Basic Open Access information

What is open access?

Open access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access to, and re-use of, journal articles. This is different to free access because of the implications for re-use.

How will readers know which articles are available via open access?

Articles will be clearly labeled as open access. Any users therefore be notified when an open access article is published.

Which journals currently offer Open Access?

The majority of our journals offer the optional open access option. Please visit the individual journal homepages to see whether they offer an open access option.

Can I make my article open access after it has already been published under subscription control?

If the journal offers the option to publish under an Open Access license, please email us at [email protected] and we can arrange this for you.

What is the difference between “Free content” and “Open access” content?

Free content usually consists of editorial material such as tables of contents, covers, advertisements, etc.  These contents are not supported by article processing fees.

Open access content is technical in nature, peer reviewed, supported by article processing fees, and available to all.

What do the terms “green” and “gold” open access refer to?

Green” open access'' refers to the practice of depositing a version of an article in a repository. Usually, that article version is freely accessible to the public. For example, if an author posts the accepted version of his or her NIH-funded article to PubMed Central, that article is said to be available through green open access.

It allows authors to post the accepted (not final) version of their article to their website, employer’s website, or a repository specified by their funding agency. Authors may obtain the accepted version of their article.

“Gold” open access refers to articles that are freely available in their final form. Most gold open access articles are supported by article processing charges (APCs), rather than through subscriptions. APCs may be paid by the author, the author’s institution, or a funding agency.

Why should authors publish Open access journals?

It supports all authors and readers globally. That means being able to offer any author a publication venue that is compliant with their circumstances, regardless of their funding status, the publishing mandates they may have in place, or where in the world they may work.

An author may choose to publish in a traditional journal or in a fully open access journal.

There are many benefits of publishing scholarly research. Some reasons why some authors may choose to publish their research through open access depend on the unique circumstances and goals of the individual author. These reasons could include:

  1. Get Published More QuicklyOpen access titles follow a rapid yet rigorous peer review process, enabling authors to accelerate the sharing of their work to a broad audience. with the capability to get published in a matter of weeks with select fully open access titles.
  2. Share Your Latest Research with a Wide Audience Increase exposure and quickly reach millions of global users through the free access to research available immediately to all users.
  3. Satisfy OA Publishing Requirements – Authors using government research funding or university consortium funding may be required to publish in OA journals. Many institutions also encourage their authors to publish OA, and some provide funds to help authors do so.
  4. Multidisciplinary Research Scope – A topic that is inclusive of multiple technologies may be considered out of scope for some journals but might be perfect for a multidisciplinary title.

How does Author select open access?

Our author support team remains contactable via query portal or via the email address authors receive when their paper is accepted for publication. The team is responding to all authors on the same or next working day as usual. Please contact us by email or the query portal in the first instance.

How do I contact Author Support

Our author support team remains contactable via the query portal or via the email address authors receive when their paper is accepted for publication. The team is responding to all authors on the same or next working day as usual. Please contact us by email or the query portal in the first instance.

What is the open access publication charge?

Open access publication charges vary by journal. In order to check the details regarding the Article processing charges Fee waivers apply for authors in developing countries publishing in fully Open Access journals. Visit our Payment and Funding page for a list of qualifying countries. Open access charges are in addition to any normal (excess) page charges and color charges that may apply. Please check the individual journal’s Instructions to Authors pages for information regarding page and color charges.

What is publication misconduct?

Publication misconduct includes plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, inappropriate authorship, duplicate submission/multiple submissions, overlapping publication, and salami publication.

How does open access affect research and knowledge?

Scientific research shows that publishing in open access, because of the worldwide visibility without barriers, demonstrably leads to more citations and more impact. Businesses also have broad access to the most recent scientific ideas, which they can then build upon.

Article Processing Charges

What is an APC and what are authors paying for?

As costs are involved in every stage of the publication process, from administrating peer review to copy-editing and hosting the final article on dedicated servers, authors are asked to pay an article processing charge (APC) in order for their article to be published open access under a Creative Commons license.

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 what point do I need to pay the APC?

For fully open access journals, the corresponding author will be notified that payment is due upon editorial acceptance of their article. If the open access option is selected, the corresponding author will then be prompted to provide billing information.We advise prompt payment, as failure to provide payment information or to complete payment may lead to delays in publication.

How long do I have to make the payment?

Usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of original invoice. Invoices will be chased periodically, but if after 60 days no payment is received, the author will be contacted. Failure to pay invoices within the stated credit term may result in restrictions placed upon authors' ability to publish with Journals in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings. In the case of articles that Journals publishes on behalf of partners, the partner organization and, where appropriate, the journal editors may be notified of non-payment and will make a decision on what penalty to levy on the author. However, Journals recognizes that often authors do not pay the APC personally, and if an author's institution is to pay the APC, it may take some time for an invoice to be paid.

