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It is wrong to charge both authors and subscribers for Gold OA content (commonly referred to as ‘double-dipping’). Double-dipping arises when:

  • A journal publishes Gold OA articles and the publication costs are paid for through APCs.
  • The journal also charges subscriptions and the subscription price has not been reduced to take account of the proportion of content that is Gold OA.


Our policy discounts the subscription price for a journal if that journal has received at least £5,000 in APC income and has published at least 5 per cent of articles on a Gold OA basis. The percentage of the discount is whichever of the following is lowest: the percentage of articles that are Gold OA; or the percentage of APC income. Discounts are calculated from the previous full volume year – for example, 2018 subscription price discounts are calculated in 2017 using 2016 publication data.

For determining discounts to 2019 journal subscription prices, the APC income threshold will raise to £5,250.

All Gold OA articles in hybrid journals are included in this policy, except those in supplements published in addition to a volume’s subscription content.

Subscribers already receiving a substantial discount on a journal’s subscription price – via a consortium package, for example – will not receive an additional discount on their collection access fee as a result of these changes.

The discounts applied to affected journals are indicated in our price list.

Here are some hypothetical examples to illustrate the policy:

Double dipping policy example