Open Access Publishing Fund
The University Libraries offers financial support to eligible members of the Mason community to offset the costs of publishing in scholarly open access (OA) journals that charge author fees. Complete and submit the Open Access Publishing Fund (OAP Fund) application on the University Libraries’ website to apply for funds. Please read the following journal eligibility requirements before applying. Contact Claudia Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Most OA publications do not require payment because the host institution or a society absorbs the burden of cost. However, one OA business model currently practiced transfers the costs of publication from the end-user or an intermediary (i.e., the subscription model) to the producer (i.e., author). In this model, access to online articles is free of pay barriers, hence its label as “open access” content.¹ Users may print-out or electronically share these articles without payment and with no restriction.
To that end, the Open Access Publishing Fund at Mason supports four broad goals:
- To encourage publication in scholarly open access journals.
- To reduce financial barriers to scholarly research,
- To disseminate scholarship produced at George Mason University as widely and immediately as possible, and
- To foster research and artistic collaboration among and between scholars at Mason and throughout the world.
Fund Details and Guidelines
For the current fiscal year (2014-2015), the University Libraries has established a fund of $25,000. Monies will be used to underwrite some or all of an article processing charge (APC) required by a reputable open access publisher (defined below).
Individuals eligible to apply for publisher payment of an APC may receive up to $3,000 per fiscal year, with a $3,000 cap per article. Financial support will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds are not distributed according to an individual’s affiliation with a particular school, college, or department. Nor is it the intention of this fund to endorse specific OA publishers or publications.
Criteria used to select an OA journal in which to publish mimics those to choose a traditional, subscription-based journal. That is, research the journal’s review process, reputation in the discipline, impact factor (or similar metric), and acceptance rate. In addition to the appropriateness of the subject content, these criteria may have bearing on the decision to submit to a particular journal.
Requirements must be met by a journal for an individual to apply for OAP funds. The journal must:
- Be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org),
- Hold membership in the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (www.oaspa.org/members.php) or demonstrate adherence to its Code of Conduct (www.oaspa.org/conduct.php),
- Publish its standard fee schedules, and
- Waive its article processing fee in cases of financial hardship, as evidenced by its public policy.
Journals or publishers listed in Beall’s List of predatory scholarly open-access publishers require greater scrutiny by authors and the University Libraries. The plethora of open access journal titles, and attendant indiscriminate manuscript solicitations, invites caution before entrusting one’s research and reputation with a publisher.
Authors may wish to publish in a journal that offers the option of paying a fee to make a subscription-based article immediately and freely available online (i.e., the “hybrid” model). Support for a hybrid journal’s optional open access fee will be considered if:
- the publisher is a non-profit society or institution,
- access to the journal’s proprietary content is available only through subscription with the society or institution and not through a for-profit aggregator like Proquest, Ebsco, or Elsevier,
- the fee and its use are clearly indicated on the journal or publisher website, and
- the fee is waived for authors from developing nations or those with demonstrated financial hardship.
Who is eligible?
- Any Mason faculty member
- Registered graduate students
- Post-doctoral fellows
An individual whose article has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed open access journal in which the article is immediately available online is eligible to apply. To apply, an author must complete and submit:
- an OA Publishing Fund application,
as well as submit:
- a letter of acceptance from the publisher,
- a copy of the manuscript indicating affiliation of each author on the paper, and
- a copy of the publisher’s invoice for the article processing fee (may not be immediately available).
Send these items electronically to:Claudia Holland Head, Scholarly Communication and Copyright Office email@example.com 703-993-2544
Applicants will be notified of funding approval. Payment will be made directly to the publisher within five working days, or as soon as possible, upon receipt of an official invoice from the publisher. The University Libraries cannot reimburse an author.
Fees are pro-rated for multi-authored articles. That is, if more than one author from Mason applies for funding support for the same article, the article processing fee will be divided equally, up to the $3,000/article cap. Authors not affiliated with Mason are not supported. Consequently, a publisher’s invoice must indicate what portion of the fee George Mason University will be paying on behalf of the submitting Mason author; this is a Virginia state accounting requirement.
Faculty members who receive grants from sources that allow funds to be allocated for open access publication are asked not to apply to the OAP Fund. Researchers receiving support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, among others, are permitted to use grant monies to underwrite open access publication of their findings. Contact Claudia Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mason’s Office of Sponsored Research for assistance, as needed.
OA publishing subsidies may be available through discretionary departmental or college/school funds, as well. Monies from the OAP Fund may be combined with those from a department, college, or school, or personal funds.
Authors who receive support, please include this statement in your acknowledgements: Publication of this article was funded in part by the George Mason University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund.
MARS Submittal Requirement
Authors who are supported by the OAP Fund are expected to deposit the article (“version of record”) in Mason’s digital repository, Mason Archival Repository Service (MARS), upon publication. Please send the article link to Claudia Holland (email@example.com) for this purpose.
1. “Open access,” as defined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative, means “free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”