UCSB Open Access Publishing Fund

The UCSB Open Access (OA) Publishing Fund supports authors who want to make their research open to readers immediately upon publication. Eligible authors will be reimbursed for article processing charges (APCs) for articles published in eligible journals. Criteria are outlined in the Guidelines below.

The OA Fund is supported and administered by the UCSB Library. The purpose of the Fund is to cover the cost of APCs in open access journals so that no UCSB author who desires to publish open access is disadvantaged by the lack of funds to cover relevant fees.  The Fund draws on monies that were added to the Library’s acquisition budget through the Chancellor’s Library Initiative for the purpose of addressing inflation in library material costs and to support new needs. Funding open access publishing is a rapidly changing landscape.  Therefore, the Fund will be assessed annually for effectiveness, fairness, and sustainability.

The UC Academic Senate Open Access Policy implements what is known as "green OA." That is, authors continue to publish in their journals of choice and, according to the Policy, after an article has been published, UC authors are granted the right to upload the final author's version of that article to eScholarship, UC’s OA repository. The UCSB OA Fund supports the publication of articles in “gold OA” journals. Gold OA means that all articles in the publication are made freely available to the public immediately upon publication. In order to make articles free to all readers worldwide, many gold OA journals charge article (or author) processing charges (APCs). Those charges are eligible for reimbursement through the UCSB Open Access Publishing Fund.

Guidelines for the OA Publishing Fund

Who is eligible?

Any UCSB employee or currently-enrolled student, who is a corresponding author and has had an open access article or conference paper accepted for publication, is eligible to apply for reimbursement of an APC. If the corresponding author is no longer affiliated with UCSB at the time of the paper’s acceptance, another UCSB author may be reimbursed for the APC.

What publication venues are eligible?

The publication venue must be a gold open access journal or conference proceeding. Publications must be made freely available at the time of initial publication, without any embargo periods. Journals that have a hybrid model (i.e., subscription journals with optional open access at the article level) are not eligible.  The final author version of articles and papers published in hybrid journals and proceedings may be uploaded to eScholarship.

To be eligible for reimbursement by the UCSB OA Fund, an article or conference paper must be published in a journal that meets these additional requirements. Please review the publisher's FAQ and policy pages, where necessary:

What fees will the Fund reimburse?

The Fund will reimburse the full article processing charge (APC). Page charges will be supported by the Open Access Publishing Fund only if the article or conference paper is published in an eligible publication venue.

How do I apply and when?

The Fund covers articles and conference papers that have been accepted for publication in an eligible publication venue. Reimbursement or payment requests must be submitted within three months of publication. Payment options include: reimbursement to an eligible author; or interdepartmental transfer; or direct billing by the publisher (The author is responsible for providing the Library with the invoicing details.)

Note: University of California authors are eligible for APC discounts from some publishers. To ensure you are being billed the correct amount, consult Publishing Discounts.

Additional Considerations

Is there a cap on reimbursement?

No.  The average gold journal APC is still well below $2000, which is below a typical cap for an APC fund. Having no cap simplifies the administrative overhead both on authors and the Library in managing the fund, as well as simplifying work for authors in making payments and obtaining reimbursements.

Why aren’t articles in hybrid journals covered?

Under the hybrid model, subscription journals offer authors the option to pay a fee (an APC) to make their article open access, while the journal remains a subscription-access journal. Thus, publishers are collecting fees twice (“double-dipping”), once through library subscriptions and then again from author-paid APCs. The hybrid model, therefore, inhibits the incentives for publishers to transition to a sustainable open access publishing model. The UC libraries are prepared to subsidize APCs for hybrid open access if the publisher and UC have negotiated an “offset” deal (AKA “transformative” agreement), whereby any growth in open access publication fees are offset by corresponding reductions in subscription charges.

What about monographs?

We recognize that there is interest among many faculty members in open access monograph publishing. The issues and economics associated with open access monographs publishing are quite different, however, than those for articles. Although the Fund is not providing subventions for the cost of open monograph publishing at this time, the Library will continue to explore the possibility of adding monographs to a future iteration of the Fund. The UCSB Library does currently support open access book publishing through our UC Press Luminos, Open Books Publishers, and Language Science Press memberships, and through our Punctum Books Partnership.

Anticipated demand and cost

Under UCSB’s pilot OA Fund (2013-16), 50 APCs were funded, totaling $84,000. The cap was $3000 per APC and the average APC payment was $1681. The pilot OA fund was supported by one-time funding from the California Digital Library, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, and the Academic Senate.

Given the continued increase in the number of high-quality OA journals and growing researcher interest in publishing open access, it is anticipated that demand will be substantially higher for this OA Fund than it was during the 2012-2016 pilot. We ask that authors with sufficient funding from grants or contracts not apply.  We encourage researchers to include a line-item for open access publishing on future grant proposals.

For questions or concerns, email openaccess [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu.

Application Form

Reimbursement and Payment Request Form