This is the "UCSC Open Access Fund Pilot
Overview" page of the "Open Access" guide.
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Last Updated: Aug 11, 2014 Guide URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

UCSC Open Access Fund Pilot Overview Print Page

UCSC Open Access Fund Description

Beginning in Fall 2012, University of California campuses launched a pilot open access funds program. Providing author applicants meet the eligibility requirements outlined in this guide, the UCSC Open Access Fund will pay open-access publication charges for journal articles by university authors who do not have grant funds available to cover them. Eligible charges include Article Processing Charges (APCs) for both fully open access journals and for hybrid journals (in which an author pays to make a single article openly accessible within a journal that charges subscription fees). 

The California Digital Library (CDL) and UC campuses are providing the funds in order to support UC researchers interested in reshaping models of scholarly publishing. Campuses will track how the funds are spent, and the success and sustainability of the pilot will be evaluated. The chief goals of the program include fostering greater dissemination of the work of University of California scholars and encouraging faculty control of copyright. This is part of the larger effort within UC to change what has become an unsustainable scholarly communication system.


Who Can Apply

UC Santa Cruz faculty, researchers, lecturers, post-docs, and currently enrolled graduate students who do not have grant funds that can be used for open access charges are eligible to apply for funds from the UCSC Open Access Fund pilot.

Graduate students must be currently enrolled at UCSC as of the date they apply for the funds, but need NOT be an 'enrolled graduate student' by the time open access funding has been granted. Articles must be accepted for publication no later than the end of the graduate student's final academic quarter as a UCSC student to qualify for funding. Author affiliation must be listed as 'University of California, Santa Cruz'.

Whether grant funds can be used to cover open access charges will vary by funding agency and grant. BioMed Central has compiled a partial list for funders of biomedical research. For other disciplines, check the policies of your granting organization. If in doubt, contact the granting organization. UCSC researchers are encouraged to add open access fees or article process charges to their future grant proposals.

We also ask that new faculty who still have library startup funds available consider using those funds instead to allow others to share in the benefit of open publication.



Q: When does the pilot begin and end?

The pilot began Fall Quarter 2012 and will be evaluated after 12-18 months.

Q: Is this related to the faculty-initiated Open Access Policy for the University of California?

No, it's unrelated. This pilot will pay the costs of publishing new research in open access journals, and involves funds provided by CDL and UC campuses, administered by campus libraries. On July 24, 2013, the UC Academic Senate passed the Open Access Policy which is focused on open access archiving regardless of place of publication.

Q: Where is the money from the fund coming from?

This effort is partially funded with money from CDL, and the rest is from funds donated to the University Librarian's discretionary fund. We chose to move forward with this pilot in order to get experience with an alternative funding model, and we expect that it will give us valuable information about the costs faculty may incur and for which they need support if more journals move to an Article Processing Charge financial model.

Q: How much do Open Access charges cost?

It varies dramatically depending on the journal and the publisher. Many do not charge authors fees (e.g. Open Humanities Press journals); some charge hundreds of dollars (e.g. SAGE Open is $695); others charge thousands (Wiley journals are $3000). For more examples, see this list at the Berkeley Library website.


Eligible Charges

The UCSC Open Access Fund pilot funds can be used to cover article publication charges (APCs) or Open Access Fees (OA Fees):

  • For previously unpublished articles
  • In fully open access journals (in which all articles are openly accessible) or in hybrid open access journals (in which the default is for articles to be available only to subscribers, but authors may pay to make individual articles open access)
  • Where articles are made immediately available, with no embargo period

The UCSC Open Access Fund pilot will not cover:

  • Color charges
  • Page charges (exceptions may be made for fully open-access journals)
  • Illustration fees
  • Submission charges

We encourage UCSC authors to choose journals published by organizations that are members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association and adhere to its code of conduct. If you have a question about a journal or publisher, contact us.


Funding Caps

$3000 is the maximum any one applicant may be awarded in one calendar year. The person who completes the application form will be considered the applicant for that article.

The UCSC Open Access Fund will cover a maximum of $3000 for any one article in a fully open access journal—journals in which all articles are published open access. Some examples include PLOS journals in the sciences (particularly biology and medicine) and SAGE Open in social sciences and humanities. To search for open access journals, use the Directory of Open Access Journals.

The pilot Fund will cover a maximum of $1500 for any one article in a hybrid open access journal. Hybrid journals charge readers a subsciption fee, but allow authors to pay a fee to make a single article open access. The UC-OAF Pilot is funding articles in these journals at a lower level because they represent a model in which a publisher is getting paid twice for the same content, and this seems a less effective route toward transforming scholarly communication.

To see a selective list of open access publishers—fully open and hybrid—and their associated fees, visit this UC Berkeley list.

To see a list of UC Discounts on Article Publication Charges for Open Access Journals, visit this list at the UC Scholarly Communication site.


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