Author Charges in Publishing

Academic authors may pay a variety of charges in scholarly publishing, whether for open access or other kinds of types.

Up-front costs

  • Page charges – n% of journals across disciplines charge APCs (author page charges); this varies across disciplines
  • Color charges – Charges for color figures
  • Submission fees / Review charges
  • Supplemental Materials charges
  • Late Change charges – Charges for significant edits late in the production process.
  • Overlength charges –
  • Copyright registration charges – For dissertation and thesis authors, ProQuest and some university/colleges offer copyright registration services. Journal publishers will typically register copyright in their journal issue, and not in individual articles. Note: Registration of copyright is useful if you plan to make commercial re-use of your work; but registration is not necessary to prevent unauthorized re-use, or to have a copyright.
  • Open access charges – Charges paid to a journal to make the article available open access.  Some journals now charge variable prices for different licenses, for instance, CC-BY (Creative Commons with Attribution) versus CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons with Attribution and a Non-Commercial Re-Use requirement)
  • APCs – This might mean “author page charge”, “author publication charge”, “article processing charge” or some variant thereof.


  • Post-publication costs
  • Re-use of your own paper – If authors assign their copyright to the publisher, and fail to reserve rights for themselves to re-use, then they may be charged to re-use their own figures or text in subsequent publications.
  • Offprint fees – If you want to distribute a paper you may end up having to pay fees to re-distribute the paper to colleagues.
  • Licensing fees – If you want to use your article to teach, you (or your institution) may need to be fees for use in e-reserves or coursepacks. Other instructors, faculty, and university libraries will have to pay licensing as well.



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