Open access

Frequently asked questions about open access

We answer your frequently asked questions about open access.

RCNi open access enables authors to pre-pay to make the final authoritative version of their journal article freely available immediately on publication online.

Which journals offer open access publishing?

All our journals offer this option: Nursing Standard, Cancer Nursing Practice, Emergency Nurse, Learning Disability Practice, Mental Health Practice, Nurse Researcher, Nursing Children and Young People, Nursing Management, Nursing Older People and Primary Health Care.

When will I be given the option to pre-pay for making my article freely available online?

You will be asked to indicate whether you would like to pay for providing access to your article online when your paper is accepted for publication. You will be asked to sign an appropriate licence as part of the submission process, with a default to the exclusive licence to publish if payment is not forthcoming.

Will the payment of a fee influence whether my article is accepted for publication?

All manuscripts submitted to journals published by RCNi will receive the same fair, thorough and fast peer-review process. Reviewers will not know whether an author has opted to pre-pay for access. You will be asked to indicate whether you wish to opt to pay only after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

How much will I have to pay?

If you or your organisation has a current subscription to the appropriate journal at the time the manuscript is accepted, the fee is £1250 + VAT.

The fee for authors from organisations that do not hold a current subscription to the relevant journal is £1,500 + VAT.

Is this the true cost of publishing my article?

No, this is currently subsidised heavily by the traditional reader-pays (subscription) model.

Are there any additional charges?


What if I cannot pay?

If you cannot afford to pre-pay for access, your article will be available through the reader-pays (subscription) model.

Will publication of my manuscript be delayed if payment is not received by the time it is accepted for publication?

RCNi endeavours to keep handling times to a minimum. The processing of your article will not be delayed in any way by a failure to pay; however, the final version of your accepted article will not be made freely available until payment has been processed. It will be available through the reader-pays (subscription) option.

How will readers know which articles have pre-paid access?

Such articles will be clearly identifiable with the ‘Open Access’ icon in the journal’s contents page and on the article itself.

How will RCNi open access affect my copyright?

Articles of authors who opt to pre-pay for access will be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commerical Licence (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is cited appropriately and is for non-commercial purposes only.

If your funder mandates a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), RCNi is happy to comply with this. A CC BY license permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is cited appropriately.

How can authors use RCNi open access articles?

You and your co-authors are entitled to post a PDF of the final version of your article, the version of record*, on your own or institutional website, or to free public servers, in whole or in part according to the terms of the licence.

What happens to my copyright if I do not pre-pay for free access?

RCNi does not require authors who opt not to pay to transfer their copyright, but does require the grant of an exclusive licence to publish.

All authors are free to use their accepted manuscript* for self-archiving in their institutional repository once the article has been published in the journal. It must be made clear that the author’s manuscript is not the version of record* and a link must be provided to the final version on the journal website. The journal and RCNi should be given the correct attributions.

What about authors from developing countries?

RCNi supports the Hinari Access to Research for Health programme, run by the World Health Organization and part of the Research4Life partnership. This means that countries in which many people are on low income can obtain free or low-cost access to journals. Access and further information is available at or email

*For definitions of article versions, see


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