University Open Access Fund

Open Access logoFAQ: Does the University have any funds available to pay publishers’ article processing charges (APCs) and if so, how can I apply for these?

As of August 1st 2016 the University of Northampton has set aside an Open Access (OA) fund to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs).

APCs are the charges levied by publishers to cover the cost of making an individual article OA at the point of publication (aka ‘gold’ OA).  This may be in a fully OA journal or in a ‘hybrid’ journal which makes otherwise subscription only articles available OA on payment of an APC.

If you are thinking of applying for funds to cover an APC then the procedure is as follows:

1. Contact Library and Learning Services (LLS) (via with the name of the proposed journal and its publisher.  If you have already had the article accepted then please forward the acceptance email with any details of the publisher’s OA options (and don’t forget that if the article has been accepted it should be entered into NECTAR as soon as possible).

2. LLS staff will conduct some preliminary checks to ensure you have the full information you need to decide whether paying the APC is the best option for you.  They will advise you:

  • the amount of the APC and whether sufficient funds remain in the OA fund to pay it;
  • whether a deal is available from this publisher to offset the APC against the Library’s subscriptions (e.g. Taylor & Francis offer ‘vouchers’ for a 75% price reduction and Springer offer free APCs to subscribing institutions);
  • whether the publisher is a known ‘predatory’ publisher;
  • any conditions limiting the deposit of the full text of the published article in NECTAR (aka ‘green’ OA). LLS will use the SHERPA/RoMEO tool for this purpose;
  • whether the journal is compliant with HEFCE’s OA policy for the REF.

3. Based on this information, if you still wish to apply for the APC then you should then seek approval for the application from your Faculty Research Leader or Dean and send evidence of this to Chris Powis, Head of LLS, who holds the budget for the fund.  (There is no form for this, forwarding the email thread will be sufficient).
(If you decide not to pursue this route then it would be helpful to know this too.)

4. LLS staff will then liaise with you and the publisher to progress the payment.

Funds are currently available on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, pending further discussion by University Research and Enterprise Committee.

If you have any questions about any of this please contact the Open Access team in LLS.

Related post: Paying for open access: how much will it cost?

Posted on August 15, 2016, in Funding, Library and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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