All articles published in our journals are open access and freely available online, immediately upon publication. This is made possible by an article-processing charge (APC) that covers the range of publishing services we provide. This includes provision of online tools for editors and authors, article production and hosting, liaison with abstracting and indexing services, and customer services. The APC, payable when your manuscript is editorially accepted and before publication, is charged to either you, or your funder, institution or employer.
Frequently-asked questions (FAQ)
Who is responsible for making or arranging the payment?
As the corresponding author of the manuscript you are responsible for making or arranging the payment (for instance, via your institution) upon editorial acceptance of the manuscript.
At which stage is the amount I will need to pay fixed?
The APC payable for an article is agreed as part of the manuscript submission process. The agreed charge will not change, regardless of any change to the journal’s APC.
When and how do I pay?
Upon editorial acceptance of an article, the corresponding author (you) will be notified that payment is due. You need to arrange payment unless a waiver has been granted, or your institution or employer is covering the cost through our Membership Program.
We advise prompt payment as we are unable to publish accepted articles until payment has been received.
Payment can be made by any of the following methods:
- Credit card - payment can be made online using a secure payment form as soon as the manuscript has been editorially accepted. We will we send a receipt by email once payment has been processed.
- Invoice - payment is due within 30 days of the manuscript receiving editorial acceptance. Receipts are available on request. Please note that payment other than by credit card carries an administrative surcharge of £50.
No taxes are included in this charge. If you are resident in any European Union country you have to add Value-Added Tax (VAT) at the rate applicable in the respective country. Institutions that are not based in the UK and are paying your fee on your behalf can have the VAT charge recorded under the EU reverse charge method, this means VAT does not need to be added to the invoice. Such institutions are required to supply us with their VAT registration number. If you are resident in Japan you have to add Japanese Consumption Tax (JCT) at the rate set by the Japanese government.
Can charges be waived if I lack funds?
We consider individual waiver requests for articles in BMC journals on a case-by-case basis and they may be granted in cases of lack of funds. To apply for a waiver please request one during the submission process. A decision on the waiver will normally be made within two working days. Requests made during the review process or after acceptance will not be considered.
APC waivers are not offered for open access publication in Springer Nature subscription journals offering an Open Choice (hybrid) option, as authors without the funds to publish open access in these journals can publish via the subscription route. See here for further information on Open Choice.
Will I have to pay if my institution is a Member?
Over 500 institutions worldwide have joined our Membership Program and financially support open access by paying some or all of the APCs on behalf of their researchers. Check if your institution is a Member. If it is, you will have the option of highlighting this during the submission process.
I am from a low-income country, do I have to pay an APC?
We will provide a waiver or dicsount if you are based in a country which is classified by the World Bank as a low-income or a lower-middle-income economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of less than $200bn. Please request this waiver of discount during submission. See here for further information and a full list of qualifying countries.
What funding sources are available?
Many funding agencies allow the use of grants to cover APCs. An increasing number of funders and agencies strongly encourage open access publication. For more detailed information and to learn about our support service for authors, see our OA funding and policy support page.
APC waivers for substantial critiques of articles published in OA journals
Where authors are submitting a manuscript that represents a substantial critique of an article previously published in the same fully open access journal, they may apply for a waiver of the article processing charge (APC).
In order to apply for an APC waiver on these grounds, please contact the journal editorial team at the point of submission. Requests will not be considered until a manuscript has been submitted, and will be awarded at the discretion of the editor. Contact details for the journal editorial offices may be found on the journal website.
What is your APC refund policy?
Springer Nature will refund an article processing charge (APC) if an error on our part has resulted in a failure to publish an article under the open access terms selected by the authors. This may include the failure to make an article openly available on the journal platform, or publication of an article under a different Creative Commons licence from that selected by the author(s). A refund will only be offered if these errors have not been corrected within 30 days of publication.
If you become aware of an error in the open access status or licensing of your article, please contact the Global Open Research Support Team immediately (firstname.lastname@example.org).
APCs will not be refunded when articles are retracted as a result of author error or misconduct.