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VCU Libraries to end Open Access Fund for faculty authors July 1

March 6, 2020

As of July 1, 2020, VCU Libraries’ Open Access Fund will be decommissioned. Funding from VCU Libraries will no longer be available to subsidize authors’ article processing charges (APCs) required by some open access journals. VCU Libraries encourages authors to pursue funds from other sources, such as grant or departmental funds, to pay for the full cost of article fees.  

VCU Libraries has provided APC funding to VCU authors since 2015. While this funding has helped to support the publication of more than 100 open access articles over four years, it is not a sustainable or scalable model that will foster strategic changes in the traditional scholarly publication ecosystem. In fact, more than 50 percent of  funded APCs were paid to the five large commercial publishers -- Sage, Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, and Springer -- which continued at the same time to charge significant subscription fees in addition to enjoying APC revenue for open access journal articles. VCU Libraries joins a growing number of research libraries, including the University of Virginia that have discontinued open access fund subsidies for these reasons.

VCU Libraries will continue its arrangements in support of VCU authors who pay APCs for open access publishing in journals from these publishers:

Wiley journals 

Article processing charges for fully open access Wiley journals are covered by the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), Virginia’s academic library consortium. VCU faculty and graduate students are eligible. To qualify, a VCU author must be listed as the corresponding author of a primary research or review article. When submitting an article to the manuscript submission system, look up and enter VCU’s account code when prompted (the current code is V044). View the author workflow and more information in VIVA’s Wiley Agreement FAQ.

Royal Society of Chemistry 

Included in the library’s subscription to RSC journals is the provision that APC charges for up to 18 VCU authored articles will be covered each year of the agreement. For calendar year 2019, 14 VCU authored articles accepted for publication were published OA under this agreement.

While some publishers charge APCs to cover the cost of open access publishing, others allow authors to publish open access without cost. For help identifying and evaluating open access publications, including those without APCs, contact the library liaison or collections librarian for your subject area, or the Scholarly Communications Librarian.

VCU Libraries continues to advance open access through institutional memberships, library collections, consortia, outreach and Scholars Compass. Contact us if you are interested in how VCU Libraries can open up your work to a wider world of readers and increased impact.


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