University Libraries

Open Access Fund Application

Please visit the University Libraries' new Open Access site to apply. This site will be retired and removed by 2016.

Applications are currently on hold for the pilot of the Open Access Publishing Fund. Works have been reviewed only for whether they meet the eligibility requirements, and funds have been distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The initial pilot project is currently under review, and applications may open again in the future, pending availability of funds. (9/26/2014).

This page contains information for authors applying to the fund.

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 Nancy Sims.

Please read 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 time-delays)
  • (added January 10, 2013) Already accepted for publication

Instructions for applying (updated January 10, 2013)

The application asks for some basic information such as your name and contact information, and the title of your publication. But it also asks for some additional information which may need a little explanation. You will be asked:

To 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 below, you will receive your funding support quickly.

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 after September 2012 are currently eligible for support.

To document your publication venue's Open Access bona fides
The place you’re publishing must be either:

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.

To 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, that allows you to repost online.
(More information on Managing Your Author's Rights,)

To document the publication's Hybrid or 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 does support fees for hybrid publications, but only up to 50% of the entire open access fee.

Where all content in a publication is freely available, the publication is fully open access, and the full amount of the open access fee is eligible for support.

To 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.

The baseline assumption is that each author has contributed an equal amount of the work (i.e. each of two authors contributed 50%; each of three, 33.3%; each of four, 25%, 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.

To certify the absence of additional research support funding or grant money
Authors who have any non-personal funds available are expected to use them, and leave this Open Access Fund to support authors who do not have any other funding options. 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. Also, 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.

In future, if this fund is established permanently, authors will also be asked to certify that they were not able to apply for funds to cover open access fees – many grant-making organizations do allow open access fees to be part of grant proposals.

To 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.

To choose a preferred method payment
Applicants can request that payments be made directly to the publication, or as an employee reimbursement if the payment has already been made. Once approved, for all payment options, an invoice or statement of the necessary details must be provided.

Examples of funding results

  • Two UMN authors and one non-UMN author collaborate to publish in a hybrid open/toll access journal with a total open access fee of $1200.
    Maximum amount eligible for support in a hybrid journal is $600.
    UMN author contribution = 2/3
    Total support from OA Fund = $400
  • An article in a fully open access journal lists 16 authors, 11 from UMN. The open access fee is $1600.
    The full amount of the fee is eligible for support.
    The primary author estimates the UMN contribution at 75%
    Total support from OA Fund = $1200

These instructions are based on the full details of the fund as approved by the University Senate. For help with your application, contact Nancy Sims ( at the University Libraries.

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