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I am submitting my article to IEEE Access to get its rapid response (degree deadline time problem). I'm hopeful of their fee waiver/discount because I am student/unemployed as well as physically impaired. However, I am not sure if I would be definitely given the fee waiver/discount. What if I get acceptance of my paper from IEEE Access and find myself unable to pay the APC? Can the journal take any legal action against me?

Note: Application for fee waiver/discount to the journal cannot be lodged before submission/acceptance.

  • Why isn't your supervisor paying? Why don't you ask the editor? – Anonymous Physicist Aug 25 at 2:17
  • At the time of submission to IEEE Access, you need to agree on the statement that you will pay the APC if the paper has been accepted. By the way, I remember that as a student, you may avail some discount, need to ask the EiC. – user199 Aug 25 at 2:36
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No, they won't/can't take legal action. The worst that could occur is that they won't accept the paper. Nothing to worry about beyond that.

But if you are a student, explore with your university whether they have funds to pay the fees. Some will be able to do this and others not. If you are working with a professor perhaps s/he has grant money that will pay such fees also. It is worth asking.

Not all journals will have liberal forgiveness policies, but some do. Just ask and be prepared to state your case.

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Understand what APCs are and why they exist. Traditionally journals have made money from subscriptions. In this model there are no APCs, and the reader pays for access to the article. Today there's a movement towards open access, where the author pays and the journal makes the article available for free. Both types of journals exist right now.

If you can't pay the APC, you can:

  1. Find the money somewhere. Ask your professor or library, if you have one.
  2. Ask for a waiver. Tell the journal you can't afford it and see if they're OK with giving you free open access. You will need to demonstrate you indeed cannot afford it.
  3. Submit to a non-open access journal.

If you can't pay the APC they won't take legal action against you, but they won't publish your article.

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