The One University Open Access Author Fund at The University of Kansas

KU's One University Open Access (OA) AuthorFund is designed to heighten the visibility and accessibility of the University's scholarship and to support faculty, staff and graduate students in all KU/KUMC disciplines who choose to publish in open access journals that require author-fees for accepted manuscripts. It is intended for authors with limited sources of funding that allow for open access publication charges. $25,000 of funding has been approved for distribution over one year.

The OA Author Fund is made possible by contributions from the offices of KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research.

Due to the significant number of applicants, but limited funds during the two-year pilot of this fund, considerable evaluation of award results and consultation with KU faculty and researchers resulted in changes to the application process, criteria, and awarding of funds. Please read all criteria below to ensure your successful application.

The awarding will now be a monthly competitive process reviewed within the first 5 business days of each month. Priority will be given to graduate students, early career research staff, pre-tenure faculty, those with little or no research funding to support their open access publishing, and first time OA Author Fund applicants. However everyone that meets the basic criteria (see below) are welcome to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for FY16 opened up July 1, 2015. Requests from each month are reviewed, prioritized, weighted for need and approved or denied within the first week of the following month and authors are notified of the decision.

Please review the application requirements and apply here: Complete the OA Author Fund request form

See the OA Author Fund Awards Report for a list of previous awardees.

Author eligibility

All faculty, graduate students, post-docs and staff on the KU main campus in Lawrence, the Edwards campus, and the Medical Center campuses in Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina are eligible to apply for funding.

Authors applying for funds along with the primary authors of the publications must be KU employees or students. Preference is given to research or scholarship primarily conducted by KU employees or students.

We expect researchers to use appropriate research grant funds to pay such publication charges where applicable. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will fund open access publications as part of their research grants. For questions related to research funds and your application please email us at

Journal eligibility

Inquiring authors are encouraged to consult with the OA Author Fund reviewers regarding the eligibility and quality of open access journals prior to submitting manuscripts. Email your questions to

Authors applying for open access author funds must be publishing in journals that meet the below criteria:

Authors are encouraged to review the journal for quality indicators such as those listed here,, especially for those journals and publishers for which they are unfamiliar. Reviewers of the application may also use those indicators when deciding whether a journal meets the quality criteria for funding.

Article eligibility

Articles must:

  • Be a peer-reviewed article submitted to an open access journal.
  • Have Publication Status of, "ready for submission," "submitted-for-publication" or "accepted-for-publication". Funds will not be encumbered for manuscripts that are still being written.
  • Not have been published prior to the authors' request for funds. Already-published articles are ineligible.

Fund Cap, Disbursement and Administration

Fund Cap
Funds may be used to pay article processing charges up to $1,500 per article, but not color, page, or image charges. Please NOTE -- the cap has been lowered in order to fund more KU authors. This amount is slightly higher than the average payment amount during the Fund's 2-year pilot.

A requesting author may be awarded funding once in a fiscal year period. There is no funding rollover.

Fund Disbursement

  • Requests may be made upon article submission or immediately upon acceptance.
  • Articles that are ready for submission to the journal and are awarded funds will have four months to complete the peer review process. If the paper is not accepted by the publisher or a PO not received for payment within four months of funding approval, the award will expire. The author will be contacted and may later reapply for funds.
  • Once a request has been approved, the requesting author may direct the journal to send the invoice to the KU Libraries contact, or you may send a publisher's invoice to
  • Funds will be divided into one-month portions. Applications received during the previous month will be reviewed within the first 5 business days of the next month, prioritized, weighted for need, and awarded.
  • Funds may be paid only to publishers' invoices. Individual authors will not be reimbursed or paid for retroactive publications.
  • Funds will only be awarded directly to the publisher of the journal identified in the application.
  • If not awarded, an author will be notified and may be eligible to apply the following month. Applicants reapplying are not guaranteed funding awards.

Competitive Review
Funding will be distributed through a monthly, competitive review process. Weighted priority will be based on: 1) author status (graduate student, pre-tenure faculty, early career research staff); 2) those who lack funding for open access publication charges; 3) those who have not previously applied for open access author funds.

Additional Criteria
The fund is a limited resource intended to support open access publishing across the university. We expect researchers to request funding for open access publication from their funding agency if they can do so. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will fund open access publications as part of their research grants. If such funds are not available, we welcome your application.

If funds are encumbered for a submitted manuscript that is later not accepted, those funds will then be released back to the fund for disbursement to accepted articles.

KU Libraries will upload the published version of each funded article to KU ScholarWorks, KU's open access digital archive of the scholarly work of KU faculty and graduate students.

Fund Administration
KU, KU Law, and KUMC libraries administer and assess the program with oversight provided by the KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research.

If this fund is a valuable service to you please let us know by emailing us - - with your comments and suggestions.

Last modified: Sep 15, 2015