Open Access support

As of July 1, 2019, the Library’s Open Access Publishing Fund has been repurposed for Open Access support. We feel that by shifting our focus toward the long-term transformation of the scholarly publication ecosystem, we can accelerate the progress of the global open access movement.

From 2014 to 2019, the Library was able to offer direct support to UA-affiliated authors in the form of subsidies to cover the article processing charges for open access publications. While this funding model helped support open access publication of almost 300 articles, it was not a sustainable or scalable model for changing the landscape of scholarly publication.

The current ecosystem of scholarly publication, largely dominated by commercial publishers and dependent upon rapidly rising costs for accessing content, is not sustainable. Transitioning expenditures from “pay to read” (traditional licensing agreements) to “pay to publish” (payment of article processing charges) does little to transform the current ecosystem or stem the flow of increasing amounts of money into the system. Disrupting the traditional scholarly publication system will take more than merely subsidizing a small, finite number of scholarly publications in academic journals. True and lasting change requires investment in new infrastructure models and a commitment to new community-based models of scholarly publishing.

The Library’s Open Access support has a twofold purpose:

  1. Support of UA-affiliated author publication costs: The Library will continue to support UA-affiliated authors who publish in open access journals, though in a more indirect way. Through the Library’s institutional memberships with specific publishers, UA authors benefit from pre-arranged discounts or waivers on article processing charges.
  2. Support of initiatives and projects that advance open access: The Library will commit funding in memberships and initiatives that have wide potential global impact, such as projects that develop open publication infrastructure or that convert portfolios of subscription-based peer-reviewed journals to open access.

Transitioning the UA Library’s Open Publishing Fund away from its previous internal focus toward a more global focus has the potential for much greater impact in changing the landscape of scholarly publication. The University of Arizona Library remains committed to supporting open access to both scholarship globally and to the published work of the UA campus community.

What does the funding support?

The funding supports both efforts that offer direct financial assistance to UA authors for their open access article processing charges and memberships and projects that advance open access. UA authors can receive waived APCs from a number of publishers (such as PLOS and Cambridge University Press) and discounted article processing charges for BioMed Central, Frontiers, MDPI, and PeerJ journals. Other projects that we support include SCOAP3, COAR (Coalition of Open Access Repositories), Open Textbook Network, and arXiv.

More information about these initiatives and a full list of our current investments is available at UA Libraries Investments in Open.


Do you know of an open access project that you think we should support? Have you heard of another publisher that offers pre-arranged discounted article processing charges? Please share your ideas about how the Library can promote open access. Contact us at