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Scholarly Publishing: Open Access Fund

Libraries and Provost's Office Open Access Fund

To encourage the University community to publish their research in Open Access platforms, the Office of the Provost and University Libraries have established a fund to pay the processing fees related to open access publishing. The open access publishing model allows free, immediate access to research and allows authors to retain intellectual property rights to their research. To recoup publishing costs, many open access publications charge article processing fees to make the work freely available online.

The fund, administered by University Libraries, will pay publication fees up to $3,000 for the open access publication of journal articles or book chapters, and up to $5000 for monographs. The article or book must be published with an open access publisher that does not charge readers or institutions for access to the publication. To be eligible, journal publishers must be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and book publishers may be listed in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). Also, a publisher must be a member of Open Access Scholarly Publisher's Association (OASPA) or meet its Code of Conduct.

  • Current UI faculty, post-doc, resident, or staff member who has had an article, book chapter, or book accepted for publication.
  • Currently UI-enrolled student or graduate student who has had an article, book chapter, or book accepted for publication.

  • The publications must be peer-reviewed, and allow free and immediate access to all the content upon publication.
  • Journals or books with a hybrid model (some content by fee and some content open access) or delayed open access are not eligible for this fund.  Articles and books must be fully available open access at the time of publication.
  • Funding limits: up to $3,000 for a journal article or books chapter, up to $5,000 for a monograph.
  • The journal title must appear in the Directory of Open Access Journals or the Directory of Open Access Books or the publisher must be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.
  • Authors must have exhausted all available grant funds that may be used for article publishing charges.
  • Preference is given to authors who have not been previously funded.
  • Please do not pay an invoice in advance. The Libraries prefer to pay from an invoice.
  • University of Iowa Libraries will submit your open access publication to Iowa Research Online.

Questions on the process may be directed to Carmelita Pickett (, Associate University Librarian, Collections and Scholarly Communication.

Evaluating Open Access Journals

While Open Access publishing has a variety advantages for authors, publishers, and readers, unfortunately the model also presents opportunities for exploitation and deceit. Organizations claiming to run peer-reviewed, open access publications are sometimes fronts operated to collect production fees from authors in the absence of a quality journal. The web has proven fertile ground for these outfits, and although there are individuals committed to exposing them, their proliferation can be difficult to track. Additionally, there is debate around what constitutes a predatory Open Access journal, and this lends an element of subjectivity to their classification. The links below are good resources but should not be considered authoritative. When consulting them, it is important to complement their information with your own scrutiny. For assistance with this, contact the subject specialist librarians for your academic field.

Jeffrey Beall's List attempts to be comprehensive but has drawn criticisms of overzealousness from, for example, Joseph Esposito in The Scholarly Kitchen (December 16, 2013).

Beyond Beall's List: Better Understanding Predatory Publishers by Monica Berger and Jill Cirasella. College & Research Libraries News, vol. 76 no. 3, March 2015.

How to Avoid Predatory Journals -- a Five-Point Plan by Jocalyn Clark. The BMJ (January 19, 2015)

CRS Standards Forum: Predatory Publishing and the ISSN Center’s Response by Annaliese Taylor. ALCTS news.