How will readers know whether articles are available via open access?

All open access articles clearly indicate that the article has been published as open access and are marked with Creative Commons licence text.

Are open access articles available in the print format of a journal?

Where journals publish a print version, open access articles are included in the print journal issue and clearly indicate that the article has been published as open access under a Creative Commons license.

How will you ensure that the payment for publication charges by authors has no influence on whether an article is accepted for publication?

All manuscripts submitted to journals that offer an open access option will continue to be subject to the same rigorous process of editorial consideration and peer review, thereby ensuring that the high standards the community has come to expect from the journal are maintained. In hybrid access journals, the editors of the journal will not be involved in correspondence with authors regarding payment of open access charges for their article. Instead, the author charge system will be administered by the publisher, OUP, only after manuscripts have been accepted for publication. In this way authors should be reassured that their ability to pay publication charges will not influence editorial decisions.

When will I be given the choice to pay a publication charge that will enable my paper to be freely available online?

Upon acceptance of your paper you will be required to sign a license/consent form to publish online. As part of this process you will be asked to indicate whether you would like to publish your article under an open access license and pay the associated charge.

When are APC prices reviewed?

Our APC prices annually to ensure our pricing remains consistent and fair for our authors, across our entire open access portfolio. Prices are updated to be reflective of the costs involved in publishing journals, promoting the final research, and the investment being made in improving systems to deliver a superior and sustainable service to the research community.The APC price will usually be determined from the date on which the article is accepted for publication.

Do I have to pay if my manuscript is rejected?

No, The actual amount of an article processing charge varies depending on the journal in which an article is published. The invoice is sent for article processing charges (APCs) if a manuscript has been accepted for publication. The acceptance of a manuscript is based on the outcome of the Editorial and peer-review procedure. The final decision as to whether a manuscript will be accepted for publication or rejected is made by the Editor-in-Chief of a journal or the Guest Editor of a Special Issue.

I'm trying to pay the invoice online, but I’m getting a payment error. What should I do?

Please check which of the following two problems you are encountering:

  • Page does not load at all?
    If you are unable to access at all, could you try once more with a different web browser (if available), or try to disable any Add-ons in your browser which might be blocking the transaction?
  • Page loads, but after continuing, the payment is not executed after entering credit card?
    If the page returns an error after entering the credit card details, your card provider may have blocked the transaction. To resolve this issue, you would need to contact your credit card provider. It might be because of a limit per transaction.

If you are unable to resolve the issue, please see our Payment Instructions for alternative payment options.

What if I accidentally pay more or less than the invoiced amount?

If your initial payment was incomplete, another invoice will be issued to you for the remaining amount.
In case you accidentally pay more than invoiced by JoPC, please contact us at [email protected] and we will refund the overpaid amount, minus any bank or transaction charges.


My article has been accepted but I have not received a pdf proof to check

It can take between 2 and 6 weeks, from receipt of your article at Journals for proofs to be sent out. If you have still not received a proof after this time please check your spam filter and then contact [email protected] Your article might not yet have been submitted for production by the journal’s editorial office, there may be a problem with the email address you supplied, your server may be rejecting the pdf proof, or there may be other reasons for the proof being delayed.

Note that for most journals the proofs will only be sent to the corresponding author.

In what format will my proofs be sent to me?

The corresponding author will be sent an email with a link to a proof. A covering note attached to the proof will include full instructions on what you need to do with the proof and a link to the author publishing agreement and copyeditor queries (if appropriate).

I have just received my proof, what do I do?

You must now check your proof. If you have received a pdf proof, you will need a pdf reader such as Adobe Reader to view your proof. 

The email you have received includes full instructions for proof reading as well the contact details of the relevant proof collator. Please follow these instructions carefully in order to avoid delays in publication.

It is your responsibility to check your proof very carefully at this stage. Errors not found may appear in the published journal. Please ensure you answer all author queries received with your proof. Please note that this is not the time to rewrite large sections of your text. Corrections must be confined to typographical errors only.

How can I contact the journal’s content manager?

The proof notice you receive will give details of your content manager. If you have any queries prior to proof stage then email the journal’s editor whom you have dealt with to date or [email protected]

Your content manager can help you with any questions you may have about production matters. but if you have any queries about corrections to your proof then please contact the  content manager through [email protected]

Author Corrections

How do I mark my corrections?

For the majority of journals, we ask that you mark your corrections electronically by annotating the PDF. Instructions for commenting on PDFs can be found here. [link: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/commenting-pdfs.html]

Some journals ask for a list of corrections to be submitted via email.

Do not reply to the email proof alert or directly to the typesetter. If you have any queries about your proof please contact the proof collator.

When do you need my proof corrections?

We generally require your corrections within 2 to 4 working days. Please check the instructions sent to you with your proof for the deadline and details of where to send your corrections. It is important that you attend to your proof as soon as possible so that publication is not delayed.

