to contact Open Access before submitting the manuscript to the publisher for an agreement in principle. 

In other cases, your research output should be accepted for publication before you apply for funds. It is not possible to reserve funds for research outputs not yet accepted.  

Requests for Gold open access are now made directly through the University's research database, BRAD. Please see the video or visit the open access roadmap page or BRAD user guide for more information.

  • Log in to BRAD.
  • Go to the manual record screen of your publication.
  • Scroll down to the question Do you want to apply for APC funding? and select Yes.
  • Please enter details of the corresponding author's institution, if not Brunel University London. 
  • Please enter any additional information relevant to your request in the comments box, e.g. external sources of funding not held by Brunel.


  • Finally, upload your Author Accepted Manuscript to the publication record in BRAD and deposit the underpinning research data in Brunel figshare to get a unique DOI for your data which can help you track your data citations. See Research data management for more information.

Eligibility for funding

Eligibility for open access funds is determined by a number of criteria:

Author status – Academic staff authors with research responsibility, employed by or otherwise accredited to Brunel University London and doctoral researchers enrolled on an UKRI funded studentship. Where outputs are produced in collaboration with authors outside the University, it is expected that the home institution of the corresponding author should meet the cost of the APC. 

Research funding status – Subject to available funds, the University will pay for an APC for outputs by Brunel staff authors acknowledging a research grant, where a payment is needed to comply with funder requirements for open access and where other funds are not available.  

Authors acknowledging research grants, should contact Open Access prior to journal submission, for verification of author eligibility for open access, availability of funds, and compliance of the preferred publication routes with the relevant funder open access requirements. Once pubishing funds are agreed, authors should also deposit the author accepted manuscript in BRAD immediately on acceptance.

Authors without grant funding can also follow the same steps to request funding, where publishing in fully open access journals. 

Research output type – Not all types of research output are eligible for funding. To be considered, your output should be one of the following types:

  • Peer reviewed primary research article
  • Systematic review
  • Conference proceedings with an ISSN
  • Review article (not commissioned by publisher)

Publication status – It is not usually possible to pay an APC retrospectively for a paper that has previously been published.  Funds also will not be released for outputs that do not comply with the funder's open access policy and Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy on open access.  When selecting a potential publisher, authors can check whether the chosen journal and publisher meets funder and REF open access requirements using the Jisc SHERPA tools.  Please contact Open Access if you are unsure.  

Funder open access provision

A growing number of funders provide block grants or have internal mechanisms to cover Gold open access charges for their authors, and conditions relating to how the research they fund should be made open access. 

In some cases, the institution may need to claim back charges on production of an invoice and receipt for the relevant publication,  and in others, a block grant is awarded to support open access and is centrally administered by Open Research and Rights, Library Services. 

This includes, but is not limited to:

Funds for publishing may be included in some grant applications. Where alternative funding routes exist, these should be investigated before making an application.

What happens to your request?

After authors make a request through BRAD, Open Access will notify you of the outcome within 5 working days. If accepted, you will receive further information and instructions.

Please note that if you have selected a fully open access publisher, or are publishing in connection with a research grant, and have not secured confirmation of funds before submitting your manuscript, the University may not be able to meet the open access publishing cost. 

Page and colour charges

Generally, the University is not able to pay additional publishing costs from central funds, such as page / overlength or colour charges.  These are administrative costs and not open access charges which must be invoiced and funded separately. Several public funders and institutions see these additional costs as disingenuous and a hangover from the paper age.

The open access charge is typically referred to as anArticle Processing Charge (APC). Where authors are unable to have the charges waived or removed, we advise authors in the first instance to check whether funding support is available within their own department. 

If your paper is accepted for open access publishing funding

If your request for Gold open access funding is approved,  you should:

  1. Check whether a prepayment account, discount or deal applies. APC costs may be charged to pre-paid accounts with selected publishers. See the list at the bottom of this page for more details. If there is no pre-paid account, authors should raise an invoice as detailed below. 
  2. Immediately arrange Gold Open Access under a CC-BY licence
  3. Retain copyright in your submitted manuscript, and if possible, copyright in the final peer-reviewed published paper (author accepted manuscript) which will help you meet funder and REF requirements. 

The University will only fund articles published under a CC-BY licence. If your request is declined, this may be because the publisher does not offer a suitable licence, or may not meet publishing or academic standards. For more information see Choosing a genuine publisher.  

