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Article Processing Charge (APC) Fund

What is an Article Processing Charge? 

An Article Processing Charge (APC) is a publishing fee charged to authors who are publishing in open access journal.  The fee shifts the journal production cost to the author and replaces the subscription charge that libraries and researchers would pay to access an article behind a paywall.

Carnegie Mellon University Libraries offer a number of methods to assist CMU authors in publishing their work open access, including the APC Fund and maintaining institutional memberships with publishers that provide publishing discounts for open access.

Click to Request APC Funding


  • When requesting APC funding from the Libraries, authors will need to provide a copy of the publisher's invoice (in USD, preferably) and a departmental Oracle account string to cover the APC balance not covered by the fund
  • The requesting author's name and email address on the form must match the name and email on the publisher's invoice
    • You may need to click through the payment portal on the publisher or Copyright Clearance Center webpage to generate a pdf invoice
    • When generating an invoice, authors should fill out the form with their own name and mailing address
  • The Libraries pays the publisher directly, in full, upon the receipt of an approved request for funding with the publisher's invoice. We cannot reimburse an APC request made after an invoice is paid by the author or department
  • The APC Fund is intended to contribute to an article's open access article processing charges, and is not applicable to other fees from the publisher, such as color imaging or reprints.
  • Authors from CMU-Q requesting APC funding may need to request a separate or split invoice from the publisher to expedite payment. The Libraries will pay a portion of APCs from one invoice, and the department at CMU-Q will pay their portion from the other.

Eligibility Requirements 

Author Eligibility and Funding Caps

  • Carnegie Mellon University faculty members, research scientists, post-docs, and graduate students are eligible for APC funding if they are the article's corresponding author and do not have designated grant funding to pay for APCs
  • CMU Libraries will pay 80% of the APC up to a maximum of $1500 per article. The remaining balance should be paid by the corresponding author's department, co-authors, or other sources
  • Maximum funding per author per fiscal year is $3000. Unused amounts do not roll over to the next fiscal year.
  • Multiple CMU authors on an article cannot combine requests for funding for the same article.

Journal and Article Eligibility

  • The publishing journal must be a fully open access journal. Articles must be open access upon publication
  • Journal publishers must be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) or adhere to the OASPA code of conduct
  • The Journal must provide a publicly available APC fee schedule
  • Hybrid journals (traditional subscription journals in which content can be published open access, but other content is behind a paywall) are not eligible EXCEPT when
    • The publisher of a hybrid journal has a publicly available transition strategy to change the publication model from subscription to Open Access. The Libraries determines when the transition policy is sufficient to qualify for APC funding. Currently some hybrid journals from Nature qualify.
  • Delayed open access journals (in which all content is made OA after a specific time) are not eligible
  • The journal should not be part of Carnegie Mellon's OA publishing agreements
  • Articles should be accepted for publication before submission for APC funding


If you are unsure whether your article is eligible for APC funding, please contact the University Libraries Data and Publishing Services team

Some financial support for APCs is provided by The Roger Sorrells Endowed Fund for the Engineering and Science Library, established by Dr. Gloriana St. Clair, dean emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, in honor of her longtime life partner.