This is the "Guide to publishing in an open access journal" page of the "Open Access Publishing Toolkit" guide.
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Open Access Publishing Toolkit  

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Guide to publishing in an open access journal Print Page

Applying to the Fund

STEP 1: If you are submitting an article for publication in an OA journal fromBioMed CentralHindawi, , or RSC then York University Libraries has set aside discrete funds to which you may apply.  For more information on supported publishers, please see  "YUL Open Access Memberships" to the right. 

STEP 2: If you are NOT publishing in an Open Access Journal from Hindawi, BioMed Central, or RSC then please make sure that the journal to which you are submitting your article meets the criteria listed under "What does the fund cover?" to the right.

STEP 3: Apply for funding using the Open Access Author Fund application form.

STEP 4: Your submission will be responded to within five business days. If your application is successful we will provide you with invoicing information to be passed along to your publisher.

STEP 5: Your publisher will send the Author Fees invoice to the library, and we will pay the invoice directly. Please do not pay your own invoice. We have no mechanism by which to reimburse authors who have paid their own fees. The library must pay the invoice directly.

PLEASE NOTE: York University Libraries allocates a set amount of funds annually to support OA publishing.  Once the funds are expended, submissions cannot be considered until the the fund is refreshed in the following year.  .


Open Access Gold

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a good place to find “gold” open access publishing options in your field.

Titles that apply Creative Commons licensing to all of their content are typically “gold” OA journals.


About the OA Author Fund

York University Libraries have directed a small portion of  their collections budget in support of an open access author fund to cover Author Processing Charges for York researchers who wish to publish their work in open access journals. Please note that when the annual allocation has been expended, no further requests can be considered until the following fiscal year.

Who can apply?

All York, faculty, graduate students, staff, post-docs, emeriti, and visiting scholars who have had a peer-reviewed article accepted to an Open Access journal that meets the funding criteria.

Where an article has multiple authors, the first author must be a York affiliated researcher.

York will fund one publicaton per year for each researcher.

Only researchers with no other funding source to cover APCs will be given funding.

What does the fund cover?

The fund will cover Author Processing Charges (also called author’s fees or page fees) for articles in pure Open Access journals. An Open Access journal:

a) does not charge subscription fees for any of its content. All articles are immediately available online at no cost to the reader.

b) is not a Hybrid Journal. These are publications under subscription control for which authors of individual articles can pay an “open choice” fee to make their papers freely available to any reader. The Libraries will not cover the “open choice” fee. 

c) does not have embargoes that limit Open Access to content for a specific time period after publication, if it is longer than the publication timeline required by the funding source. Listings of journals providing delayed OA are available at PubMed Central and Highwire Press.

Other conditions:

A copy of the funded paper will also be made available through York Space immediately after initial publication. York Space is York University's institutional repository. Follow the step-by-step guide to creating an account, learning about your publisher's policy, and depositing your research article and materials in YorkSpace

The Open Access Fund aims to encourage authors to retain copyright so they can release their work under Creative Commons licensing. For that reason, another condition of the Open Access Fund is that the journal must allow the authors to retain copyright. 


Selecting an OA journal

How do I select an Open Access journal for publishing my research?

The following resources will help identify and select an appropriate open access journal:

  • Directory of Open Access Journals classifies OA journals by subject category and can be searched at the article level. DOAJ also provides information on Creative Commons licensing policies and copyright.
  • Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory – use the advanced search to find:
    • OA journals by limiting to open access publications.
    • Canadian open access publications under the country of publication.
    • Publishers’ websites
    • For Indexing information , see question 7 below

Delayed OA: Public access policies typically permit embargoed access:

  • CIHR requires an article to be available within 12 months of publishing
  • NIH requires it to be available within 12 months of publishing
  • Listings of journals providing delayed OA are available at PubMed Central and Highwire Press.

Hybrid journals provide open access at the article level on payment of a fee. Details on article processing fees for OA and hybrid journals are available through BioMed Central.

Have a look at this interactive graph that shows the relationship between article influence and publication fees, essentially providing a cost-effectiveness tool for open access journals.

Provide feedback to your subject librarian regarding additional initiatives for the Libraries to support

NOTE: Beware Predatory Open Access Journals! These are journals whose main goal is to generate profits through author fees rather than promote academic scholarship. Here you can check out an ever-increasing list of predatory open access journals.

How do I find out what databases index the journal that I want to publish in?

Note that all Open Access publications can be accessed through Google Scholar; however, some disciplines rely more heavily on specialized databases, making this an important factor in journal selection.

Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory – use the advanced search to find:

  • Indexing information to ensure your paper is available via the databases most used in your subject area

My funding source requires me to publish in an OA journal, but the journal I have chosen is not part of the current supported OA initiatives. How can I still publish in that journal?

There are many ways to make one's work accessible:

  • Publish in a regular journal, but choose an OA-friendly one that allows you to archive your work on your personal website or an institutional website (Green OA) such as YorkSpace.
  • The Sherpa/Romeo site ranks journals according to their policy regarding self-archiving. Type the title of the journal in the search box to find out what the publisher's archiving conditions are.
  • This site discusses publishing in OA by discipline, and offers suggestions:
  • Publish in a regular journal, but license your work to the publisher instead of transferring your copyright to the publisher. You can do this by adding an Author Addendum to the standard publishing contract. (Green OA)

Where can I find out more about publishing my research?


Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

NEW! (Canadian Association of Research Libraries Open Access Working Group)

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy Publications: Quick Answers! 


Public Fee Schedule: Record of YUL's OA Fund Support


YUL Open Access Memberships

York University Libraries maintain Institutional Memberships with major OA publishers in order to reduce the cost of Author Processing Fees in these journals, and to streamline the fee payment process.

BioMed Central - Invoices for publication fees will be sent directly to York University Libraries for payment when your article is accepted to any of the  journals published by Biomed Central or those published by SpringerOpen journals.

Hindawi Membership - Exempts York faculty from author fees for articles published in any of Hindawi's 200 journals.

RSC - York University Libraries has a limited number of "tokens" which provide publication in these RSC Journals free of charge. If you wish to publish in RSC using one of these token please contact Aaron Lupton


Recently funded articles by the YUL OA Author Fund

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