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Open Access Authors Fund FAQ

1. Are there any limits to the article processing charge (APC) amount that can be requested?

The fund is limited to a maximum of $2,500.00 USD per article, book chapter, or book.  The cap has been put in order to ensure that funding is available to more open access authors.  Despite the decline in value of the Canadian dollar, Libraries and Cultural Resources is committed to ensuring that scholars and disciplines across the University have access to support for publishing in open access journals. 

2. Are there any limits to the number of times an author can submit to the Open Access Authors Fund?

Authors are limited to two successful applications per fiscal year (April 1 – March 31). 

3.  Why limit support to journals that are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals?

Journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals are committed to transparency and best practice in scholarly open access publishing .  The fund will consider funding in start up Canadian open access journals, that have not yet had a chance register in the directory. 

3. What publication formats does the Open Access Authors Fund Support?

The Fund has policies to support the publishing of articles, books, and book chapters.  Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) is interested in hearing from authors who have support needs for OA content in non-traditional formats.  Please contact the Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication Librarian.

4. Are other charges, such as illustration and colour fees, covered by the fund?

Some publishers of OA content do not charge extra fees, nor do they incorporate them into OA fees. Others charge both as two distinct amounts. Because the fund is designed to cover OA fees alone and because double charging by publishers is discouraged, the Open Access Authors Fund will not support those publishers who charge extra fees. The OA fee will be paid; any other charges will not. 

5. Why are hybrid OA journals excluded?

Hybrid journals were covered by the Open Access Authors Fund for the first several years of the Fund, where the publisher stated that they were reducing subscription costs in response to the take-up of their hybrid OA programs.  The problem is that there is insufficient evidence that publishers are actually doing this. 

As well, hybrid OA journals were initially thought of as a short-term measure that would allow publishers to ease into a fully OA environment.  This has not really happened; there is an increasing number of hybrid OA titles, often featuring charges that are more expensive than for fully OA journals.

6. Do funded authors need to place their article in the University of Calgary institutional repository (IR)?

Yes, if possible. In the first several years of the Fund, deposition in the institutional repository was an option, one that almost all authors selected.  Because of this wide acceptance, this was made a required element of the funding process, bringing the Calgary fund in line with OA funds at other institutions.  For more information about the institutional repository, please contact the Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication Librarian.

7. Do University of Calgary authors need to exhaust other funding sources that can be used to pay for submission fees before applying to the Open Access Authors Fund?

Yes. Applicants must exhaust other funding sources (in most cases, grants) before applying.  This is common to every open access fund worldwide.  If an author has no grant money or the grant money is all gone or the grant money is all allocated or the funder does not allow monies to be used for publication costs, then the Open Access Authors Fund is available.

8. Will the Fund do reimbursements for already-paid article processing charges?

The preferred method is invoice payment by LCR on behalf of authors. Reimbursements bring more paperwork for all involved and can take up to two months to occur, during which time authors have to cover potentially large APC charges themselves.  On occasion, however, reimbursements are allowed.  Reimbursements need to be approved by the the Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication Librarian or their designate and must meet the criteria for the Open Access Authors Fund.

9. Where can I learn more about Creative Commons (CC) licenses?

Creative Commons licenses are frequently associated with open access content.  There are six main licenses, ranging from the most liberal, CC BY, the the most conservative, CC BY-NC-ND.  There are good descriptions of the licenses at the Creative Commons site.  The CC license page from Wikipedia is also informative.

10.  What is a predatory journal and where can I learn more?  

Predatory publishers are those that lack discernible scholarship, academic rigour or credibility. They use aggressive practices to recruit authors and editors.   You can find more information from the ThinkCheckSubmit website.  If you have any doubts about the credibility of a journal, please talk to your colleagues or consult with the Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication Librarian.  

Back to the Open Access Authors Fund.

For more information, please contact:

Christie Hurrell, MA, MLIS
Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication Librarian
University of Calgary | Taylor Family Digital Library| 2500 University Drive | Calgary AB T2N 1N4
christie.hurrell@ucalgary.ca 
403-210-6103