Licensing and charges

Before Science Advances fully accepts a manuscript, authors must sign and submit a license agreement (PDF) that allows AAAS exclusive rights to publish and use their contribution. As an open access journal, Science Advances then asks authors to choose one of two Creative Commons licenses, each of which allows researchers to reuse the published content in specific ways. The CC BY-NC license allows users to use, distribute, or reproduce the article but solely for non-commercial purposes, provided the work is properly cited and the terms of the CC BY-NC license are followed. The CC BY license allows users to distribute, adapt, or reuse articles, including for commercial purposes as long as the work is properly cited and the terms of the CC BY license are followed. A CC BY license may be a funding requirement.

If you are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) council, or a cOAlition S member, you are required to select the CC BY license.  Please check with your institution or funding agency before selecting your license to see if a certain license type is required.

If your article is related to research on coronaviruses, including COVID-19, SARS or MERS, we ask that you please opt in to the “CC BY” license type and not the “CC BY-NC” license type unless organizational or funding restrictions apply. There is no additional cost to authors for doing so and the CC BY license ensures the widest possible use of your research to accelerate discoveries related to combating coronaviruses.

Science Advances is an online-only open access journal supported by article processing charges (APCs).

Effective for new manuscript submissions received on or after October 1, 2018: 

  • The base APC for articles published under a CC BY-NC or CC BY license is $4,500.


Science Advances utilizes RightsLink from the Copyright Clearance Center to process APC payments and issue invoices. As a non-AAAS product, a separate set of credentials is required for access. Payments must be made in U.S. Dollars (USD) and can be made by credit card or an invoice sent to the author. Additionally, payments can be split among authors. Please contact the business office for any payment questions.


Surcharges may apply for those authors whose articles are more than 15 final (galley) pages in length. In the event that additional space is necessary to properly convey findings or ensure reproducibility, the page-length surcharge may be waived at the discretion of the editor.


Science Advances assesses and collects tax on article processing charges (APCs). Tax is based on the customer location and is not applicable for all customers. Tax will be automatically added where applicable during the payment process.

Please note that AAAS considers that APCs are supplied to the authors and not to the employer, sponsor or any other funding agent. AAAS therefore charges VAT, or other local taxes, regardless of whether payments are made by the author, employer, sponsor, or any other funding agent.

As a supplier of services, AAAS is required under the Article 58 of the European VAT Directive (PVD) to account for VAT on our supply of article processing services to the author. As AAAS collects and remits the VAT, institutions that normally remit their own VAT payments can exclude this charge from their payments to any tax authorities; there is no need to account for these transactions when submitting any tax filings.  

Supporting Documentation:


One or more of the following APC discount options may exist for corresponding authors whose work has been accepted at Science Advances. Once a manuscript is tentatively accepted for publication in Science Advances, the corresponding author(s) will receive an email notifying them that their APC payment is due. This email will contain a link to the author charge page on RightsLink, the payment vendor’s e-commerce platform. The author should click this link and then sign in or register for a RightsLink account. The e-commerce platform is separate from our manuscript submission system (CTS) and requires its own set of credentials; the information entered into this account will be used to populate the billing statement. Once logged in to RightsLink, authors should select a license type (see “Licensing” above). Then to verify and apply any potential discounts, authors should click on the “Apply Discounts” button to open the discounts window and complete each of the following fields as applicable.

  • Country Discount – In most cases, AAAS automatically waives the entire APC of corresponding authors who have indicated they are from a country in the developing world (Research4Life / Hinari A & B countries).
  • Membership Discount – Authors who are AAAS members can enter their membership number to receive a 4% discount on APCs. Only one membership discount is available per APC. To join AAAS or to learn more about the benefits of membership, visit Benefits for AAAS Members.
  • Institutional Affiliation Discount  Science Advances offers APC discounts to corresponding authors affiliated with select institutions. To inquire about whether your institution receives a discount, please contact your Institutional Licensing Manager or email [email protected]. Authors from institutions that do have affiliation discounts can apply them using the “Affiliation Discount” search box when paying for their APC in RightsLink. In RightsLink, authors should select the correct institution name from the search results and click the blue “Apply Discounts” button to adjust the total amount due. Please note that the discount will be under the parent institution name rather than a department or sub-body. For example, the discount will be associated with “Learned University” rather than “Learned University, Department of Mathematics.”
  • Promotion Code Discount – In order for a promotion code discount to correctly apply, the author must enter the code as seen in a promotional email, flyer or conference program.

Note that once an APC payment transaction is completed, AAAS will not correct for any discounts not applied at the time of transaction.

Financial Hardship Discounts

If the APC is a financial challenge, please contact the Science Advances business office to ask for a financial hardship discount application. Authors anywhere in the world and in all fields may apply for a financial hardship discount. Please also note that financial hardship discounts may be sought at any point in the editorial workflow (pre-submission to acceptance) but are not granted until acceptance.


Should an article processing charge be paid but the article not published, the lead author should contact Science Advances’s business office for a refund.

Additional Questions

Please contact the Science Advances business office if you have APC, discount, or license questions.