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Gold Open Access for SPIE Journals

All SPIE journal authors have the option to publish their paper with open access on the SPIE Digital Library, making the paper available to readers at no personal or institutional charge. Open Access papers are published 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, so we keep the open access fee low: as of September 1, 2015, the open access fee is a flat fee of $960 for all standard articles and $660 for Letters.

Comparative Open Access Publishing Cost:

SPIE Journals Other Journals
$960 for a standard article  $1350 PLOS One
$660 for a Letter   $1350 AIP Advances
 $1350 IEEE Photonics Journal
 $1750 IEEE Access
 $2080 New Journal of Physics
 $1849 Optics Express

Authors may also choose to publish without open access at no charge. These articles will be published under access control with the standard SPIE transfer of copyright.PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the open access fee for an SPIE journal?

If we cannot pay the full open access fee, will SPIE reduce the charges for our article?

Does our decision about paying the open access fee affect the review process or the decision about publishing our article?

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

I wrote a review/tutorial paper. Do I have to pay the open access fee?

How will researchers know which articles are open access?

When must I commit to paying for open access?

When do I sign the publication license?

How do I pay the open access fee?

When do I pay the open access fee?

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

SPIE open access fees are low compared to the fees in other journals in optics and photonics. How can SPIE afford to provide this benefit?


How much is the open access fee for an SPIE journal?
  • $960 for standard articles (including regular research papers, special section papers, tutorials, reviews, opinions, technical notes, etc.)
  • $660 for Letters
If we cannot pay the full open access fee, will SPIE reduce the charges for our article?

There are no mandatory publication fees. If you do not wish to pay the full open access fee, you can still publish your paper in an SPIE journal at no charge. These papers will not be open access.

Does our decision about paying the Open Access fee 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 open access (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.

I wrote a review/tutorial paper. Do I have to pay the open access fee?

We know how much work goes into writing review and tutorial papers. As an acknowledgment of that effort, accepted review and tutorial articles will be made freely available on the SPIE Digital Library under standard SPIE copyright at no charge to the author. However, if you wish to receive the full benefits of the Creative Commons license, such as author ownership of the copyright and the right to repost on external repositories (e.g., Research Gate), then the open access fee 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 I commit to paying for open access?

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

When do I sign the publication license?

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

How do I pay the open access fee?

You can pay publication charges online or request an invoice for the page charges. 

When do I pay the open access fee?

Open access fees should be paid as quickly as possible upon acceptance, and at latest 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 open access fees are low compared to the fees 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 open access fees and subscriptions from both institutions and members; subscription rates will change over time as the number of recent articles under access control changes.