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3. What is Open Access?


All articles published in BMC Plant Biology are open access, which means they are freely and universally accessible online, and permanently archived in an internationally recognised open access repository.

Article-processing charges

As the cost of peer reviewing, editing, publishing, maintaining and archiving articles is not recouped through subscription charges, a standard article-processing charge (APC) is levied on all articles that are accepted for publication. The APC is a flat charge, and no additional costs are incurred, for example, by the inclusion of color figures. The current APC for BMC Plant Biology is £1325/$2255/€1675.

Our publisher, BioMed Central, operates a membership scheme, whereby authors submitting from member institutions have their APC covered in full or in part by their institution. Please click here to check if your institution is a BioMed Central member. If you would like your institution to become a member of BioMed Central, please fill out our recommendation form to suggest this to the relevant person in your organization.

You may be aware that an increasing number of funding agencies strongly encourage open access publication and explicitly allow the use of grants to cover APCs. Some, such as the Wellcome Trust, insist that all research funded by them is open access on publication.

In cases where neither the authors nor their institution or funder are able to pay the APC, a discount or waiver may be granted. There is currently an automatic waiver for authors from low or lower-middle income countries (according to World Bank criteria). Requests for waivers should be made as part of the online submission process.

Benefits of open access
  • Open access articles are freely available via the internet and are therefore more widely visible than articles published behind subscription barriers, with some studies suggesting that on average open access articles are twice as likely to be cited.
  • Retaining copyright means that authors can reproduce and distribute their work as they choose, for example on their institution's website.
  • Open access publication benefits the scientific community by making results of research immediately and freely available to all.

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