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Open access: Funding for open access: vouchers, discounts & APC pool

This guide is about Open Access publishing for researchers at Åbo Akademi University

APC credits, vouchers, discounts for ÅAU researchers

All ÅAU affiliated researchers publishing with the following publishers are entitled to either publish open access for free or at a discount on the APCs (Article Processing Charges, also called open access fees, author fees). Please note that these agreements only apply to open access to articles (APC), not opening of books or book chapters (BPC).

> Click on the publisher name for instructions on how to receive the discount, and check out the lists of journals included in the agreements.

ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) - full open access in journals and conference proceedings. Covers articles accepted 1.7.2022–31.12.2024.

ACS (American Chemical Society) - full open access and hybrid, publish for free (vouchers). Once the vouchers have run out, there is an 25% discount available within the ACS Author's Choice program. (To get the discount, affiliated authors are required to inform ACS that ÅAU is an "all ACS Publications" subscribing institution. Prices here.(Note 1.3.2021: Deal in force for 2021-2023, the vouchers may run out towards the end of 2023.)

Cambridge University Press - full open access and hybrid for free. Limited number of vouchers during 2022-2024. See list of eligible journals here.

Cell Press  (Elsevier) - hybrid, for free. (Peer- reviewed articles accepted 1.1.2022-31.12.2024). Selected journals.  

Elsevier - Hybrid for free (limited number of credits annually for articles accepted 1.1.2021-31.12.2023) in not all, but more than 1600 journals.
​(NB! Elsevier has introduced so-called mirror journals, which are open access and go by the same names as highly ranked journals with the addition 'X'. Although the editors are the same, these are separate journals (separate ISSN-numbers etc) and the material in them is not published in the highly ranked original. At this point (March 2019) we recommend considering the option of publishing in the original publication in combination with parallel publishing of the accepted manuscript.)

Emerald - hybrid, for free (11.2.2021-31.12.2023)

Frontiers - Full open access, discount 10% if you have applied for funding from ÅAU's APC-pool and funding has been granted. The discount has to be used (and can only be used) in connection with receiving funding from the APC-pool. (1.4.2022-31.12.2024)

IEL (IEEE)  - Full open access and hybrid, for free. (1.1.2021-31.12.2023) NOTE that we have run out of vouchers!/22.9.2023

MDPI - Full open access, discount 10% (pick Åbo Akademi University in the drop-down menu under "Selected institutions and societies have individual agreements..."). Note that this institutional membership discount can't be combined with other discounts and vouchers. You can choose which you prefer to use for each submission.

Nature Research - hybrid, for free. (Articles accepted 1.6.2022-31.12.2024.) NOTE that we have run out of vouchers!/29.8.2023

OUP (Oxford University Press) - Hybrid, for free. (For articles accepted 1.1.2021-31.12.2023.) 

RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) - hybrid, for free (for articles accepted 1.1.2022-31.12.2023). At the moment many full open access journals are free to publish OA in and some offer a 15% discount, for more information see here (Word-document)

Sage - hybrid for free, full open access discount 20%. For articles accepted 1.1.2023-31.12.2024. 

Springer Nature (=Springer) - hybrid for free. (For hybrid journals in the Springer Compact collection, articles accepted 1.1.2021-31.12.2023.)

Taylor & Francis - Hybrid, for free. Limited number of vouchers annually. (For articles accepted 1.1.2023-31.12.2024 in journals with an Open Select-offer.)

Wiley -  full open access and hybrid, for free (articles accepted 1.1.2023-31.12.2024). ( Wiley's own instruction webpage for the discount.) Limited quota.

Check how the discount or voucher is obtained before you submit your manuscript. (Links to the conditions and guidelines are found in the list above.) The procedure varies between publishers, but as a rule, the corresponding author must use his or her abo.fi e-mail address as proof of affiliation with a university having a discount deal.

Most of these discounts exist thanks to so-called read-and-publish deals, which allow researchers at a university with journal subscriptions with these publishers to publish open access (both full open access and hybrid) at a lower price or for free in many of the journals in the publisher's portfolio. FinElib is the libraries' national negotiation organ for these deals.


Our read-and-publish agreements are funded by the Gösta Branders research fund, Åbo Akademi University Foundation.

APC pool for open access costs at ÅAU

The APC pool is open for applications!

PLEASE NOTE! Before you send in an application to the pool, check that you're not already entitled to free OA publishing through agreements here in the left column.

Funding for full open access publishing needs to be secured before submission. The pool doesn't fund already submitted papers since authors are expected to have other financial backing in place before placing orders.

The APC pool for open access costs at ÅAU

Do you have a paper which is almost done, which could be published in a gold open access journal but lack funding to cover the fee? ÅAU has a pool for open access costs since 2020.

The aim of the pool is to provide ÅAU-affiliated researchers with an equal opportunity to publish open access and to stimulate gold/full open access publishing. The APC pool is funded by the Gösta Branders research fund, Åbo Akademi University Foundation.


