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Open access publishing

Open access is a publishing model that aims to reduce barriers to access to research. Learn about your options and opportunities as an author.

Background and Purpose

Open access (OA) is a scholarly publishing model that aims to reduce barriers to access to research by shifting the cost of publication from the reader to the author. This cost shift allows the research to be made immediately available online free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, requiring that proper attribution of works be given to authors (SPARC, 2016), also known as gold open access (pay to publish). Open access to research facilitates the dissemination and mobilization of research (Canadian Association of Research Libraries, 2021). 

Many Canadian universities have demonstrated their support for open access publishing by creating Open Access Publishing Funds to support the efforts of university researchers to publish in open access journals. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) published a report in 2016 that reviewed some of these funds and made practical recommendations for their administration. The authors of the report also note the trend to publish in [gold OA] journals will increase (CARL, 2016). 

The Open Access Publishing Fund will support eligible RRU researchers who wish to publish in eligible fully Open Access (gold OA) journals and who are required to pay an Article Processing Fee (APC) to do so and do not have other sources of funding that can be applied to these charges. 

The purpose of the RRU Open Access Publishing Fund is to promote openness in academic research and knowledge mobilization within the RRU community of scholarship via an established and credible mechanism. The intentions of this fund are to: 

  • Support RRU authors publishing in fully open access (aka gold OA) journals that charge APCs;
  • Support RRU authors in making the transition to OA as a publishing option;
  • Provide the Library with experience managing such a fund; and
  • Contribute further evidence to the university community as to the outcomes of such open access strategies.

Accessing the Fund

Eligible Applicants

If the submitting author is not an eligible RRU author at the time of submission, the fund cannot be used.  

The RRU author must be the main author and must be an eligible RRU author: 

  • Current core faculty, full-time permanent staff, and RRU graduate students under the supervision of a core faculty member are eligible. The article must be submitted while the author’s RRU affiliation is current.
  • RRU Graduate students who have recently graduated will be eligible to use the fund for articles submitted up to one year after their graduation date.

Eligible Publications

  • The Fund can only be used to pay APCs in fully OA journals (aka gold journals), meaning all of the journal content is freely available online immediately to the reader and includes download and reuse rights. Only articles to be published in reputable gold OA journals will be considered for APC payment from this fund.
  • This Fund covers only fees associated with open access publishing and does not cover additional charges beyond the basic APC, such as those charged for including colour plates, longer articles, submission fees, or excess page charges.

Please contact the Library for assistance with choosing fully OA (gold OA) journals for publication. Many eligible journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Ineligible Publications

  • Hybrid OA journals: subscription-based publications for which authors can pay an “open choice” fee to make their individual paper freely available to any reader. Although publishers claim to redirect the funds from these APCs to reduce the cost of subscriptions and licenses, there is insufficient evidence to confirm this is happening.
  • Journals with embargoes limiting Open Access content for a specific period of time (usually 12-24 months) after publication.
  • Journals that require researchers to sign over copyright to their work to the publisher.

Please contact the Library for assistance if you are unsure whether a publication would be eligible for the fund.

Criteria and Payment

  • The article must be the result of research completed as part of the applicant’s work at RRU and affiliation with RRU must be included in the published article.
  • Applicant and publication eligibility criteria will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Library prior to submitting articles for publication to assess eligibility of publication and availability of funds.
  • The Library will deposit the published article in VIURRSpace, RRU’s institutional repository.
  • Funds will be awarded to cover Article Processing Charges (APC) to a maximum of $3000 CAD each. Applicant must confirm the status of grant funds that could cover the APC before drawing on this fund. If an alternate funding source is available that permits payment of the APC, this source must be used before applying to the fund.
  • The invoice for the APC must be addressed to the Library and submitted to the Library for payment. The Library cannot reimburse fees that the researcher has already paid. Final APC invoices for published articles must be received within four months of approval.

For more information or to apply for the fund, please contact:

Cassandra Larose, Librarian, Scholarly Communication and Learning Support | 250.391.2600 ext. 4324 

Content adapted with thanks from the SFU Open Access Fund website and Brock Open Access Publishing Fund documentation.