Raising an invoice to pay for Article Processing Charges

Following checks for a pre-paid plan or deal in Publisher prepayments, membership deals and discounts you should request an invoice so the University can make payment for your article.  A Brunel Purchase Order number is required for all invoices.  Authors should request one from the publisher as follows. 

  • Set the billing address with your name and office, to ensure the bill is not delayed or payment refused. 
  • You may need to supply the University's VAT number. We are not exempt from paying VAT on open access charges. 
  • Contact Open Access to request a Purchase Order for payment from the University's central Open Access Publishing funds.  
  • On receipt, the final invoice should be forwarded to Open Access.

If you are asked to make payment through one of our prepaid publisher accounts, please check the list of publishers in the below for full details on access.

Publisher prepayments, membership deals and discounts

Brunel has arranged deals with the following publishers to reduce the cost of APC payments and to support other open access initatives.  We are adding new deals all the time as they are negotiated, so please contact us if a publisher you expect to see here is not on the list.  In some cases, open access publishing may be capped or restricted by funder to certain titles only. 

BioMed Central prepayment account

APC discount = 20%

Prepayment discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article. See request process above. Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

BMJ prepayment account

APC discount = 20%

Prepayment discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article (see request process). Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

De Gruyter

APC discount = 20%

We are eligible for a discount under the Jisc institutional membership arrangement.


Hindawi prepayment account

APC discount = 10%

Prepayment discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article. Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE) prepayment account

APC discount = 0%

The University must first agree to meet the cost of the article, otherwise authors will be invoiced directly (see request process). Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

Please note it is not usually possible to pay additional overlength / page charges, so authors must be careful to keep length of works within author guidelines or to ensure that the relevant department has funds available to meet the costs. 

Jisc Monitor

This is the system used by the Scholarly Communication Office to record and manage payment processes. It has a secondary function in reporting all costs publicly to the Jisc Monitor UK project, which aims to aggregate UK expenditure on Open Access and faciliate the reduction of subscription costs to information resources.

Knowledge Unlatched membership

KU Research is a close-knit team of researchers and publishing industry practitioners working together to help realise the possibilities of digital technology and Open Access for specialist scholarly monographs and the communities that care about them.

They are funded by library donations and each year commit funds to making popular monographs and journal titles open access, as voted by the global library community.

We last committed funds to this resource in 2015-2016, and keep this resource under review in line with institutional needs. 

Open Library of the Humanities membership

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). They are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future.

The OLH publishing platform supports academic journals from across the humanities disciplines, as well as hosting its own multidisciplinary journal. Launched as an international network of scholars, librarians, programmers and publishers in January 2013, the OLH received two substantial grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and has since built a sustainable business model with its partner libraries.

We commit to the OLHUMs model each year.

Public Library of Science (PLoS) prepayment account

APC discount = 10%

Pre-payment discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article  (see request process). Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

Royal Society membership

APC discount = 25%

We pay an annual membership. All Brunel authors are entitled to a 25% discount on the cost of APCs by the Royal Society.

SAGE NESLi discount

APC discount = 75%

Brunel authors are entitled to a discounted rate of £400 for APCs when publishing in titles that are within the Sage Choice Scheme and/or the Sage Premier Scheme. Claim this discount by entering ‘NESLI’ and the current year, e.g. NESLI19, in the University / Institution Account Code field when requesting the Sage Choice option. This is a voucher scheme, and as such only a certain number of discounted APCs are available each year.

Springer Compact (consortium deal) and Springer Open

"Compact" APC = free

Applies to Springer 'Open Choice' titles: the majority of Springer's subscription journals. A Read and Publish agreement is in place which means that Brunel authors can currently publish open access articles in Springer Compact titles without charge. Be aware that your affiliation is checked.

"Springer Open" APC

Same conditions as BioMed Central

Taylor and Francis

APC discount = 75%

Cost reduced to £450. Whenever a Brunel researcher submits an article to T&F they receive a message advising that they may be eligible to a discount because of their institutional subscription, and to contact apc@tandf.co.uk. This is a voucher scheme, and as such only a certain number of discounted APCs are available each year. You should request to use a voucher when offered. N.B. This option will change from 1 February 2021.

Wiley Blackwell prepayment account

APC discount = 20%

Prepayment discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article  (see request process). Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.