1 July 2024: The Editorial Publishing & Policy Resource is scheduled to be archived. This page may not contain the most updated version of the information and is being retained for reference until 1 August 2024. 

Please refer to the Cochrane Library editorial policy on open access and article sharing.

Immediate open access upon payment of an article publication charge fee. 

Via Cochrane's publisher (Wiley's) open access service, Online Open, authors and their funders have the option to fund individual articles, or groups of articles, to enable them to be published on an open access basis immediately, using a Creative Commons licence.

Article publication charge (APC)

The APC will depend on the status of the Cochrane Review; see Table 1.

Table 1. Article publication charge (APC)

Cochrane Review status

APC in US dollars

Cochrane Review or Update$5250
Cochrane Review if APC paid for Protocol$2625
Cochrane Review Update if APC paid for Cochrane Review$2625

The version of the article that will be open access immediately is the new citation version, as identified by the unique digital object identifier (DOI). If gold open access is purchased for an update, the previous versions of the review will be free to view as per green open access. Only the gold open access version will receive the benefits of gold open access; it will be free to access immediately upon publication and will be licenced via a Creative Commons licence (see Table 2).

Licence for publication

Authors paying an APC for gold open access will sign a licence for publication form that reflects the open access nature of the article (see Licence for publication: open access). Authors retain copyright and grant The Cochrane Collaboration an exclusive licence to publish the article, and can choose either a CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-ND licence, which defines the terms of use (see Table 2). If authors are funded by RCUK or Wellcome Trust, a CC BY licence is available on request.

Table 2. Description of gold open access licences

Type of licence


(Attribution, non-commercial)

“This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.”

(Attribution, non-commercial, 
no derivatives )

“This license [allows] others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.”

Source: creativecommons.org/licenses/ (accessed 12 March 2012).

Article sharing (repositories)

Gold open access articles will be deposited automatically in PubMedCentral and in other repositories, as determined by funder mandates, on behalf of the authors. Authors retain the right to deposit the article in other repositories of their choice or as required by their funder (see Article sharing for further information). The PDF version to be deposited is set out in the licence for publication forms

Waivers and discounts

An author from a Research4Life Group A or B country (https://www.research4life.org/access/eligibility/) who is the first author of a Cochrane Review, Protocol, or Update is eligible for a waiver for the APC, provided funding for the Cochrane Review does not include funds for the APC. Qualifying authors should contact their Managing Editor before signing the licence for publication form. (Further information for Managing Editors.)

Funders should contact Deborah Pentesco-Murphy (dpentesc@wiley.com; Publisher, Wiley) to discuss discounts, such as the block purchase of APCs.

How and at what stage in the article's development is payment made for immediate open access?

Authors should contact the Managing Editor to discuss open access as early as possible and before the authors sign the licence for publication form. (Further information for Managing Editors.)

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