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Article Processing Charge (APC)

The costs of publishing an article Gold Open Access are typically supported by an article processing charge (APC). The cost of an APC can be covered in various ways, including by funding bodies, institutions, agreements between publishers and institutions, and sometimes by the author themself. At Cambridge, APCs are often waived for authors who do not have access to grant or institutional funding, to ensure that they do not present a barrier to publication.

Any payment request for an APC is only made after an article has been accepted for publication, and APCs are only applicable for content that is published Gold OA. In other cases no APC is required.

May also be known as: Publication fee, OA publication fee

Book Processing Charge (BPC)

The Book Processing Charge (BPC) is a payment made to cover the costs of publishing a book Gold Open Access. Typically this will be covered by the author’s funding body or institution.

cOAlition S

cOAlition S is a group of national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), whose goal is to ensure all the research they fund is made open access immediately on publication.

Corresponding author

The person who handles the manuscript and correspondence during the publication process – from manuscript submission, to handling any revisions up to the acceptance and publication of the manuscript. Cambridge uses the affiliation of the corresponding author to determine eligibility for any institutional open access agreements. For full details of the corresponding author’s role and responsibilities when publishing with Cambridge, see our authorship and contributorship policies.

Creative Commons (CC) licences

Creative Commons (CC) licences play an important role in facilitating Gold Open Access publishing. They provide a legal framework for giving readers the ability to freely view, download and re-distribute content. We offer authors a choice of Creative Commons licences that they can apply to their work, which differ in terms of the rights they grant end users. All CC licences require that those redistributing or re-using the work give appropriate credit and indicate if changes were made. Authors might be required or advised by their funders to choose particular CC licences, such as CC-BY or CC-BY-ND, when publishing their research as Gold OA. For more information see our guidance on CC licences.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

DOAB is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books, as well as helping users to find trusted open access book publishers.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ hosts a community-curated list of open access journals, maintained by Infrastructure Services for Open Access (IS4OA).


Double-dipping is a term used to describe cases where both authors and readers are being charged for the same content. Cambridge has robust policies and processes in place to avoid double-charging in this way. As the proportion of non-open access content published by a journal decreases, this is reflected by a reduction in subscription prices. Full details of how this works can be found in our transparent pricing policy for journals.

Gold Open Access

Gold OA content refers to situations where the final published version of a publication is made available under permissive licences such as Creative Commons, which allow free access to and redistribution of the content, and typically also allow re-use in new or derivative works.

Green Open Access

Green Open Access refers to situations where an author makes an early version of their manuscript available for others to access and read freely, regardless of whether the final published version is made Gold OA. Typically the author will upload either the original (submitted) manuscript, or the manuscript as it was accepted for publication (after peer-review), to an online archive or repository.

You can learn about how Cambridge permits authors to share early versions of manuscripts in our Green OA policies for journals, books, and Elements.

May also be known as: Institutional archiving, local archiving

Hybrid journal

A journal which gives authors the option to publish articles Gold OA if they so choose.

Institutional repository

An archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution.

Open access

Open access (OA) refers to making scholarly research freely available online for anyone to read. Typically, open access also allows readers to redistribute, re-use and adapt content in new works.

Research Open

‘Research Open’ is a publishing model adopted by some Cambridge journals, under which all research content is published as Gold Open Access. For other kinds of content, including for example book reviews, authors have the option to make their publications Gold OA but this is not required.

Plan S

Plan S refers to a suite of policies to ensure that all research funded by funders in cOAlition S is made open access immediately on publication by 2025.

Preprints and Preprint Servers

A ‘preprint’ is an early version of a manuscript, created prior to the version accepted for publication. Preprint servers are online repositories used by research communities to share preprints. Many authors share their preprints on preprint servers ahead of submitting them as manuscripts to a journal for peer review and formal publication. Cambridge journals permit authors to share preprints anywhere, at any time, as explained in our Green OA policy.

Cambridge runs an early and open research platform called Cambridge Open Engage, where anyone can submit preprints.

Transformative Agreements

Transformative Agreements are made between publishers and research institutions to support the transformation of the institution's published research outputs to Gold Open Access. These agreements include provisions to cover costs of Gold OA content published by researchers based at the institution, negating the need for APCs when those researchers publish their work Gold OA.

Cambridge has made a number of transformative agreements with institutions all around the world.

May also be known as: Institutional agreement, Read & Publish agreement, OA Publishing Agreement


Self-archiving refers to authors depositing a copy of an electronic document online to make it freely available to others to read. The term usually refers to depositing documents such as peer-reviewed research journal and conference articles, as well as theses and book chapters, in an author's institutional repository or open archive for the purpose of maximizing its accessibility, usage and citation impact.

May also be known as: Green archiving, Green OA