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Open Access Author Fee Fund Policy


Eligible Publications

The venue of publication must be an established open-access journal, that is, a journal that does not charge readers or their institutions for unfettered access to the peer-reviewed articles that it publishes. To be eligible, a journal must meet these additional requirements:

The ULS has an institutional membership with BioMed Central. The ULS’ memberships allows for eligible authors to publish in BioMed Central journals free of author charges by using our institutional code once your application has been approved.

Authors who publish in BioMed Central journals should complete and submit an application form for the ULS’ records and to obtain the code. ULS will provide you with the code for the University of Pittsburgh account. Articles that are submitted through this account and go on to be published in BioMed Central journals will have the author fees waived. It is important that authors always contact the ULS prior to submitting an article to a BioMed Central journal because the waiver of author fees is not retroactive. The ULS will not reimburse any author fees that have already been paid by an author.

Journals with a hybrid open-access model or delayed open-access model are not eligible. Any authors who are unsure as to whether or not a particular journal is eligible should contact the ULS prior to submitting an article for publication.

Eligible Authors

Funds are available for faculty, staff, postdoctoral associates, and students served by the ULS and the BARCO Law Library. This includes those at all of the University of Pittsburgh schools except the six schools in the health sciences: Dental Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health. Any authors who are unsure as to whether they are an eligible author should contact the ULS prior to submitting their articles to publication.

For authors in the Health Sciences…

Eligibility for this program is limited to faculty in schools supported by the University Library System (ULS). Faculty affiliated with the six schools of the Health Sciences are not eligible for this program.

Eligible Fees

Article processing fees may include publication fees (charges levied on articles accepted for publication, including page charges). Eligible fees must be based on a publication’s standard fee schedule that is independent of the author’s institution. Reprint fees are not eligible.

Fund Limits

Unused Fund amounts do not roll over to future years. If the demand for funds exceeds expectations, publication charges will be paid to the publisher on behalf of an author on a first-come-first-served basis. Authors are eligible for use of the fund for up to $3,000 per fiscal year. Funds within this limit may be used for multiple publications throught the fiscal year.

How to apply for funds

Once an author has a manuscript accepted by a qualifying journal and receives a statement or invoice for publication charges, she or he should submit that paperwork to the ULS using the online application form and e-mail the invoice to (except for BioMed Central journals; applicatiosn should be made prior to submission of a BioMed Central journal). Payment will be made by the University directly to the publisher. Some publishers will bill the ULS directly; in this case we request that you still submit the application form before we will pay the publisher.

Institutional Repository

As an added service, the ULS will deposit a copy of funded articles in the University of Pittsburgh’s institutional repository, D-Scholarship@Pitt. The placement of an article in the repository helps to build the collection of University of Pittsburgh–authored publications, supports the self-archiving arm of the open access movement, and gives the article an added element of preservation and discoverability.