Article Processing Charge (APC)

Definition: An article (sometimes author) processing charge (APC) is a fee charged to authors by a publisher in exchange for publishing and hosting an open access article. APCs are often intended to compensate for a potential loss of revenue the journal may experience when moving from traditional publication models, such as subscription services or pay-per-view, to open access. While some journals charge only about US$300, APCs vary widely, from US$1000 (Advances in Methods and Practice in Psychological Science) or less to over US$10,000 (Nature). While some publishers offer waivers for researchers from certain regions of the world or who lack funds, some APCs have been criticized for being disproportionate compared to actual processing and hosting costs (Grossmann & Brembs, 2021) and for creating possible inequities with regard to which scientists can afford to make their works freely available (Smith et al. 2020).

Related terms: Open Access, Under-representation

References: Grossmann and Brembs (2021), & Smith et al. (2020)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Nick Ballou, Ali H. Al-Hoorie, Bethan Iley, Flávio Azevedo, Robert Ross, Tobias Wingen

Note that we are currently working on an automated mechanism to link references cited above with their full-length version that can be found at with all references used so far.