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Open Access Publishing Fund


OA Publishing Fund

Goals of the OA Fund

Open Access at Boston College logo

The Libraries, in collaboration with the Provost, have established a fund to finance payment of article and monograph processing fees for Boston College authors who wish to publish in open access journals. Open access funds demonstrate an institution’s concrete support for new and innovative research publishing models. The fund is administered through the University Libraries. 

Goals of the program

  • Support for Boston College affiliated authors who wish to publish open access
  • Support for transition to a more sustainable scholarly publishing model
  • Greater equality of access to information
  • Greater visibility and accessibility of Boston College scholarship
  • Encouragement of authors to retain rights to their work

Funding and Requirements


  • Funding for this program is provided by the Provost.
  • The Provost does not pay fees directly. Authors are required to pay fees up front and request reimbursement. Individuals that cannot afford to pay fees up front (e.g. graduate students) should email us to discuss other options.

Author eligibility

  • All Boston College faculty, researchers, and currently enrolled students are eligible to apply for funding.
  • Applicants must provide an ORCID during the application process. For more information on ORCID or to sign up, please see the ORCID Research Guide.

Publisher Eligibility

  • Peer-reviewed articles published in fully open access journals and accessible immediately on publication are eligible.
    • Publishers/journals that institute embargoes (time-limited access restrictions) on articles are ineligible for funding.
  • The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association will be used to vet the journals’ quality and open access credentials, as will articles in the academic press about predatory practices. No single factor will be determinative, but a culmination of all factors may lead the committee to deny funding.
    • Journals listed in DOAJ are strongly preferred. We recognize that some journals from high quality publishers are too new for inclusion in DOAJ. We will take this into account on a case-by-case basis.
    • Journals that license articles under Creative Commons or similar licensing terms are strongly preferred.
  • The journal must have a publicly available standard article fee schedule.
    • A policy of waiving fees in case of economic hardship is strongly preferred.
  • Journals that require a supplemental payment for open access on an article-by-article basis, often called "hybrid" open access journals, are not eligible (see below).
  • Many publishers are advertising what they are calling Transformative Journals. While these journals promise to move towards an open model of publishing, they are technically hybrid journals, and are therefore not eligible for Open Access Publishing Funds.
Monographs (Books)
  • Open Access scholarly monographs published by qualified Open Access publishers that are accessible immediately on publication are eligible.
  • The Directory of Open Access Books will be used to vet the publishers' quality and open access credentials. In some cases, publishers not included in the Directory of Open Access Books may be eligible if they meet the criteria for open access journals.

Conditions of Funding

Open access publishing funds are awarded annually by the Provost. They are allocated annually on a first come, first served basis. Funds may be used for open access publishing and processing fees, including open access page charges. Funds may not be used for reprints, color illustration fees, non-OA page charges, permissions fees, web hosting for self-archiving, or other expenses not directly related to open access fees.

While we strive to provide funding for all requests, the fund may be exhausted during the course of the fiscal year. We encourage authors to submit for funding as early in the publication process as possible. 

  • Authors who have external funding (e.g. grant funds) which can be used for publishing fees are not eligible. If grant or departmental funds can be used to defray publishing fees, they must be used instead of the Open Access Publishing Funds.
    • Start-up funds are not currently considered part of this category.
  • For articles or monographs with multiple authors, Boston College will cover the percentage of the fee corresponding to the percentage of authors that are BC affiliated.
    • For example, if an article has 4 authors and 2 of them are BC-affiliated, BC will fund up to 50% of the processing charge. Authors at other institutions are responsible for finding their own funding. Simmons University maintains a list of Open Access funds that non-BC authors can take advantage of.
    • We recognize that Boston College is incredibly fortunate compared to many organizations and researchers around the world. BC authors that work with economically disadvantaged organizations or independent researchers (e.g. faculty at schools that cannot afford OA funds, researchers in developing countries, etc.) may ask for a waiver of this provision by emailing us directly.
  • The funding limit for each author will be $2,500 each fiscal year for journal articles or $5000 every 2 fiscal years for scholarly monographs.
  • Authors may receive funding for no more than 3 articles in a fiscal year or no more than 1 scholarly monograph in 2 fiscal years.
  • Authors who receive OA funding must also deposit the article or scholarly monograph in eScholarship@BC.

Application and Reimbursement Process

The Fund will open for submissions on June 3, 2024

A small steering group manages the funding award process. The steering group includes members of the Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Committee and at least one faculty member.

  • Requests for funding must be submitted online using the Boston College OA Fund application form (Note: you must be logged into your BC gmail account to access the form). Requests should be submitted as soon as the article is accepted for publication. They will be reviewed on a regular basis by the steering group. Every effort will be made to provide a decision within ten business days.
  • Authors may submit requests for pre-approval. Requests must contain all the same information found in the OA Fund application form as well as an estimate of when payment will be due. If the article is subsequently withdrawn or rejected, authors are responsible for immediately informing the Library.
  • If the funding request is approved, the author should notify the steering group when the article is published or if the author withdraws it from consideration in that journal.
  • Reimbursement will be made to the author once the author has been invoiced for the submission fee. Authors must provide a copy of the publisher’s invoice to the steering group. Once an author is notified that a request has been approved, the author must provide the original invoice and evidence of payment to Kathryn Tosi, Office of the Provost, Waul House, for reimbursement. Reimbursement cannot be made without submission of the original invoice. Please mark your request for reimbursement with the words “Open Access Fund”.
  • The author must also provide a full bibliographic citation plus a copy of the funded article, either the author’s final version or the published version, for deposit in eScholarship@BC.

Why aren't hybrid journals eligible?

Hybrid journals require a supplemental payment for open access on an article-by-article basis. Authors may pay to have their own article openly available immediately. Many large journal publishing companies have instituted these fees, but have not reduced their traditional subscription fees. They are often accused of being paid twice to publish the same article. In addition, although these articles are available to read, they are not usually published under a license which allows reuse.

See Shieber SM (2009) Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing. PLoS Biol 7(8): e1000165. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000165

Scholarly Communication Librarian

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Elliott Hibbler
he / him / his
O'Neill Library
Subjects: Copyright, Law

More about OA Funds

Members of the Steering Group


Michael James, Lynch School of Education

Thomas Seyfried, Biology Department, College of Arts and Sciences


Enid Karr, Senior Research Librarian/Bibliographer for Biology, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies

Elliott Hibbler, Head, Scholarly Communications



Credit and License

This guide has been created by Boston College University Libraries and is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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