CytoJournal is published by an independent publisher BioMed Central, which is committed to ensuring that the peer-reviewed biomedical research is Open Access. Since its launch, BioMed Central has graciously supported the processing of all the articles published during CytoJournal's first 6 months. However, for long term viability, CytoJournal has to achieve financial viability to support publication expenses. From 1st March, 2005, authors will be asked by the publisher to pay a flat article-processing charge. This editorial discusses how a significant proportion of authors may not have to pay this fee directly under a variety of different mechanisms such as institutional and society memberships with BioMed Central.