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Scholarly Communication: Open Access Fund



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Northwestern Open Access Fund

The Northwestern Open Access Fund will help cover article and author fees to publish in open access journals, if a Northwestern author does not have other sources to pay these fees. The Fund is a pilot program to support Northwestern scholars who wish to make their journal articles openly available immediately upon publication, and to support gold open access publishers around the world. This pilot fund will also be used to assess the need for such a fund at Northwestern.

Northwestern University Library is initiating and will manage this pilot open access fund during the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years to support and promote gold open access publishing of articles by Northwestern authors. The gold open access model allows for freely available access to an online article immediately upon publication. The pilot policy also stipulates that there be no embargo on any part of the content. The pilot has modest funding to pay for article processing costs so that the article may be published as gold open access. The funding is available for authors who do not have other sources of funding to cover publications costs, such as research grants. There are limits on the amount and frequency of fund support.

To apply for support from the Northwestern Open Access Fund, please fill out this form. Questions may be submitted via email to Northwestern Open Access.


What charges does the fund cover?

Article processing fees or publishing fees. The fund does not cover submission fees or personal or institutional subscriptions or sponsorships.


What content types are eligible?

Articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed open access journals. Articles may not still be under review, they must be accepted.


Are any access restrictions acceptable?

The fund cannot be used to support "hybrid" open access publishing, or to cover publishing fees where an embargo is required. The hybrid model is used to make individual articles available in journals that require paid subscriptions to access the remainder of articles. 


What consitutes an acceptable open-access journal?

Any peer-reviewed journal that is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, or is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association and is published in a fully open access format based on a published schedule of article processing fees. [This language modified 2012-12-17: see updates section]


Who is eligible?

Faculty members, post-doc researchers, graduate or professional students and any staff who are authors of articles accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed, open access publication.


With what requirements must subsidized authors comply?

Authors must deposit a copy of their article with the library. The library will preserve and make these works available in an institutional digital repository.


What considerations are given to external funding?

Articles are not eligible if the research is funded by a gift or grant from an organization that allows funds to be used for APC, regardless of whether these were actually budgeted for or if the grant budget is exhausted, or if the research was funded by an organization that pays APC.


How are intermural collaborations handled?

Each author will be responsible for a prorated portion up to a total per-article cap of $3,000.


Are there restrictions for repeat usage?

The fund will provide $3,000 per Northwestern researcher per year. As funds allow, exceptions will be considered for requests above this annual cap.


Fund Size

The pilot open access fund is $20,000. Funding for articles that comply with the eligibility criteria will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


Date limit on fund/fund expiry date, if any

There is no date limit on the fund; money will be disbursed until the fund is exhausted. The impact of the fund will then be re-evaluated.


Who is funding this pilot?

The pilot is supported by the Northwestern University Library.


Who will administer the fund?

The fund is administered by a group of scholarly communications experts in the library, and funds disbursed by the library's ERaCA department. Request funding by filling out this form.



For more information contact us at Northwestern Open Access.



As members of the Northwestern community submit questions about the fund, these questions and their answers will be collected here.


Updates and changes to this fund information and parameters:
2013-12-17: In the section "What constitutes an acceptable open-access journal?" the word "or" was added to indicate that the journal must either be DOAJ listed or be a member of OASPA. Both are not required, but for non-OASPA members, staff reviewing requests must verify that the publisher is conducting business in a manner consistent with the OASPA Code of Conduct.

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