Do I need to pay page charges?

In general the answer is NO!  As academics, we already do most of the work as authors, reviewers and editors, and in most cases the university has to pay for access to the journal, so paying page charges on top just increases the profits of the publishers. The only circumstances under which page charges, or any other payment, are appropriate are:

  • The entire journal is Open Access and its existence depends on page charges -- this applies to the PLOS journals, for example.  In this case, UKRI-funded authors can obtain funding from the central university by following the instructions on the Bodleian open access pages. This requires you to contact the Bodleian staff once the paper is accepted. (The university temporarily had a policy of requiring you to contact the Bodleian on article submission, but this policy has been rescinded.)
  • The research funding body requires immediate open access journal publication, and the research funding has a line item to cover the costs -- this possibly applies to EU H2020 funding.  
  • You need to pay for the printing of colour figures, in which case you will probably need to cover the costs from a research grant.

EPSRC and the other Research Councils require the research they fund to be made openly available as soon as possible, and therefore UKRI gives the university a block grant to fund the page charges for Open Access journals -- this is also known as Gold Access.  However, in most cases open access for Maths papers means Green Access with the articles automatically available within 6 months from the central university ORA archive, after the Author Accepted Manuscript has been deposited as part of the standard Act-on-Acceptance procedure required for HEFCE's REF rules.

In some cases, journals insist on a 12 month embargo, but this also satisfies EPSRC's rules under item 2.2 in these RCUK FAQs, given that the university has insufficient RCUK block grant funding to support improved Green Access.

For further information please contact the librarian, Ms C. Hunt (email:

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 23 May 2023 17:08.