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Open Access Publishing Fund

The Open Access Publishing Fund provides funds to UCSF faculty for publishing journal articles and books under an open access model.

Applicant Eligibility

Because this fund is limited, please only apply for funds if you do not have an alternative funding source such as grant or departmental funds that can be used to cover open access (OA) publishing fees. This fund is made available to help defray OA publication charges to UCSF faculty without other funding.

Current UCSF faculty in the following series are eligible to apply for funds, provided they do not have another source for paying open access publication charges. See the Faculty Handbook (pp. 1-6) for series descriptions:

  • Professor
  • Professor in Residence
  • Professor of Clinical X
  • Health Sciences Clinical Professor
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Professional Researcher

Faculty may be at any rank within the series (Instructor, Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor). Volunteer faculty are not eligible for funds.

UCSF personnel in all other categories (e.g. students, postdocs, and staff) may apply on behalf of a faculty co-author. Each application must have a sponsor from one of the six series listed above. An awarded application will constitute that faculty member's allocation for the year (journal article) or for two years (book). See amounts covered below.

UCSF researchers are encouraged to include open access article processing charges (APCs) in their grant proposals. Many funders, including the NIH, cover such costs.

Publication Types & Amounts Covered

  1. Open access journal article processing charges (APCs):
    • Up to $2,000 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.
    • Note that hybrid open access journals are no longer covered.* Hybrid OA journals are subscription journals with paid open access articles. For more information on this decision see FAQ #7.
  2. Open access books:
    • Up to $5,000 for author or institutional charges 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. 

Only one author per publication may apply for funds. Eligible faculty may be awarded funds toward one open access article per calendar year, or towards one OA book every other year, so long as funds are available. OA books costing $2,000 or less may be funded once per calendar year.

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 under Paying Sales or 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.

*Change effective February 5, 2016.

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. Embargo periods for open access are not covered.
    • Any article type is eligible for funding, so long as the manuscript is peer-reviewed.
  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 either an unrestricted CC BY or CC BY-NC license. These Creative Commons attribution licenses open the content for public consumption and allow the author and others to re-use and redistribute the published material with attribution to the source.
    • Eligible licenses: CC BY and CC BY-NC. The preferred license is CC BY without any restrictions, but CC BY-NC (non-commercial) articles are also eligible for funding.
    • Non-eligible licenses: CC BY-NC-ND and CC BY-NC-SA. Licenses that include ND (no derivatives) and SA (share alike) are not eligible (in keeping with OASPA's CC BY guidelines).
    • Publishers that use a license functionally equivalent to CC BY and CC BY-NC will 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

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 Code of Conduct.

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 invaluable to our evaluation, so we will send a brief survey to all participants.