The Open Access Publishing Fund has reopened as of September 6, 2018. We are currently accepting applications for articles accepted in July 2018 or later. 

Apply via the online application form, or download a PDF application and return it via email, or as a paper document. If you have any trouble accessing the online application or the PDF, please email

It usually takes at least 1-2 weeks for us to process an application, but can take longer on occasion. It also sometimes takes a bit after the application has been approved, for payment to actually issue. Please expect the process to take up to one month, and feel free to communicate that to your publisher.

Please read ALL the information on this page before filling out your application!

Eligibility Basics

In order to be eligible for support, a work must be:

  • A peer-reviewed journal article, scholarly monograph, conference proceeding, or data set
  • Created by a University of Minnesota author (any faculty, researchers, post-docs, graduate students, or staff)
  • Fully openly available immediately upon publication (no "hybrid access" publications, no time-delays)
  • Already accepted for publication at the time of application for funding support.


The Open Access Fund is intended to support UMN authors who have no other non-personal funds available to cover publication costs. Authors who have any other funds available are expected to use them first.

The venue of publication and contributions of co-authors may affect what percentage of the fee can be covered, and additionally, there is a $2,000 yearly cap on funds to any individual author (which also applies as a limit to the amount of funding available for any individual article).

Instructions for applying

The application asks for basic information such as your name and contact information, and the title of your publication. It also asks for additional information:

Confirm that your work has been accepted for publication

We recognize that some authors would like to know that their costs will be covered before submitting a work for publication review. However, if we hold back funds for an article that is ultimately not accepted for publication, it might prevent an author of an accepted work from receiving timely support for her publication. We do try to process applications quickly, so if funds are still available when your work is accepted, and your work meets all the eligibility requirements listed, you will receive your funding support shortly.

If your work has already been published, you may retroactively apply for reimbursement of costs you paid out of your own personal funds. Works published within the last 12 months are currently eligible for support.

Document your publication venue's Open Access bona fides

The publication venue must be either:

  • listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (
  • a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (, or
  • it must adhere to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association Code (


One of these three standards must be met as a requirement for fund eligibility. The third option is a catch-all; if your publishing venue does not meet the first or second standard, reviewers will usually accept an assertion by the publisher that they meet the third standard. Reviewers may look at other qualifying factors for works that are not journal publications or conference papers.

Document your ability to deposit your work in a repository

It is a requirement for fund availability that authors will upload a copy of your work, after publication, to the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy or a recognized disciplinary repository (e.g., arXiv, AgEcon Search, PubMedCentral). If you do not have the right to post your work in one of the locations listed above, you will not be eligible for funding.

Many publishers allow authors to post copies of their papers online as a general policy. Check publisher or journal websites for this information, or SHERPA/RoMEO. Some publishers do not allow works to be shared online as a general matter – but you may still be eligible for support if the publisher will agree to a modified contract for you, one that allows you to repost online. (More information on Managing Your Author's Rights.)

Document the publication's Full Open Access status

“Hybrid” open access publications are those where only some of the content is freely accessible, and some requires a subscription or fee payment for access. Most often, authors will be offered an additional, optional fee to make their work open, in a publication that would otherwise publish their work only as a closed-access publication. The Fund previously supported portions of such fees, but as of April, 2016, does not do so any longer.

Where all content in a publication is freely available, the publication is fully open access. For fully open publications, the full amount of the open access fee (subject to the $2,000 per-year cap) is eligible for support.

Estimate UMN Author -work/effort- contributions

The UMN open access fund supports publications by UMN authors. Where a publication is jointly authored with contributors from other institutions, the Fund will cover a pro-rated amount based on the amount of work and effort contributed by UMN authors.


If there are co-authors who are working at a non-profit not affiliated with a research institution, or are working in a developing nation, we may be able to support their work as well as that of the UMN authors. Please let us know about such situations in your application, and we will follow up to work out details.

The baseline assumption is that each author has contributed an equal amount of the work (i.e. two authors contribute 50% each, three contribute 33.3% each, and four contribute 25% each, etc.) However, for works with large numbers of authors, or works with unusual authorial arrangements, contributions may not have been so evenly distributed, so we do accept a subjective estimate of the contribution by UMN authors as a percentage of the overall work. Where estimates significantly diverge from the baseline assumption of equal contribution, reviewers will ask for further information.

Certify the absence of additional research support funding or grant money

The Open Access Fund is for authors who do not have other funding options. Authors who have any non-personal funds available are expected to use them. Non-personal funds may include external grant money, but may also include money that supports sabbatical research, or for faculty getting established in a new department, or any other options that do not involve a direct out-of-pocket expense for UMN authors. If an author has limited funding, such that it doesn't cover the full open access fee, she is welcome to apply for support for the portion of the fee not covered by other funds. If other funds are available but their use to pay publication fees is explicitly prohibited, those funds do not count against eligibility for the Open Access Fund.

Many grant funders now require that works be published open access, and there are many publishing options that meet these requirements. Both grant funders that require open publishing, and others who do not have any formal position on it, may allow researchers to write open access publishing fees into a grant application. However, some research funders do not allow publishing fees to be included in a grant. The Open Access Fund encourages researchers to apply for grant funding of publication fees when available. In future, authors applying to the Open Access Fund will be asked to certify that they were not able to apply for funds to cover open access fees. [Jan 2017]

Provide the Open Access Fee amount

This fund does not cover page charges, or any other fees charged to authors that are not open access fees. Additionally, not all publications will be eligible for support for the full amount of the fee. Therefore, please do enter the full amount of the open access fee; reviewers will calculate any proration.


Once your work has been accepted for support, a fund manager will be in contact with you regarding payment. The fund manager can authorize payment directly to the publisher, or reimbursement of fees paid by a department account or personal credit card. The fund manager will need a copy of the publisher’s invoice to authorize any payment.

Examples of funding results

  • Two UMN authors and one non-UMN author collaborate to publish in a fully open journal with a total open access fee of $1200.
    UMN author contribution = 2/3
    Total support from OA Fund = $800
  • An article in a fully open access journal lists 6 authors, 4 from UMN. The open access fee is $2600.
    The primary author estimates the UMN contribution at 80%
    Since the "estimated contribution doesn't match well with the number of UMN authors, we request clarification, and the corresponding author clarifies satisfactorily.
    80% of $2600 = $2080, which exceeds the $2000 per application/article cap.
    Total support from OA Fund = $2000

These instructions are based on the full details of the fund as approved by the University Senate.

It usually takes 1-2 weeks to us to process each application. For help with your application, contact the relevant staff members ( at the University Libraries.

Questions or comments about open access issues at the University of Minnesota, and in general, can be directed to