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Gold Open Access for SPIE Journals

Open access makes publications available to readers at no personal or institutional charge.

All new articles published in SPIE journals for which authors pay voluntary page charges are open access immediately on the SPIE Digital Library. SPIE asks journal authors (and their employers or other funders of their research) to provide such support to enable SPIE to hold down subscription prices and maximize access to the research published in SPIE journals. Many authors and institutions provide this support and will now obtain open access for their articles by doing so.

Increasingly, employers and research funders require authors to publish their articles with open access and authors want to do so in order to expand the reach of their research. SPIE provides the benefit of immediate "gold" open access for all articles for which voluntary page charges are paid. In these cases, authors retain copyright and SPIE licenses these articles under the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY 3.0).PDF For more information about Creative Commons, please visit the Creative Commons Web site.Leaving site

Publishing with SPIE Open Access allows authors to comply with the Research Councils UK policy on open access that took effect on 1 April 2013.

SPIE recognizes that researchers have modest funds to cover publication expenses. The voluntary page charges will continue to be low: $100 per published two-column page (for journals with both print and online formats) and $60 per published one-column page (for journals with an online format only).

Comparative Open Access Publishing Cost:

SPIE Journals Other Journals
(equivalent length)
 10-page one-column article $600  $1350 PLOS One
 6-page two-column article $600  $1350 AIP Advances
 $1570 IEEE Photonics Journal
 $1750 IEEE Access
 $1760 New Journal of Physics
 $1849 Optics Express

Researchers may continue to publish their articles in SPIE journals if they do not pay page charges. This decision will have no impact on the review process or timing of publication for such articles. If they are accepted, these articles will be published under access control with the standard SPIE transfer of copyright.PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are the voluntary page charges for an average article in an SPIE journal?

If we cannot pay voluntary page charges, will SPIE reduce the charges for our article?

Does our decision about paying the voluntary page charges affect the review process or the decision about publishing our article?

What type of open access does SPIE provide in this program?

Letters articles published in SPIE journals were open access at no cost to authors. How will letters be treated now?

Review and tutorial articles published in SPIE journals have been open access at no cost to authors. How will SPIE treat reviews and tutorials now?

How will researchers know which articles are open access?

When must authors commit to paying voluntary page charges?

When do authors sign the SPIE license to publish?

How do authors pay the page charges?

When do authors pay the page charges?

With some articles open access, how will SPIE price journal subscriptions?

SPIE voluntary page charges are low compared to the article publication charges for open access in other journals in optics and photonics. How can SPIE afford to provide this benefit?


How much are the voluntary page charges for an average article in an SPIE journal?

In two-column journals (which have both print and online formats), the average article is 8 pages. At $100 per page, the total page charge for such an article is $800. These journals are:

Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Journal of Biomedical Optics
Journal of Electronic Imaging
Journal of Medical Imaging
Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS
Neurophotonics
Optical Engineering

In one-column journals (which have only online formats), the average article is 13-14 pages. At $60 per page, the total page charge for such an article is $780-$840. These journals are:

Journal of Applied Remote Sensing
Journal of Nanophotonics
Journal of Photonics for Energy

Page charges will be calculated on the actual length of a published article, so shorter articles and letters will have lower charges and longer ones will have higher charges.

Open access will be a benefit to authors who support SPIE journals by paying these low voluntary page charges.

If we cannot pay voluntary page charges, will SPIE reduce the charges for our article?

Authors who cannot pay the voluntary page charges may still publish their articles in SPIE journals at no charge. These articles will not be open access.

Does our decision about paying the voluntary page charges affect the review process or the decision about publishing our article?

No. Reviewers and editorial board members do not know the choice authors have made about page charges (and the authors may make their final decision after the article is accepted). Reviewers are asked to judge a manuscript on its quality only.

What type of open access does SPIE provide in this program?

SPIE recognizes that authors' employers and researcher funders are increasingly likely to support or require that their researchers publish in journals that provide full open access as provided in the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY 3.0).Leaving site SPIE publishes open access articles under this license. This license allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article; to adapt the article; and to make use of the article as long as the article is properly attributed. Certain rights are not affected by the license: The user's fair dealing or fair use rights or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations; the authors' moral rights; and rights other persons may have either in the article itself or in how it is used.

Letters articles published in SPIE journals were open access at no cost to authors. How will letters be treated now?

SPIE will continue to pursue rapid review and publication of letters in all journals. Letters will be published with immediate open access and a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY 3.0)Leaving site only if authors pay voluntary page charges (approximately $300-$360 depending on the journal and the manuscript length). Otherwise letters will be published under access control and covered by the standard SPIE transfer of copyrightOpens PDF.

Review and tutorial articles published in SPIE journals have been open access at no cost to authors. How will SPIE treat reviews and tutorials now?

Under the SPIE open access program, accepted review and tutorial articles will be made freely available to readers under standard SPIE copyright, even if page charges are not paid. However, in order to receive the full benefits of Gold Open Access attributed to the Creative Commons license, publication charges must be paid in full.

How will researchers know which articles are open access?

Every freely available article carries an "Open Access" icon and label on search results, on the journal's table of contents, and on the article/abstract page. However, not all articles with the "Open Access" icon are published under the Creative Commons license. Some papers, such as reviews and tutorials, will be freely available under SPIE copyright (see above). Each open access article has a footnote describing the publication license applicable to that paper.

When must authors commit to paying voluntary page charges?

Authors are asked about their intention to pay page charges when they submit manuscripts to SPIE journals via the online submission systemLeaving site. They may change their decision at any time during the production process by notifying journal staff.

When do authors sign the SPIE license to publish?

Upon acceptance, authors will receive an automated notification containing instructions about how to complete an electronic publication license online. At that time, authors must choose either the Creative Commons license or the SPIE Transfer of Copyright, based on their decision to pay publication charges or not. 

How do authors pay the page charges?

When SPIE sends the corresponding author the page proofs, SPIE will ask him/her to pay publication charges online or request an invoice for the page charges. 

When do authors pay the page charges?

Page charges should be paid as quickly as possible after an author receives the first author proof and knows the final page count of the article. Publication of the article proceeds whether the payment has been received or not. Payment is expected within 30 days of publication. If payment is not received within a reasonable timeframe, open access may be cancelled.

With some articles open access, how will SPIE price journal subscriptions?

Letters, reviews, and tutorials in SPIE journals have been open access. Authors also have the option of paying for open access for their research articles. These articles represent a small share of the research published by SPIE journals at this time. 

SPIE will adjust the prices for our journals each year as the number of articles provided under access control changes.

SPIE voluntary page charges are low compared to the article publication charges for open access in other journals in optics and photonics. How can SPIE afford to provide this benefit?

SPIE is a not-for-profit society that partners with researchers, educators, and industry to advance light-based research and technologies for the betterment of the human condition. As part of this mission, SPIE endeavors to disseminate research results in optics and photonics broadly. This program supports the SPIE mission by expanding access to the high-quality articles published in SPIE journals.

SPIE journals continue to be funded by both page charges and subscriptions from both institutions and members; subscription rates will change over time as the number of recent articles under access control changes.

Click on the following table for more details on this program and how it compares to typical open access programs of other journals:

Benefits SPIE Journal Open Access