UC San Diego Open Access Fund (Pilot): UC San Diego Open Access Fund Pilot

Out of Funds

This fund is almost out of funds so we are not currently accepting applications.

UC San Diego Open Access Fund

UC San Diego Open Access Fund Description

Beginning in Fall 2012, University of California campuses launched a pilot open access fund. This fund helps offset open access publishing charges for authors who do not have grant funds available to cover them.  In the UC San Diego implementation of the fund, eligible charges include Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Open Access (OA) fees for fully open access journals (journals in which all articles are immediately available open access).  Funds from the pilot may not be used for color charges, page charges, illustration charges, or submission charges.  Articles must be made freely available at the time of initial publication, without any embargo periods. 

UC San Diego faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, researchers, and staff are eligible to apply for funds. The fund will pay up to $1000 of the total APCs and OA fees for an article in a fully open access journal, which must appear in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Articles published in "hybrid open access journals" in which only some articles are open access and a publication fee is usually paid to the publisher do not qualify for this funding. Authors whose research is grant-funded are not eligible for funding.  There is a cap of one article per author per lifetime. Already published articles are not eligible for this funding. Authors who are granted this funding will be reimbursed afterwards; only individuals can be reimbursed, not departments.

The California Digital Library (CDL) and UC campuses are providing the funds in order to support UC researchers interested in reshaping models of scholarly publishing.  The chief goals of the program include fostering greater dissemination of the work of University of California scholars and encouraging greater awareness of authors’ rights.  Campuses will track how the funds are spent, and the success and sustainability of the pilot will be evaluated after 12-18 months. 

Authors can apply for funds using the online application form available on the "Apply for funds" tab.

What is Open Access?

Open access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Some OA articles are published in open access journals. Others are published in traditional journals, and archived in open access repositories like eScholarship, SSRN, and arXiv.

OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance.

Most discussion about OA focuses on articles, but there is an increasing movement toward OA in monographs, data, and other formats as well.

Benefits of Open Access

1. More readers. Traditional publishing models make money by charging those who can afford to pay for access. Colleagues at institutions that have cancelled their subscription to the journal you're publishing in (or who couldn't afford it in the first place) will have a much harder time finding and reading your work. As library budgets around the world continue to shrink, fewer and fewer people will have access to articles that are only available to subscribers. Open access articles get read more.

2. Public good. Open access literature can be read not only by scholars at non-subscribing institutions, but by medical practioners, high school students, employees of private industry, taxpayers who may have helped fund it - anyone with an internet connection. Open access work has greater potential to further knowledge and innovation around the world.

3. Shifting business models in the scholarly publishing industry. Scholars write and review articles for journals; journal publishers do not pay them for this work, but they do charge the scholars' institutions subscriptions - sometimes extremely expensive ones. For-profit publishers are still reporting operating profit margins between 30 and 45%, while campus budgets shrink. Meanwhile, nonprofit publishers are demonstrating great value, online publishing presents new technological possibilities, and authors are starting to pay more attention to the power they hold in the system. This is a time of rapid and unpredictable change in scholarly publishing. Open access is only one piece of the puzzle of a more efficient system, but it is an important one.


Retaining copyright of your work and making use of alternative forms of publishing that do not place restrictions on access enlarges your audience and accelerates research. Additional information may be found at University of California Reshaping Scholarly Communication and New Directions in Scholarly Publishing.

Related Resources

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)  The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) "aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content."
  • eScholarship  The University of California's open access publishing platform for faculty, staff, and students. eScholarship publishes journals, books, conference proceedings, and more; it also serves as the UC system's open access repository for postprints previously published elsewhere.
  • Reshaping Scholarly Communication  University of California's central page on scholarly communication issues and developments
  • New Directions in Scholarly Publishing  The UC San Diego Library blog about scholarly communications news and issues
  • HowOpenIsIt?  This new resource outlines the core components of open access (e.g., reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, author posting rights, etc.) across the continuum from “open access” to “restricted access”. Its aim is to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on journal policies. It also provides a resource for funders and other organizations to help establish criteria for the level of Open Access required for their policies and mandates.
  • Open Access Explained!  This video, created by the Right to Research Coalition, describes the reasons why open access to research is so important for students, researchers and other stakeholders.
  • Right to Research  A student open access advocacy group