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The NIU Open Access Fund seeks to advance the use of open access as a means of distributing the research and creative work of the Northern Illinois University community by providing financial support to cover the fees charged for open access publication.


Since the University Libraries' has limited financial support for this fund, the following criteria have been created to allow as many eligible individuals to participate in Open Access publishing. Please read the criteria carefully, if you have any questions, contact Jaime Schumacher, Director of Scholarly Communications.

Author Eligibility Criteria

Libraries' Open Access publishing grants are available to faculty, including non-tenure track faculty, and graduate students.Only one author per article may apply. Author may apply for funding once each fiscal year. (July to June)

Journal Selection Criteria

Before applying for funding, please, select an Open Access journal and publisher with a trustworthy reputation. Open access journals and publishers with poor scholarly merit, also referred to as predatory publishers, abound and it is important that you do not tarnish your scholarly reputation by inadvertently publishing in such a journal (see Scholarly Open Access: Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing at http://scholarlyoa.com/ for further discussion.).

The following resources are consulted by the Open Access Fund reviewers when determining the awarding of funding. You may find these resources helpful in selecting a journal and publisher. The journal and/or publisher you select should be:

  • Members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)
  • List in the Directory of Open Access Journals (these journals allow authors to retain distribution rights)
  • An open access journal published by an entity that has established a scholarly reputation (see Scholarly Open Access: Critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishing criteria for determining whether or not a publisher is predatory)
  • Funding will also be provided to articles accepted for publishing in hybrid journals, as long as the author(s) is/are allowed to retain distribution rights. (Hybrid journals are subscription journals that allow authors to make their article open access upon payment of a fee.)

    Review Process

    Disbursement is determined on a first come, first served basis, and is dependent upon confirmation that the journal publisher is non-predatory. If it is established that the journal publisher is a predatory publisher, the review committee and the University Libraries reserve the right to refuse the funding request. In cases, where the scholarly merit of the journal and/or publisher cannot be clearly established, the reviewers will defer to the lead author's department to make the final decision.

    Fee Eligibility

    Only those fees associated with open access publishing are eligible for support. Costs for reprints, color illustration fees, non-open access page charges, administrative charges and other fees are not supported.

    Articles whose underlying research was funded by grants that allow funds to be used for open access fees are not eligible for funding.

    Maximum Support Limits

    In order to include as many authors as possible while covering typical costs, the following limits apply to support awards for each author:

    • For fully Open Access journals: $2000 per article and per fiscal year (July - June)
    • For hybrid journals: $1500 per article and per year or 50% of the Open Access fee, whichever is less.

    Deposit in Huskie Commons

    Acceptance of open access grants requires submission of the supported article to NIU Huskie Commons within three months of publication. Questions about Huskie Commons, including details about the depository submission process, can be emailed to Jaime Schumacher, Director of Scholarly Communications.

    Application for Support