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Our open research policies

Read about our gold and green open access policies, processing charges and licensing. Find out how you can share and reuse your open access research and the licenses available.

Green open access/self-archiving policy

Emerald operates a zero month embargo across all of its journals; for more information, please see our author rights page.

Gold open access policy

If your funding body or institution requires you to make the version of record (also known as the branded publisher PDF or the final/official version) fully and freely available immediately upon publication, you can choose to publish your article or book via the gold open access route. This typically involves payment of an article processing charge (APC), chapter processing charge (CPC) or a book processing charge (BPC) – exceptions are listed below.

The gold open access route complies with mandates from funding bodies around the world, such as the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For example, payment of an APC (in the case of hybrid, fully open access journals and Emerald Open Research), guarantees that the article is made open access upon the official date of publication. All gold open access articles and books are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction of the content in any medium, providing that the original author and source are credited. 

How do I pay to make my article or book open access?

As a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), we subscribe to its code of conduct.
If you are the corresponding author, once the article, chapter or book has been accepted, we will send you an invoice for the APC, CPC or BPC. This invoice can either be paid by you directly or by arrangement with the relevant funding agency or academic institution. Invoices should be paid within 28 days via BACS / electronic transfer or cheque only. 

If you would like to make your article or book gold open access and you haven’t previously agreed to do so with your funding body or institution, you should check with your institutional APC/CPC/BPC administrator (prior to submission) to ensure they have the money available to help.

Please note, payment of an APC or BPC is independent of, and holds no bias over, the editorial and peer review processes operated by the Emerald Open Research, journal and book teams.

APC payment exceptions:

  • If your manuscript is accepted by one of our platinum (sponsored) fully open access journals you will not be asked to pay an APC. Publishing costs are covered via sponsorship or subsidies. 
  • If you are based in a location classified as a low or lower-middle income country by the World Bank, you may be eligible for an APC waiver or reduced APC rate. See our APC waiver policy below.
  • A number of organisations have established partnerships with us to cover the costs of an agreed number of gold open access articles from their regions. You can view a list of these on our Funded APCs page.

There are a number of ways you can publish gold OA with Emerald; all our journals offer a gold OA option, our Emerald Open Research platform is fully gold OA, or you can publish a gold OA book. To find out more about the options available, visit our Open Research page.

Fully Open Access (Sponsored) – also referred to as 'Platinum Open Access'

Our Sponsored Open Access journals, also commonly referred to as ‘Platinum Open Access’, are published in partnership with organizations such as universities and associations. There are no charges for the author for these sponsored publications.

Article processing charge (APC) waiver policy

Emerald is committed to making open access accessible and inclusive to all and support publication of research from low-income countries. This is why we invest in a waiver programme that allows authors from these countries to publish their work in our fully open access titles either without charge or with a 50% discount.

Our fully open access titles include Emerald Open Research, the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management and the Journal of Mental Illness. 

Emerald has a dedicated annual fund to support publication of open access research from low or lower-middle income countries in our fully open access journals and on our Emerald Open Research platform.

Who is eligible for an APC waiver? 

  • Corresponding authors based in countries classified by the World Bank as ‘low’ income are eligible for a full waiver.
  • Corresponding authors based in countries classified by the World Bank as ‘lower – middle’ income, and which have a 2018 gross domestic product of less than 200 billion US dollars, are eligible for a 50% waiver.

A full list of eligible countries is provided below (World Bank: July 2019).

World Bank low income countries eligible for a full APC waiver
Afghanistan Guinea-Bissau Sierra Leone
Benin Haiti Somalia
Burkina Faso Korea, Dem. People's Rep. South Sudan
Burundi Liberia Syrian Arab Republic
Central African Republic Madagascar Tajikistan
Chad Malawi Tanzania
Congo, Dem. Rep Mali Togo
Eritrea Mozambique Uganda
Ethiopia Nepal Republic of Yemen
Gambia, The Niger  
Guinea Rwanda  


World Bank lower- middle income countries eligible for a 50% waiver of the APC
Angola  India  Papua New Guinea 
Bangladesh  Indonesia  Philippines 
Bhutan  Kenya  São Tomé and Principe 
Bolivia  Kiribati  Senegal 
Cabo Verde  Kyrgyz Republic  Solomon Islands 
Cambodia  Lao PDR  Sudan 
Cameroon  Lesotho  Timor-Leste 
Comoros  Mauritania  Tunisia 
Congo, Rep.  Micronesia, Fed. Sts.  Ukraine 
Côte d'Ivoire  Moldova  Uzbekistan 
Djibouti  Mongolia  Vanuatu 
Egypt, Arab Rep.  Morocco  Vietnam 
El Salvador  Myanmar  West Bank and Gaza 
Eswatini  Nicaragua  Zambia 
Ghana Nigeria Zimbabwe
Honduras Pakistan  


How to apply for a waiver 

To apply for a waiver, please indicate your eligibility when you submit your article. If you would like to check your eligibility in advance of submitting, please contact [email protected]

Open access refund policy (APC/CPC/BPC)

Prior to publication, a refund may be awarded in the following circumstances: If there is a reason the article can’t be published; for example, on the advice of our legal team, we may decline the article and refund the APC.  

