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Scholarly Communication: Article Processing Charges (APC)

Article Processing Charges (APC)

Article processing charges are charged to authors to publish an article in either a gold open access or hybrid open access journal. By paying the APC, the published article is made available to anyone with an internet connection. For gold OA journals, an APC is generally required for publication; for hybrid journals, the author may choose to pay an APC to make their article open access. Making an article as open access has its advantages including increasing the visibility of your work.

If you are considering to publish gold OA, please check that you have funding in place before submitting your manuscript to the journal. Publication fees in journals are generally classified under fundable items by most research grants. If you have a source of grant funding, you may submit a fund virement request to seek approval for your OA publication fees

NUS Libraries seeks to support NUS researchers in sharing their work widely through open access. Besides supporting green open access via our institutional repository, ScholarBank@NUS, we have also negotiated several deals with publishers/societies. For NUS authors (current staff and students) who are interested in publishing Open Access with these publishers/societies, please email the Scholarly Communication team.

The publishers/societies below offer a discount to NUS authors who are paying APCs to make their articles openly available. Some deals offer a discount off the APC and others offer a limited number of tokens to offset either the full or partial cost of APC.

Publisher Journal Titles Covered APC Discount
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) All journals, magazines, conferences Waived from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2025
American Chemical Society (ACS) In selected journals Limited number*
Cambridge University Press (CUP) In selected journals 25%
IWA Publishing

H2Open Journal

Blue-Green Systems

APC waived until 2021 for all authors
Karger All Open Access and Hybrid journals except Kompass titles Waived from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2023**
Open Library of Humanities (OLH) All journals No APC
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) In selected journals 15%***

*If you need APC support, please submit a request via the APC support request form.

**NUS corresponding authors will have to enter ‘National University of Singapore’ under the name of the institute in the ‘Open Access Agreement’ section during manuscript submission. For instructions on the submission process, please check out the guide above.

***APC discount should be applied to articles submitted by corresponding authors who are affiliated with NUS


Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

NUS Libraries, School of Computing, and the Office of the Deputy President (Research & Technology) has worked together to enter into a 5- year open access agreement with ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery. For all submissions to ACM made between Jan. 1, 2021 and December 31, 2025, NUS corresponding authors have the choice to make their published works Open Access immediately at no cost to the author.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

ACS offers a three-year (2020-2022) deal with a limited number of tokens allowing NUS authors to use it to offset against their APC. Depending on the journal they are publishing in, this offset can range from partial to full wavier of APC.

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

NUS Libraries has made a 3 year (2020-2022) Read and Publish agreement with Cambridge University Press to offer APC discount for NUS authors who want to publish in fully Open Access journals and subscription-based journals that offer hybrid Open Access. For instructions on the submission process and the list of Cambridge journals covered by the agreement, please check out CUP’s page regarding the agreement with NUS.

IWA Publishing

IWA Publishing is waiving APC for two of their fully Open Access journals, H2Open Journal and Blue-Green Systems, until 2021.


NUS Libraries has entered into a 3-year deal with Karger. For all submissions to Karger Open Access and Hybrid journals (except Kompass titles, which are by invitation only) made between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec 31, 2023.

Open Library of Humanities (OLH)

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

To support NUS and international authors in the humanities in publishing open access, NUS Libraries has signed up for 1-year membership from September 2020 to September 2021. The OLH currently hosts 22 fully open access journals showcasing research from a number of Humanities disciplines including Classics, Modern Languages, Philosophy, History and Sociology. Everything published in the OLH and its journals is free for the reader to access. All material is to be licensed under a Creative Commons license of the author's choosing.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

RSC offers a two-year deal (2020-2021) on APC discount for NUS authors to publish in fully Open Access journals and subscription-based journals that offer hybrid Open Access. As long as the email used to submit comes from NUS domain, the discount will be applied.

Creative Commons Licenses

When publishing with Open Access, it is recommended to attach Creative Commons licenses to protect the rights of your works.

There are six CC license options. To determine which one is most suitable for you, you might want to consider the following questions:

  • Would you allow your work to be used for commercial purposes?
  • Would you allow your work to be modified or adapted?
  • Would you allow others who used your work to apply a different CC license from the one you originally specified?

You can also refer to the diagram and the table below for more information about the licenses.

Foter Creative Commons license diagram (cropped)

Adapted from: foter / CC BY-SA

Attribution (CC BY)

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination  and use of licensed materials.


Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND )

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Different publishers offer different CC Licenses that can be applied to your works. The table below provides more information on the policies of the publishers that have APC deals with NUS.

Publisher CC License options offered
American Chemical Society (ACS) CC-BY; CC-BY-NC-ND
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) CC-BY
Cambridge University Press (CUP) CC-BY; CC-BY-NC; CC-BY-NC-ND; CC-BY-NC-SA
IWA Publishing CC BY 4.0; CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Open Library of Humanities(OLH) CC BY-SA; CC BY-NC; CC BY-ND; CC BY-NC-SA; CC BY-NC-ND
Karger CC BY-NC-ND