Open Access FAQ

What kind of support is available for UCSF authors who want to publish open access (OA) articles?

There are several types of discounts or funding support from the Library in place with numerous publishers:

  1. Transformative UC open access agreements with publishers provide funding support to UC corresponding authors to publish their scholarly articles open access. Most of these agreements are arranged so that the UC Libraries automatically pay the first $1000 of the article processing charge (APC). Authors with research funds pay any APC remainder and those without funds can request full funding from the Libraries. Check details on the publisher pages to find out which journals are covered.
  2. Discounts on open access publishing are available with many other publishers through either UC-wide agreements or UCSF-only agreements.
  3. UCSF’s Open Access Publishing Fund provides funding to authors who don’t have research funds for publishing articles in open access journals that are not part of a transformative UC open access agreement and for open access book publishing.
Is there a list of all the journals with OA discounts or funding support?

We don’t have such a list since the agreements are with so many different publishers. There are lists of which journals are included in the UC deals with larger publishers such as Elsevier and Springer Nature

Are authors required to publish all articles open access now? What if I’m an investigator with research funds but don’t want to use my funds to pay for OA publishing?

All UC authors have the academic freedom to publish where they wish and to choose either the traditional/paywalled option or the open access option. The default option for UC authors of scholarly articles with publishers we have transformative OA agreements with is open access. If the journal is a hybrid subscription/OA journal, you can opt out of the OA model and publish your article under the traditional model, which restricts readership to subscribers or pay-per-article access.

There is a wide range of open access journals with different fee levels for you to consider, and there are also OA journals that do not charge any fees. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a trusted resource for fully OA journals.

You can also make the author’s accepted manuscript (AAM) version of your article freely available per UC’s open access policies. See 'Do authors have other options for making their work open access' below. 

My article has been accepted for publication by Elsevier, BMC, PLOS or another publisher with a transformative UC publishing agreement. How do I get the $1000 subvention from the Library for my article?

Directly through the publisher’s manuscript submission and payment system. There is no need to apply for funds through the UCSF Open Access Publishing Fund. The publisher bills the UC Libraries centrally through their platform for all articles with a UC corresponding author. Find details about how each publisher agreement works.

How does the Library have the budget to pay for OA publishing?

Payments to publishers for ‘transformative’ OA agreements are transforming our payment from exclusively reading/subscription access to a combination of publishing and reading fees. The amount the UC Libraries pays is controlled and is based on substantial cost modeling that includes paying the OA charges for authors who request full funding due to a lack of research funds (see How does the agreement work? for the Cambridge UP deal). 

Do authors have other options for making their work open access besides paying the publisher?

Yes, if you choose not to publish your article OA in the journal itself, you can make it publicly available by depositing the pre-publication author’s accepted manuscript in eScholarship instead per UC’s open access policies.

How can I tell if a journal is reputable?

See our recommendations for evaluating unfamiliar journals and conferences to assess their trustworthiness, and see steps to finding the right journal for publication.

Visit our Open Access Publishing page for more information or to connect with a scholarly communication expert.

Have more questions? Contact us