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Open Access Publishing Fund

The NIU Open Access Fund seeks to advance the use of innovative research publishing models. In accordance with the NIU Open Access Policy, the fund is designed to heighten the visibility and accessibility of NIU's scholarly output. The Fund supports NIU faculty and enrolled graduate students in all disciplines who choose to publish in open access (OA) journals that require article processing charges.

Goals of the Fund

  • Support for NIU affiliated authors who wish to publish open access
  • Support for transition to a more sustainable scholarly publishing model
  • Greater equality of access to information
  • Greater visibility and accessibility of NIU scholarship
  • Encouragement of authors to retain rights to their work

Eligibility Criteria

Since the University Libraries have limited financial support for this fund, the following criteria have been created to allow as many eligible individuals as possible to participate in open access publishing. Please read the following eligibility criteria carefully. If you have any questions, contact Jaime Schumacher, Sr. Director, Digital Collections & Scholarship.

Author Eligibility

Open Access Publishing Funds are available to Northern Illinois University faculty, including non-tenure track faculty, and enrolled graduate students. Only one author per article may apply. An author may receive funding once each fiscal year (July to June).

Fee Eligibility

This Fund is intended for peer-reviewed articles by authors who do not have access to funds for OA publishing fees from other sources, including authors whose article's underlying research was supported by a grant that allows funds to be used for OA publishing fees. If those funds do not cover the full cost of the OA publishing fee, the NIU OA Fund can be applied to for the remaining balance, up to the maximum allowable amount as defined below.

Only those fees associated with OA publishing are eligible for support. Costs for reprints, color illustration fees, non-open access page charges, administrative charges and other fees are not supported. In order to include as many authors as possible while covering typical costs, the maximum amount that can be awarded per article, per fiscal year (July - June) is $3000 USD.

Disbursement is determined on a first come, first serve basis, and is dependent upon availability of funds and the application's compliance with all eligibility criteria.

Journal/Publisher Eligibility

Choosing where to publish is an individual decision and should be based on a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages the publishing venue may present to the author's career development. We trust that NIU authors will assess the impact of the publishing venue and consult with a department chair, mentor or senior colleague when appropriate.

To be considered eligible for OA Publishing Funds, a journal/publisher must meet the majority of the following requirements:

  • Be fully Open Access, that is, it does not charge readers or their institutions for unfettered access to the peer-reviewed articles that it publishes
  • Be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (unless the journal is too new for DOAJ eligibility)
  • Be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or adhere to its Code of Conduct
  • Have a publicly available, standard article fee schedule
  • Have a policy to substantially waive fees in case of economic hardship

Currently, all of the major open-access publishers satisfy these conditions, including BioMed Central, Public Library of Science (PLoS), and Hindawi, as do many other smaller open access publishers.

Please note: Journals with a hybrid* open access model or delayed open access model are not eligible.

In cases where the scholarly merit of the journal and/or publisher cannot be clearly established by the Publishing Fund Steering Group, the Group will defer to the lead author's department to make the final decision on journal/publisher eligibility.

Review Process

Once an application for OA Publishing Funds is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Steering Group to determine that all eligibility requirements are met. Upon approval, the applicant will be notified, via email, of the award along with instructions for processing the payment of OA publication fees.

Deposit in Huskie Commons

Acceptance of Open Access Publishing Funds requires the submission of the supported article to Northern Illinois University's digital repository, Huskie Commons, within three months of publication for its long-term preservation and collocation with other author, department, college, and university scholarship. Instructions on how to deposit articles into Huskie Commons can be found here. Questions about Huskie Commons can be directed to Jaime Schumacher, Sr. Director, Digital Collections & Scholarship.

*Hybrid journals are subscription-based journals that require a supplemental payment for open access on an article-by-article basis. Authors may pay to have their own article openly available immediately. Many large journal publishing companies have instituted these fees, but have not reduced their traditional subscription fees, giving the impression of being paid twice to publish the same article.

Please note: Funding does not imply an endorsement of any journal nor does it imply an assessment of the quality or research value of any article.

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Phone: (815) 753-1094

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