An open-access fund is a pool of money set aside by an institution specifically to reimburse processing fees for articles published by members of the institution in open-access journals. While the sections within this resource page highlight different regulations, caveats, and policy decisions that may characterize an open-access fund in practice, the fundamental goal of any open-access fund is to support publication models that enable free, immediate, online distribution of, and access to, scholarly research. By setting aside resources for the express purpose of encouraging authors to publish in open-access journals, open-access funds demonstrate an institution’s concrete support for reshaping the economics of scholarly communication.
SPARC supports experimentation with open-access funds across institutions of all shapes and sizes. By making it easier for authors to publish in open-access journals, open-access funds foster experimentation with new and innovative publishing models across the research community. This is consistent with SPARC’s commitment to both widening access to research and reshaping the expensive subscription model that characterizes much of traditional academic publishing.
This resource page is intended to provide vital information to (a) institutions contemplating the creation of an open-access fund, (b) institutions that are currently operating funds, (c) authors who are seeking to learn more about the opportunities such funds provide, and (d) anyone else in the scholarly communication community wanting to keep abreast of important developments in this area. It contains a wealth of background information, practical resources, policy guidelines, and hard data documenting OA fund results to date. Check back on this page frequently for updated case studies, tools, and evaluations of the open-access fund experience.