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Open Access Publishing Fund

The Open Access Publishing Fund helps UCSF authors cover open access publication fees when other funding is not available.

Applicant Eligibility

The Open Access Publishing Fund is made available by the Library to UCSF faculty, postdocs, students, and other researchers so that their scholarly articles and books may be openly published for all to access. If you or your research team have grant funding or funds through your department to cover your publication costs, please use those funds to pay your publication charges. This will help ensure that funding goes to authors without these resources.

Eligible Applicants

Current UCSF personnel and students with the following titles who do not have funding to pay for OA publication charges may apply for funds once an article or book has been accepted for publication and before it is published:

  1. Faculty in any series and at any rank (Instructor, Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor). Volunteer faculty are not eligible.
  2. Professional Researcher
  3. Postdoctoral Scholar
  4. Clinical Fellow
  5. Resident
  6. Academic Coordinator
  7. Staff
  8. Graduate Student
  9. Professional Student in the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, or Pharmacy
  10. Librarian

Each application must have a sponsor from one of the series listed above. An awarded application will constitute that sponsor's allocation for the calendar year (journal article) or for two years (book). Only one application may be submitted per eligible publication. See amounts covered below.

As of July 1, 2020, the person sponsoring a funding request for a journal article must also be the corresponding author. The corresponding author can be someone who is no longer at UCSF, provided that the work being reported was conducted at UCSF and the author's UCSF affiliation appears in the article.

UCSF researchers are encouraged to include a line item for open access article or book processing charges in future grant proposals. Many funders, including the NIH and the Gates Foundation, cover such costs.

Publication Types & Amounts Covered

  1. Open access journal article processing charges (APCs):
    • Up to $1,000 per article in a journal that only publishes open access content. The journal and article must also meet the publication criteria below. Please review these criteria before submitting your application.
    • Hybrid open access journals are not covered. Hybrid OA journals are subscription journals with optional, paid open access articles. For more information on this decision see FAQ #7.
    • The corresponding author on a journal article must sponsor the award application, and only one award can go towards a publication.
    • Eligible authors may be awarded funds toward one open access article per calendar year or one OA book every other year, pending funding availability.
  2. Open access books:
    • Up to $5,000 to publish a monograph as open access. This amount is based on the UC author rate to publish a book on UC Press' Luminos platform. 
    • Eligible authors may be awarded funds toward one OA book every other year or one open access article per calendar year, pending funding availability. OA books costing $1,000 or less may be funded once per calendar year.

Publishing discounts are available to UCSF and UC authors from several publishers and should be arranged with the publisher. In addition, UC has comprehensive OA publishing deals with several publishers for articles with a UC corresponding author. Payment for covered articles should be handled directly with these publishers and not through this fund.

Publications that otherwise meet the publication criteria below but that charge to download file formats other than HTML will be funded at up to half the amount in the respective category.

Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sales tax does not apply in California to open access publication charges since it is non-tangible property (see Sales and Use Tax). This fund will not cover sales or VAT taxes if the publisher mistakenly charges them. Authors should ask publishers to remove any such taxes.

Publication Criteria

Journal Article Criteria

  1. The article must be published in a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal that is fully open access immediately upon publication. Journals where OA is optional (hybrid subscription/OA) are NOT eligible - see how you can share these articles openly and freely with UC's Open Access Policies.
    • Any article type is eligible for funding, so long as the manuscript is peer-reviewed.
    • Embargo periods for open access are not covered.
  2. The journal must be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. If your journal is not in DOAJ, ask the editorial contact if it has already applied to DOAJ (or is planning to if it's a new journal) and include their response in the notes with your application.
  3. The article must be published under a Creative Commons attribution license (CC BY). CC BY licenses open the content for public consumption and allow the author to retain copyright and others to re-use and redistribute the published material with attribution to the source.
    • Preferred licenses are CC BY without any restrictions and CC BY-NC (non-commercial), in keeping with OASPA's licensing guidelines.
    • More restrictive licenses with ND (no derivatives) and SA (share alike) may be funded, but authors are encouraged to select or request the less restrictive licenses (see why). 
    • Publishers that use a license functionally equivalent to CC BY and CC BY-NC will also be considered.
  4. The journal and its publisher must follow professional and ethical publishing practices in alignment with the OASPA Membership Criteria. Beware of questionable publishers and journals that do not follow ethical practices for peer review and author copyright. See our guidelines for evaluating publishers

Journals covered by a comprehensive UC OA publishing deal, including Elsevier, JMIR, PLOS, and Springer Nature, should be handled through that deal and not through this fund. See UCSF OA Publishing Discounts and UC-Publisher Relationships for details about all publishers with existing agreements.

Book Criteria

  1. Books must be peer-reviewed and edited.
  2. The book must be made freely accessible at the time of initial publication. Embargo periods for open access will not be covered.
  3. Book publisher must apply policies and practices consistent with the OASPA's Membership Criteria.

For reference: Criteria for evaluating publishers

Reporting & Feedback

Names of award recipients and information about publications funded will be included on this web site and in reports and announcements about the fund. Your feedback about this fund is important for our evaluation, so we will send an occasional brief survey to funding recipients.