Anneliese Taylor
Anneliese is the Head of Scholarly Communication. Contact Anneliese for help evaluating journals and publishers, assessing research impact, and for scholarly publishing resources.

Open Access Fund Targets Students, Early Career Researchers

UCSF’s Open Access Fund has recently undergone some changes as a result of reductions in the budget. This Fund is made available to help support UCSF authors who don’t have research funds to pay for publishing in open access journals.

As of December 1, here are the new guidelines:

  • Funding for open access journal articles is limited to students, postdocs, residents, fellows, and staff who are first author or co-first author
  • Applicants may receive up to $2000 for a peer-reviewed journal article
  • Funding for open access books and book chapters continues to be available to all UCSF personnel, including faculty and students
  • Applicants may receive up to $5000 for an open access book or $2000 for a book chapter
  • The publication must meet the criteria outlined in the Fund guide

Impact on faculty

While the Fund has seen a steady increase in the percentage of non-faculty submitting applications since 2020, many applicants are faculty and we realize that no longer being able to receive funds has an impact.

Thankfully there are now several UC open access (OA) agreements in place with thousands of journals that provide subsidized OA publication for those with research grants, or fully paid OA publishing for selected agreements and for those without funds. These agreements offer more funding than our OA Fund is able to accommodate, since they use the Library’s subscription expenditures with publishers as a base. UC is pursuing agreements with additional publishers, which will expand OA publishing opportunities even further in 2022.

Funding source

The UCSF OA Fund began in 2015 with funding from the Academic Senate through Chancellor’s Funds. Initially only faculty could receive funds. When the Library became the source of funds in 2019, we were able to expand the opportunity to non-faculty. Not having a contract with Elsevier for two fiscal years helped us keep the Fund going for all UCSF applicants and to meet increased demand during the COVID19 pandemic. Now that UC has a new contract with Elsevier, the Library cannot commit the same level of funding. 

Ongoing assessment

The Library is pleased to be able to continue providing open access funds to students, early career researchers, and staff for the remainder of this fiscal year, and to be able to return the cap to the original amount of $2000 for articles. This amount makes a more meaningful impact on those who need funds the most.

We will be exploring the long-term strategy for this fund over the next few months. We welcome your feedback on the changes announced here and your ideas about meeting UCSF’s funding needs for open access publishing. 

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