A few months go I published an article in an American Institute of Physics journal in the traditional subscription format. While this journal offered an open-access option with an agreement with my university library, for whatever reason at the time of submission I did not elect this option.

Today I have recieved an email that my institution has paid an article processing charge and the article is now open access. Is this common? I am more than happy for the article to be open access, but I find it odd that I was not contacted.

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    "for whatever reason at the time of submission I did not elect this option." what was the reason? Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 2:16
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    Yes this happened to me, just means there was some Open Access deal which they weren't aware of at the time and they have since contacted the university who has agreed to pay under that deal.
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


I suspect your university has come to some publishing agreement with the journal (or more likely the publisher more broadly) that covers open access fees directly, and the agreement is broad enough that it has covered your published articles retroactively.

I can only guess, but if I'm right I bet your library could tell you that's the case.

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