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Open Access Author Fee Fund Policy


Eligible Publications 

The venue of publication must be from an established Open Access publisher. For a journal, that means the publisher does not charge readers or their institutions for unfettered access to the peer-reviewed articles that it publishes. For other scholarly works, the publisher or imprint is fully open and does not charge readers or their institutions for access to the content that it publishes.  

To be eligible, a publication must meet these additional requirements: 

  • Have publicly available a standard fee schedule. 


Publications 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 publication 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 work for publication. 

For authors in the Health Sciences… 

Eligibility for this program is limited to faculty, staff, students in schools supported by the University Library System (ULS) and the BARCO Law Library. Individuals only affiliated with the six schools of the Health Sciences are not eligible for this program. 

Eligible Fees 

Processing fees may include publication fees (charges levied on works 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 through the fiscal year. 

Unfortunately, the Author Fee Fund has been exhausted for this fiscal year (FY20) and we are not able to fund any more requests at this time.  We still have some limited funds avaible for Biomed Central/Springer Open Journals. We project that the fund will re-open for requests in early FY 21 (July/August 2020)Remember that our funding is limited and is on a first-come first serve basis, so funding may not be available later in the year. Please email us at any time with any questions about the status.   

How to apply for funds 

Once an author has a manuscript accepted by a qualifying publication 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/Springer Open journals; applications should be made prior to submission of a BioMed Central/Springer Open 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 works in the University of Pittsburgh’s institutional repository, D-Scholarship@Pitt. The placement of a work 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. 

Acknowledgement of Fund Support  

We also ask that you consider adding an acknowledgement of the support provided by the Open Access Author Fee Fund:  

[Article or Publication ]charges for this article were fully or partially paid by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh.”