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What is open access?

Open access content is made freely available to under the terms of a Creative Commons licence. Open access publication is usually subject to payment of an article processing charge (APC) paid by the author, institution or funding body. 

At Sage, open access publication is available through three routes: gold open access journals, hybrid open access (Sage Choice) and green open access archiving

What is a gold open access journal?

Gold open access journals publish all of their content open access under a Creative Commons licence. Most gold open access journals charge an article processing charge (APC) payable by the author, institution or funding body. 

Work submitted to gold open access journals is subject to the same rigorous peer review process as in Sage’s traditional subscription journals. Most journals are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and each journal’s peer review policy is outlined in the journal’s manuscript submission guidelines, which can be found on the individual journal’s website on Sage Journals.

What is hybrid open access (Sage Choice)?

Hybrid open access (Sage Choice) is the option to make an article published in a traditional subscription journal open access.

This is an opt-in service whereby the author, institution or funding body pays an article processing charge (APC) which allows the article to be published under a Creative Commons licence.

How do I request hybrid open access (Sage Choice)?

Email, providing the journal name and article ID or title. 

What is green open access?

Normally, this refers to the archiving of the final accepted version of the authors manuscript, with all referees’ comments addressed and revisions made, but before it has been typeset during the production process. 

For more information, please see Sage’s green open access policy.

Why should I publish open access?

Authors choose to publish open access for a variety of reasons:

  • To meet your funder’s open access policy requirements. Many funding bodies require research conducted with their funding to be published open access and may also require research to be published under a particular Creative Commons licence. To find out more, see our funding bodies and compliance page.
  • Greater control over rights to distribute and re-use work. Under a Creative Commons licence, authors retain more control over rights to distribute and re-use their intellectual property. See the Creative Commons website for details of the terms of each available licence.
  • Leads to greater visibility and impact. Publishing your research open access means that more people can view and cite your work due to their being no barriers to access. 
  • Allows the general public to access research. Research is often paid for by the taxpayer and the general public have a right to access this research.

How do I submit my paper?

Each Sage journal has its own Editorial office and its own Manuscript Submission guidelines. To submit your article, go to the list of Sage journals, search for the one you wish to submit to, click on the Manuscript Submission guidelines tab to get details on how to submit your article. For help finding an open access journal, use the Sage Journal Recommender – enter keywords and the title of your manuscript to search over 1,000 Sage journals and compare those most relevant for your research. Search results can be limited to those participating in Sage Path, a service that helps you quickly and easily find, submit, and get published with the right Sage journal.

What is a Creative Commons licence?

Creative Commons licences allow authors to retain copyright of their work while allowing others to copy, distribute and make some uses of their work. The most common is the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) and the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) licences. 

Your funder may require that you choose a particular licence. To find out more about this, see the funding bodies and compliance page.

What is an article processing charge (APC)?

An article processing charge (APC) is a fee charged to enable an article to be made open access on publication. APCs can vary journal to journal, so be sure to check the journal’s individual website to find out the current APC. 

For gold open access journals, the APC is payable after acceptance of the article and before publication.

For hybrid open access (Sage Choice) the article can be made open access on publication or can be requested to be made open access after publication. Find out more in the Sage Choice FAQs.

Why is there an article processing charge (APC)?

Although accessing open access research is free, there are costs at every stage of the publication process. This includes but is not limited to running peer-review systems, copyediting and typesetting, hosting the article in perpetuity on dedicated servers and marketing. Article processing charges support these costs. 

How do I use my institution’s open access prepaid account (OAPA)?

Some institutions hold open access prepaid accounts (OAPAs) with Sage. 

If you need to use your institution’s OAPA, you should obtain your OAPA code from your institution’s librarian and enter it in the payment system when payment is requested.

Are there discounts available?

Some authors may be eligible for discounted APCs.

  • Institution and consortia deals. Sage has deals with some institutions and consortia that allow affiliated authors to be eligible for discounted rates. To find out if you are eligible, see the publisher deals pages.
  • Low-income countries. For gold open access journals, authors affiliated with selected low-income countries may be eligible for discounted rates. For more information, see Sage’s discount policy
  • Editorial board members. If you are an editorial board member of a gold open access Sage journal, you may be eligible for a discounted rate of the APC for publications in that journal. Contact the editorial office for details.

Is tax included?

Tax is not applicable unless the payer is located in:

  • Australia: Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be added to the final invoice. Providing a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) will allow an institution or company to be exempt from paying this tax.
  • Canada: Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) will be added to the final invoice (dependent on province).
  • Switzerland: Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to the final invoice.
  • United Kingdom: Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to the final invoice.

What should I do if I cannot pay the article processing charge (APC)?

If you cannot pay the APC, consider publishing in any Sage subscription journal and depositing the article in your institution’s repository under Sage’s green open access policy

If you wish to publish in a gold open access journal, check if you are eligible for any discounts. Some journals may consider waiver or discount requests - see our waiver and discount policy for more details. Please note that discount and waiver requests should be submitted immediately upon article submission.

Do gold open access journals print?

Most gold open access journals are online only.

How do I find open access articles online?

You can find open access content on Sage Journals by using the Advanced Search and filtering for open access content only. 

How do I cite an open access article?

Each open access manuscript is citeable using the date of the manuscript's first online posting and the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). DOIs are assigned to all Sage content for use on digital networks and the metadata associated with that content is registered with the DOI Foundation. DOIs provide a consistent, permanent way to identify manuscripts published in the online environment. 

Some open access journals will still publish ‘issues’ so information such as volume, issue, and page numbers will still be allocated to articles. With continuous publication, where there is no issue or page number, manuscripts should be cited as follows:

David Pauleen, John Campbell, Brian Harmer, Ali Intezari (2015). Making Sense of Mobile Technology: The Integration of Work and Private Life. Sage Open. DOI: 10.1177/2158244015583859

Each article DOI is registered with CrossRef, allowing permanent resolution to each article and giving publishers the ability to link their references to articles whenever they are cited.


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