MIT Open Access Publishing Fund

Introduction to the Open Access Article Publication Subvention Fund (OAAPSF)

MIT joined four other universities in launching a new “Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity” on September 15, 2009. The goal of the compact is to allow subscription-based journals and open access journals to compete on a more level playing field by providing equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals.

To support this goal, universities pledge to support fees for open access publication. Specifically, the universities commit to “the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by [their] faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”

In addition to MIT, the other initial signatories were Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley.

MIT’s fund, the MIT Open Access Article Publication Subvention Fund (OAAPSF), was established in May, 2010. Details on the use of the fund appear below.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Open Access Article Publication Subvention Fund (OAAPSF)

What is the OAAPSF fund for?

The fund is intended as a last resort for reimbursement of reasonable article processing fees for articles authored by MIT faculty, research scientists, and postdocs, and accepted for publication in eligible open-access, peer-reviewed journals to cover fees when funds from any other source are unavailable.

MIT created the open access publishing fund in May, 2010, under the guidance of the Faculty Committee on the Library System. The fund is administered by the MIT Libraries.

The fund emerged from MIT’s commitment as founding member of the “Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity” (COPE), launched in September 2009 to help level the playing field between subscription-based and open-access journals. Members of the Compact agree to establish a mechanism to support the open access processing fees required by some open-access journals.

Who is eligible to receive funding?

Current MIT affiliates. This includes faculty, research scientists, postdocs, graduate students, staff, and other authors currently affiliated with MIT.

What publications are eligible?

Open-access journals that:

  • Are peer reviewed
  • Are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Have policies and practices consistent with the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association Code of Conduct
  • Make their standard fee schedules publicly accessible
  • Waive their fees in cases of financial hardship

Articles submitted for publication after June 1st, 2010 are eligible.

Not eligible:

Articles in journals that charge an annual subscription fee, including journals that use a delayed open-access model, or offer an “open choice” option to make a particular article open access are not eligible.

Articles reporting on research that was supported by funders that allow research funds to be used for publication fees (e.g. NIH) are not eligible for this funding, whether or not publication costs were specifically included in the grant. This fund is intended to be a last resort for use when no alternative source of funding is available.

Are there limits on support?

The subsidy is limited to $1,000 per article, regardless of the number of authors.

The program is a pilot project, and for this reason in early years funding will be limited. It is impossible to anticipate the level of demand, but should demand for support exceed expectations, we may limit access to funds on a first-come-first-served basis.

How does the funding work?

To request funds, faculty authors should fill out the Open Access Fund Request Form. The request will be reviewed for eligibility and the author informed whether it has been approved.

If the request is approved, the author will need to supply proof of payment of the publication charges to Katharine Dunn, Scholarly Communications Librarian. Payment will normally be made to the directly to the MIT department. Use of an MIT credit card is encouraged for efficiency in handling reimbursement.

Where feasible, the Libraries would appreciate an acknowledgement be included with the article that funding was supplied by the MIT Libraries.

How does this fund relate to the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy?

The faculty created the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy as a first step to redress imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. This fund represents another such step.

Where can I get more information about using this fund?

Contact with any questions about the fund or this process.

Where can I get more information about COPE?

More information….

on how the MIT Libraries are supporting authors with open access publishing.