Article Processing Charges or APCs are charged to authors publishing in Open Access. Due to the lack of subscription or reprint fees the article will generate for the journal or the publisher of the journal, these charges are meant to offset that. This may be part of requesting an author addendum as well.
If you are writing with grant funding, you may use those funds for article publication fees.
While APCs are sometimes considered pay to play publication schemes, due to the rise in Open Access Mandates they have become common with many larger publishers. Journals like Nature, Analytical Chemistry, and SAGE Open Nursing all charge APCs to authors who wish to publish in open access. The presence of an APC for open access publication is not necessarily suspicious.
Beware of journals that require you to pay for your APC before acceptance into the journal or will not disclose what those costs may be.
APCs are generally found under "For Authors" sections on journal websites. You can also find them under "Publishing options" depending on the journal. They might also give information about potential assistance with APCs that might help defray costs if you are an earlier career researcher.
If the costs will be more than you are willing to pay, finding another journal is always an option.
Reputable publishers will give you a number of options to pay for your APC. Please be careful of spoof sites to prevent fraudulent charges.
Marquette has some funds available to assist with APCs. You can request more information from the Office of Research and Sponsored programs.
A better alternative than paying for APCs is to avoid them by publishing in a journal that does not charge authors for Open Access.
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