Europe considers Open Access without APCs

6 June, 2023

According to a recent article in Nature, the Council of the European Union has recommended a ‘no pay’ academic-publishing model in which neither readers nor authors are billed for academic papers. Critics say that the plan could usher in a state-defined system that might stymie academic freedom and abolish an industry without considering who would pay for the alternative. Supporters, such as the German Research Federation, say the principles would lower the barriers to participation in academic discourse. “There’s a recognition that we need to move beyond the [article processing charge] APC,” says publishing consultant Rob Johnson. “The question is: just how is that done?”

In the development context, any move to provide open access ("free" in both senses of the word) while not forcing authors to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) is welcome, particularly in academic institutions where library funding is scarce and that cannot support their scholars and researchers in paying APCs.


Chris Zielinski

Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, UK and

Vice President, World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)

Blogs; and

Publications: and

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme, which supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. He is the elected Vice President (and President-in-Waiting) of the World Association of Medical Editors. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. He served on WHO's Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. He also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. Chris has been a director of the UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). chris AT His publications are at and and his blogs are and