The researchers at ÅAU need to transition to publishing more open access, but often gold open access is associated with an APC (article processing charge) and many affiliated researchers don't have access to funding for these fees, which publishers charge instead of subscription fees or pay-per-view fees. That's why an "APC pool" has been introduced.


Application is filed in a (short) online form by the corresponding author when the publication is almost ready for submission (to keep the reservation time until publication decisions as short as possible). The publications are evaluated on the set of conditions for funding by the open science team at ÅAU library (and the process is overseen by the vice-rector for research). Applicants will receive the decision within five working days for APCs.

Application: https://survey.abo.fi/lomakkeet/12647/lomake.html​

The principles for funding

Who can apply?

Researchers mainly affiliated with ÅAU, whose publications are reported to the Ministry of Education (for ÅAU), and who act as corresponding/submitting authors, more precisely

  1. Researchers employed by ÅAU (all career levels)
  2. Researchers with affiliation agreements for non-employed personnel (all career levels, could be grant-holders with contract for non-employed researchers)
  3. Emeriti

Please note! Researchers with external research funding (such as Academy of Finland projects, Horizon 2020)  are expected to use their project budget for open-access costs first (concerning Academy of Finland projects this concerns old projects, started before 1.1.2021). Researchers whose only affiliation is docent do not report publications to the Ministry of Education and Culture and therefore cannot be awarded funding. Two articles per corresponding author can be funded each year (which does not exclude co-authorship in other funded articles). Exceptions to this rule are possible at the end of the year if there is still funding left. 

Funding can be granted to cover open access fees for publications which fulfill the main part of the following conditions:

  1. Full-open-access publications (=journals in which all articles are made open access and which do not charges subscription fees).
  2. The journal or publication should be indexed in DOAJ.org or Scopus or available for evaluation in other ways to be judged serious.
    1. Peer review. The publication venue should have a serious peer review system and the publication for which the APC funding is applied should undergo such evaluation. 
    2. The publisher/journal has clear principles of publication ethics.
      (Corresponding to for instance the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Associations' (OASPA) "Code of Conduct" http://oaspa.org/membership/code-of-conduct/)
  3. The publication venue should have JuFo classification 1-3.
  4. The article must be published with an open license (preferrably CC-BY 4.0, and if not available CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND are also acceptable).
  5. Possible vouchers/discounts available for ÅAU-affillated scholars must be used.

Hybrid open access publishing is not prioritized. This means open access as extra service at a fee in a subscription-based journal,  in which only part of the content is openly available. Paying the APC is not necessary for publishing - and in these cases, green open access=parallel publishing in AboCRIS (or other open repository) is the recommended open access option. You are still welcome to apply and as a response, you will get information on the parallel publishing options. -- Why? The hybrid model is expensive since the journals charge the universities both subscription fees/licenses and APCs - so called "double dipping". Hybrid open access is possible through the ÅAU read-and-publish deals (see links above to vouchers/discounts).

How to apply

Application is submitted on this online form and response should be received within five working days.

Questions? openscience@abo.fi

BPC pool - for opening books

To make books open access, a BPC (Book Processing Charge) can be paid. Note that possibilities for BPCs are not included in FinElib's or ÅAU library's agreements with publishers. Therefore, ÅAU has a BPC pool that can cover the BPC fee for opening ÅAU-affiliated authors' monographs. The same definition of affiliation applies as for the APC pool (see Who can apply? in the middle column).

For edited works, parallel publishing chapters applies according to the publisher's instructions. The BPC pool also does not finance the opening of individual chapters.

Selection criteria for the BPC pool

The BPC pool can cover BPC costs when the publication meets the following criteria:

  1. Publication type: The book is a peer-reviewed monograph (C1 according to the universities' funding model). For peer review, the definition of The Ministry of Education and Culture (available in Finnish only) applies in the first place. The peer reviewers are independent in relation to the manuscript being reviewed, i.e. are not the editors of the publication. The BPC pool does not support opening edited works or individual chapters.
  2.  Jufo classification: The book publisher and/or book series has Jufo (Publication forum) level 3 or 2.
  3.  Secondary aspects such as sustainability and equal access can also be considered: Sustainability and equality aspects refer to special justification for why the work should be opened, e.g. that a central readership does not have access if the book is closed.

How to apply

Send information to openscience@abo.fi about

  1.  author(s) of the monograph, as well as information about affiliation
  2.  publisher, series and work title of the work,
  3. an estimate of costs (in euros, including VAT). When it concerns co-authored works and the authors are affiliated with Finnish universities, the costs are primarily shared between the authors' home organizations.
  4. any other sources of funding, e.g. project funds or the possibility of shared costs between universities.
  5. an estimate of when the work will be published.
  6. which alternatives to open license are available. The publication should receive an open license (preferably CC-BY 4.0, if no other is offered CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND is accepted).
  7. possible justification regarding sustainability and equality aspects.

In the overall assessment, both the criteria above and the BPC costs are taken into account. Individual assessment is made on a case-by-case basis. The evaluation group consists of the Chief Librarian, the Vice Rector for Research, and the Leading Coordinator for Open Science.


Please contact openscience@abo.fi