You should return your proof as soon as you can even if this is after the deadline has passed. However, if you are away for any significant time, you should nominate a co-author to check the proof for you, or if this is not possible please email the proof collator to let them know when you may be able to return the proof.

 I have received a proof and see that my article has been changed after it was accepted. Why has it been changed?

After an article is accepted, it is copyedited to ensure it conforms to the journal style. Usually the changes are not major. If major changes are required the article will be referred back to the journal’s editors. If you believe that changes have been made which are inaccurate then please clearly mark the corrections you require.

What is a DOI?

The DOI (digital object identifier) is a string of characters which together uniquely identify a published article. The DOI is permanently assigned to an article, and provides a persistent link to current information about that article, including where the article, or information about it, can be found on the Internet. It enables readers to find the article on the Internet irrespective of any subsequent changes in the website structure, in the management responsibility of the journal in which it was first published, or the location of the website on which the journal is hosted.

For more information about DOIs, see www.doi.org or www.crossref.org.

Can I create a web address to my paper using the DOI?

To convert a DOI to a web address you need to add a prefix to the DOI. For papers published on STM use the url prefix http://dx.doi.org/

for example,

 assuming your paper has DOI as follows:


Your web address will then be:


You can use the url string within any documents you write, or you can simply copy and paste it into your browser.

My article is now online. When will it appear in an issue?

Each journal has its own policy for including articles in issues and what goes into each issue is usually the journal editor’s decision. Many journals also have large forward loads of articles waiting for inclusion in an issue. Issues are generally compiled about 6 to 8 weeks before the issue cover date. However, online publication confirms that an article is published and it can confidently be cited as such.

 I’ve looked at the latest issue of your journal and several articles are included which were published online after my article. Why was my article not included in the issue?

When scheduling articles for any particular issue, the journal editor and/or content manager take a number of things into account, including date of submission, date of acceptance, date of online publication, subject balance or theme in an issue, and also length (every journal has a strict annual page budget, and we try to get as close as possible to this). When making the final selection of articles for an issue, date of online publication has to be balanced against all these other factors so may not always be the prime consideration

 My article was published in a 2021 issue but the copyright date on the first page is 2020. Is this an error?

The copyright date of an article always matches the date an article was first published. As many of our journals publish online ahead of issue publication, individual articles are published online as soon as they are corrected. It can easily happen that an article may not appear in an issue until some months later, possibly the following year. In these cases the journal’s year of publication will not match the copyright year stated, and this is entirely correct.

What is accepted manuscript publication?

Some journals offer accepted manuscript publication. A PDF version of the accepted manuscript (a manuscript that has completed peer review and editorial acceptance but has not been copyedited or typeset) is published online ahead of FirstView. An accepted manuscript PDF is published within four days of the manuscript being received by Cambridge University Press, allowing authors to make their work available to read and cite much more quickly. The accepted manuscript will eventually be replaced with the final copyedited and typeset Version of Record.

Submissions, Review and Publication

How do I submit a manuscript?

Please click here for a successful submission.

Are there limitations on manuscript length or numbers of figures?

No, there are no limits on manuscript length or numbers of figures in journal articles.

Where are articles indexed?

All published articles are indexed widely by services such as Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar and others.

How do I comment on a published article?

Journals feature an online commenting system that all readers, authors and editors are encouraged to view and use; comments are visible directly on the article. Simply sign in or register and get started.

Copyright Licenses

What Open access license types are available to authors?

All open access articles are published under either the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) or the Creative Commons Attribution, Non Commercial, No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND), in which the copyright remains with the author.

What is a CC-BY license?

Creative Commons licenses such as CC-BY are used by many academic publishers. The CC-BY license grants the most liberal reuse rights of all commonly used OA licenses. It allows users to distribute, reuse, modify, and build upon work as long as proper attribution to the original article is provided. Works published with a CC-BY license may be used for commercial purposes.Some funding agencies require grant recipients to publish with a CC-BY license. Authors should verify with their funding agency before selecting 

What is the CC BY-NC-ND license?

The CC BY-NC-ND is similar to the CC-BY license, in that authors are allowed to retain copyright to their work, and end users may reuse the work, provided that they credit the original author. The end user does not have to obtain permission from the authors to reuse the work, but the reuse cannot be for commercial purposes or change the work in any way.Some funding agencies require grant recipients to publish with a CC BY-NC-ND license. Authors should verify with their funding agency before selecting their copyright license.

At what point does an author select an open access license?

After an article has been accepted, the corresponding author will be prompted to complete the electronic copyright form. If an author is publishing OA, the author will be asked to choose either the CC-BY or CC BY-NC-ND license.

Who should authors contact if they have more questions about STM’s open access policies and procedures?

Authors with questions or concerns should contact [email protected].