Open Access Publishing Fund

November 2023: We are currently accepting applications for the waitlist of the Open Access Publishing Fund. Your application will be submitted to the review panel and you will be notified if your application meets all funding requirements. Then, as funds become available, you will be moved from the waitlist to the approved funding list and we will notify you of this change in status immediately.

Goals of the Fund

  • Support NIU affiliated authors who wish to publish in open access journals that require article processing fees.  
  • Support the transition to sustainable scholarly publishing models.
  • Increase equitable access to information.
  • Provide greater visibility and accessibility of NIU scholarship.
  • Encourage authors to retain copyright of their work.


  • Administered by the University Libraries and generously funded by NIU’s Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships (RIPS) and the University Libraries.

Author Eligibility

  • Northern Illinois University faculty and research staff, including non-tenure track faculty and enrolled graduate students.
  • Articles with multiple authors are only eligible where the lead author is an NIU affiliate.
  • Funds are limited to one grant per article and one grant per author each fiscal year (July – 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, or to supplement funds for OA publishing where not fully covered by other sources.
  • Only those fees associated with OA publishing are eligible for reimbursement. Examples of excluded costs are reprints, color illustration fees, non-open access page charges, administrative charges and other fees.
  • 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-served basis and is dependent upon availability of funds and the application's compliance with all eligibility criteria.

Journal/Publisher Eligibility 

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

  • Journal has clearly defined peer-review process on its website.
  • Fully Open Access (that is, it does not charge readers or their institutions for access to the peer-reviewed articles that it publishes).
  • Journal identifies a clear and standard article fee schedule on its website.
  • Publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, or adheres to the majority of its membership criteria.
  • Preferably, the journal should be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (unless the journal is too new for DOAJ eligibility) 

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.

Review Process

Once an application for open access publishing is submitted, it will be reviewed by representatives from the funding divisions (see Funding) to determine that all eligibility requirements are met. If additional vetting of a journal or publisher is required, the author’s department chair may be consulted. 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. 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.


Jaime Schumacher, Sr. Director, Scholarly Communications


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