Once the article has been published, we are unable to offer refunds in the following circumstances: 

  • Article retraction or article removal: If the rare situation arises that we need to retract or remove an article (e.g. due to an issue of publication ethics or breach in author warranties).
  • Article withdrawal: If for any reason an author decides to withdraw their paper prior to publication.
  • APC vouchers: Emerald has established partnerships with libraries and consortia to cover the cost of an agreed number of open access articles via an APC voucher scheme. Eligibility for an APC voucher must be highlighted prior to publication of an article. Emerald is unable to refund the APC to eligible authors following publication. 
  • Publication delays: If, despite our best efforts, publication of an article is delayed due to editorial or author changes. 
  • Circumstances beyond our control: If publication is delayed or not fulfilled due to circumstances beyond our control, for example natural or other disasters.
  • Availability of articles on third party platforms. While we do our best to provide third parties with the metadata and APIs required to host open access articles on their platforms, we cannot guarantee they will post or display it. Emerald is unable to refund the APC If they fail do so. 

For further information or enquires regarding Emerald’s APC refund policy please contact [email protected]

Retrospective open access policy

We allow you to change the OA status of your article post-publication. Requests need to be made within 3 months of official publication or within the same volume year, whichever period is the longest.

To make a request, please contact [email protected]

Emerald journal double dipping policy

We are committed to ensuring that customers do not pay twice for the same content, so-called 'double dipping', and we work closely with consortia, libraries, funding bodies and authors to support open access through sustainable models. In line with that commitment, Emerald's journal subscription prices are based on the number of subscription articles only – we don’t charge our subscribers for open access articles.

Both collection and individual journal subscription pricing is dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, increases in the number of journals, articles and issues, changing costs and other economic factors. It is therefore important to note that any adjustments made for open access content may not always result in an absolute price decrease.

A number of our individual journals serve niche communities and, therefore, publish low volumes of articles, making pure APCs an unsustainable business model. For this reason, for individual journals, if more than 5% of the articles or more than 3 articles (whichever is greater), are published as gold open access in a single journal volume, the list price for that title will be adjusted proportionately the following year (based on data from the previous three years).

If a journal approaches the 5% or more than 3 article threshold, if possible, the journal will publish more accepted articles from its backlog (articles which have been accepted by the journal, but are awaiting publication) to ensure that subscribers receive maximum value for the content they have subscribed to.

We do allow articles that were previously published as subscription articles to be made Gold open access retrospectively under special circumstances. Find out more information on our retrospective policy.

Where open access revenue (received from APCs) accounts for a lower percentage than the percentage of open access content in a given volume, we will reduce the list price by the proportion of revenue, rather than the proportion of content.

We offer both funded and unfunded authors routes to publish open access, including green and sponsored OA models. We continue to work with our stakeholders and communities to explore progressive solutions that deliver sustainable open access and support all disciplines.

Open data policy

There are many good reasons to provide readers of your article with free access to the analytical code and data underlying your findings. Sharing data brings a number of benefits which is why we encourage authors to do so,  It can:

  • Enable research to be reproduced
  • Reduce duplication of data collection and processing efforts
  • Increase the impact of your work
  • Aid new research
  • Increase the credibility of the findings

If you do decide to share it, the first step is to select an appropriate research data repository you can upload it to. This might be one run by your own institution, or it might be a third-party platform such as Dryad, Figshare, Open Science Framework, Zenodo, UK Data Service ReShare, OpenICPSR, or Qualitative Data Repository. The repositories will provide you with a citable DOI (digital object identifier) which should be included in your submission. Further repositories can be found on the Registry of Research Data Repositories (Re3Data).

If you are publishing via Emerald Open Research, we ask that the data underlying the results is made available so that other researchers can analyse and use it, and so they can try to reproduce your results. Exceptions can only be made in very specific circumstances where there are issues with regards to data protection or security risks, and where the data cannot be suitably anonymised.

A few important points:

  • In the acknowledgments or first footnote of any manuscript you submit to Emerald, you must let readers know whether they will be able to access the data, analytic methods, and study materials associated with your work (i.e. state whether or not you will be making them openly available).  
  • If you have decided to share them, you must also specify where the material can be accessed.
  • We encourage responsible data sharing; if your dataset contains information that an organisation might consider confidential, or it identifies an individual or company and you don’t have their consent, please liaise with your institution before uploading the data. In addition, if your dataset could be considered the property of someone else, you will need their permission before uploading it to a public repository.

Maximise the impact of your research by following best practices when sharing data; for example, compile a data dictionary listing the variables involved. 

Please note: We support the guidelines laid down in the concordat to support research integrity, developed by Universities UK, which state that there should be: "Transparency and open communication in declaring conflicts of interest; in the reporting of research data collection methods; in the analysis and interpretation of data; in making research findings widely available, which includes sharing negative results as appropriate; and in presenting the work to other researchers and to the general public."

To fabricate or manipulate data is fundamentally wrong and a breach of research integrity. Please be aware we may review data or request the original data files: if there is reason to suspect that the data is not plausible, we reserve the right to reject that paper. If that is the case, we will closely follow the principles outlined on the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) website.


Open research at Emerald

Find out about our open access options, why open research is important, the benefits you can gain from publishing open access, and much more.

Open research at Emerald

Emerald Open Research

Discover our gateways on Emerald Open Research, offering research aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Visit our EOR platform

Got a question?

Visit our open research FAQs, where we have answered some frequently asked questions about open research.

View our open research FAQs