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Scholarly Communication: Open Access Fund


Northwestern Open Access Fund

The Northwestern Open Access Fund is a 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. The Fund will help cover an article processing charges (APC) to publish in open access journals if a Northwestern author does not have other sources to pay these charges.

The gold open access journal model publishes all of a journal’s articles as open access and allows for freely available access immediately upon publication. The Fund policy also stipulates that there be no embargo on any part of the content. The funding is modest and is intended to pay for article processing costs and not costs for peripherals, such as images, or color enhancement of images. The Northwestern Open Access Fund is available for authors who do not have other sources of funding to cover publication costs, such as research grants, or departmental funds. There is a limit of up to $3000 per award per author for each fiscal year (September through August).

Please note: we are no longer accepting applications for the 19/20 fiscal year.

Questions may be submitted via email to Northwestern Open Access.



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


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 constitutes an acceptable open-access journal?

Any peer-reviewed journal that meets each of the following criteria:


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 digital copy of their article with one of the official Northwestern libraries. 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 intramural 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 up to $3,000 per Northwestern researcher per fiscal year. As funds allow, exceptions will be considered for requests above this annual cap.


Fund Size

In any given year funding is limited and may be adjusted at the discretion of the Northwestern University Libraries. 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 at this time, but the support and impact of the fund will be evaluated on an annual basis during the normal budget cycle.


Who is currently funding the Northwestern Open Access Fund?

The fund is supported by the Northwestern University Libraries.


Who will administer the fund?

The fund is administered by a group of scholarly communication experts in the libraries, and funds disbursed by the libraries' acquisitions department. Please note: we are no longer accepting applications for the 19/20 fiscal year.



For more information contact us at Northwestern Open Access.

Digital Scholarship Services

Northwestern University Libraries


John Dorr
Head, Digital Scholarship Services

Cunera Buys
Data Management Librarian

Josh Honn
Digital Humanities Librarian

Liz Hamilton
Copyright Librarian