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Open Access

Request funding for Open Access (APCs)

In order to publish open access via the gold route - that is, immediately upon publication, on the publisher's webpages - you may be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). The average cost of an APC is about £1800; however, some journals charge significantly more. In many cases King’s authors can request funding to cover APCs.

About the funds
King's holds three funds. Two are provided by funders: the Charity's Open Access Fund (known as COAF, comprised of six charities including the Wellcome Trust) and RCUK's Open Access Fund. They provide these funds to help King's researchers comply with their open access policies. The third is King's own Open Scholarship Fund, which is intended, where no other funding is available, to provide immediate open access for some publications by King's authors.


If your research output acknowledges funding from any of the COAF or RCUK funders (Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK, Bloodwise, AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC) then you are required to make your work open access.

Their minimum requirement is that it be available via an online repository within 6 months of publication. Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK, Bloodwise, BBSRC and MRC require that it be made available via Europe PubMed Central within 6 months.

However, all of these funders prefer that their fundees make their work open access immediately on the publisher's website wherever possible. For this purpose they have provided King's with substantial block grants. If your paper acknowledges funding from any of these funders you may be eligible for funding from these block grants.

Note for Wellcome Trust/COAF funded authors: Please be aware that from 1 April 2017, Wellcome Trust/COAF funding cannot be used to pay APCs for articles submitted to non-compliant publishers. A set of requirements has been issued specifying the service that publishers of peer-reviewed journal articles must provide when Wellcome Trust/COAF funds are used to pay an APC. This document lists the publishers who have so far committed to providing the full service (more may sign up). So before submitting a request for funding for immediate open access, please check that your publisher is on the list. If not, you will need to use an alternative route to ensure your article is compliant with the Wellcome Trust/COAF open access policy.

To apply for funding from these block grants please fill in our COAF/RCUK Funding application form.

For more information about COAF and RCUK's policies please see our funder policy page, COAF’s Open Access Policy or RCUK’s Open Access Policy.

Open Scholarship Fund
King's College London wants its academics' world leading research to be as accessible as possible, therefore it has created the Open Scholarship Fund. This fund is available to all King’s authors.

The application requires authors to demonstrate that:

  • They were unable to attain funding from any other source (e.g. none of the co-authors have access to funding, there are no departmental funds available, etc.)
  • There will be significant benefits to immediate open access (which requires payment) rather than open access on a repository after the journal's minimum required embargo period.
  • The journal which they have selected is the best forum for publication of their work.

Please note that the fund is operating on a trial basis for this year and may not be renewed. Consequently, we are operating on a first come, first served basis. Don't delay applications until after July that could reasonably be submitted before.

To apply for King's Open Scholarship Funding, please fill in our OSF application form.

Who can apply?
Eligibility for open access funds is determined by a number of criteria, including:

  • Author – People who may apply for funds include students enrolled or accredited to the university and the teaching and research staff employed by or otherwise accredited to the university. The university is not able to support King’s Health Partners in paying APCs at this time. Where outputs are produced in collaboration with authors outside of King’s it is usually the home institution of the corresponding author who should meet the cost of an APCs.
  • Research Output - Not all types of research output are eligible for funding. In order to be considered your output should be either a:
    • Peer reviewed primary research article
    • Systematic review
    • Review article (not those commissioned by publishers)
    • Monograph/Book chapter

See the forms for more details.

When to apply
If you wish to apply for the Open Scholarship Fund, then please do so prior to acceptance. With the COAF/RCUK funds, your research output should be accepted for publication before you apply as it is not possible to earmark funds. However, if you are submitting your paper to a fully open access journal, please contact us to check whether you will be covered by King's COAF/RCUK block grants before submitting your paper.

What happens to your funding request?
When you make a request for funding through the COAF/RCUK Funding Request Form or the OSF Funding Request Form the Library Research Support team are notified immediately. The team consider your request against the eligibility criteria. They check the open access options of your chosen journal and if you are eligible for funds they will liaise with you to pay the APC. Charges will be paid directly to the publisher.

NB. While your funding request is being processed please deposit an accepted version of your paper into Pure/the Research Portal If you are unsure how to do this please see our instructions page.  

APC deals
King's has arranged deals with the following publishers (based on publishing interests of our researchers and financial considerations) to reduce the cost of APC payments. They may give APC discounts even if your application to the COAF, RCUK or OSF funds are unsuccessful.
  Biomed Central
BMC Supporter Membership

APC discount = 15%

All King's authors can select the "King's College London" Membership Account from the drop down list on submission to obtain the discount.

BMC COAF (including Wellcome) Pre-pay Account

APC discount = 20%

Pre-payment discount applies only when the university agrees to meet the cost of the article from the COAF block grant (apply here). Eligible authors will be given a code by the Library Research Support team to pass to BMC.

BMC Other Funds Pre-pay Account

APC discount = 15%

Pre-payment discount applies only when the university agrees to meet the cost of the article from funds other than the COAF block grant. Eligible authors will be given a code by the Library Research Support team to pass to BMC.

BMJ Membership

APC discount = 20%

This discount applies to papers where the corresponding author is affiliated to King's College London or King's Health Partners.
Policy Press

Policy Press Scheme

APC discount = 20%

King's authors are entitled to a 20% discount on Policy Press APCs (from £1500 to £1200).

Royal Society of Chemistry

Going for Gold Scheme

APC discount = 100%

King's has a number of APC credits to be used during 2016 under their Gold for Gold scheme because we subscribe to the RCS Gold journal package. Please contact to claim one.


Sage Nesli2 Scheme

APC discount = 80%

King's 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 ‘NESLi16’ in the 'University/Institution Account Code' field when requesting the Sage Choice option.


Springer Compact

An agreement is in place which means that King's authors can currently publish open access articles in Springer Compact titles without charge. Be aware that your affiliation is checked.


Wiley Pre-pay Account

APC discount = 25%

Pre-payment discount applies only when the cost of the article is met from the RCUK or COAF block grants or from the Open Scholarship Fund. King’s authors acknowledging RCUK, COAF or Open Scholarship Fund support can select 'KCL' when submitting to a Wiley Open Access journal or opting for OnlineOpen.

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