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Open Access Publishing Fund

The Open Access Publishing Fund has been shut down. It previously helped UCSF authors cover open access publication fees when other funding was not available.

Applicant Eligibility

NOTICE: 8 April 2022: The UCSF Open Access Fund has officially shut down, since the funds are over-committed for the fiscal year. The Library will not be resuming the fund in the new fiscal year due to budget limitations. This does not impact publisher agreements that cover or discount open access publishing fees for UCSF authors. Those agreements remain active, and additional publisher agreements are forthcoming. See Fund Announcements for additional information.

Note changes to applicant eligibility below, effective 1 December 2021, and changes to reimbursements, effective 30 March 2022. The Open Access Publishing Fund is made available by the Library to the UCSF community so that their scholarly articles and books may be openly published for all to access and use. Authors are also eligible for open access funding support through multiple publisher agreements (which operate separately from this Fund) and may share a version of their published articles through UC's open access policies.

Applicant Eligibility - Journal Articles

  1. UCSF students and personnel with the following titles who do not have funding to pay for OA publication charges may apply for funds once an article has been accepted for publication and before it is published:
    • Professional Researcher
    • Postdoctoral Scholar
    • Clinical Fellow
    • Resident
    • Academic Coordinator
    • Staff
    • Graduate Student
    • Professional Student in the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, or Pharmacy
    • Librarian
  2. In addition to having one of the titles above, the author submitting the funding request must also be the first or co-first author listed on the publication (effective 1 December 2021)
    • The author may no longer be at UCSF, provided that the work being reported was conducted at UCSF and the author's UCSF affiliation appears in the article byline
  3. Only one application may be submitted per eligible publication - see amounts covered below and when to apply for funds
  4. The publication must also meet the publication criteria for journals described below and must not be covered by a UC-publisher open access agreement

Applicant Eligibility - Books & Book Chapters

  1. All UCSF personnel and students, including faculty and the categories listed above for journal articles may apply for funding towards publishing an open access book or book chapter.
  2. Only one application may be submitted per eligible publication - see amounts covered below and when to apply for funds
  3. The publication must also meet the publication criteria for books described below

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

Publication Types & Amounts Covered

Authors who meet the eligibility criteria above may receive:

  1. Open access journal article processing charges (APCs):
    • Up to $2,000 per article in a journal that only publishes open access content and that is not covered by a UC-publisher open access agreement. The journal and article must also meet the publication criteria below.
    • Hybrid open access journals are not covered. Hybrid OA journals are subscription journals that provide the option to pay to publish your article open access. For more information see FAQ #7.
    • The first 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 or book chapter per calendar year or one OA book every other year, pending funding availability.
  2. Open access books and book chapters:
    • 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. The book must meet the publication criteria below.
    • Up to $2,000 to publish a book chapter in an open access book.
    • Eligible authors may be awarded funds toward one OA book every other year or one open access article or book chapter per calendar year, pending funding availability. OA books costing $2,000 or less may be funded once per calendar year.

Additional details:

  • OA publishing agreements and discounts are available to UCSF authors from several publishers and should be arranged directly with the publisher.
  • Journals that otherwise meet the publication criteria below but that charge to access the PDF file will be funded at up to half the amount.
  • Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Sales tax does not apply in California to open access publication charges since they are 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 not be covered by a UC open access publishing agreement (includes BMC, Elsevier, JMIR, PLOS, and Springer Nature). All funding support through these agreements is handled through the publisher's platform and workflow. Check title lists for Elsevier (see column F) or Springer Nature to verify whether a journal is currently covered.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 use the published material with attribution.
    • 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.
  5. 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

Book & Book Chapter Criteria

  1. The book must be peer-reviewed and edited.
  2. The book must be freely accessible at the time of publication and be published under a Creative Commons (CC BY) open access license .
  3. The publisher must apply policies and practices consistent with the OASPA's Membership Criteria.

For reference: Evaluating Journals and Conferences

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.