Financial support for open access publishing

The University of Ottawa Library offers financial support for open access publishing in three ways:

  • Through discounts arranged with publishers
  • Through library shared financial support
  • Through direct library support for new models of open access publishing.   

All faculty members, staff, current graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and adjunct professors affiliated with the University of Ottawa may take advantage of the following initiatives. Researchers working for University of Ottawa Research Centres and Institutes and Affiliated Research Institutes are also eligible.

To be eligible the uOttawa or affiliated researcher must be the corresponding author.

Discounts and shared financial support options are subject to the availability of funds.

Discounts with publishers

The University of Ottawa has established institutional agreements with the following open access publishers, giving affiliated authors access to discounted article processing charges. Please note that eligibility dates may vary between publishers. These reflect dates on which memberships were activated.

BioMed Central / Springer Open / Chemistry Central - No longer available  

Update January 23rd 2018: Funding for the 2017/2018 fiscal year has been fully committed and we are no longer able to offer a discount for articles submitted to BMC this fiscal year.

Our membership to BMC proved to be once again a popular option with our uOttawa and affiliated authors. The Library committed nearly half of our funds dedicated to open access publishing support to BioMed Central in this fiscal year and anticipate publishing over 50 articles with our funds. We are pleased with the uptake for this obviously valued membership, but are unfortunately not in a financial position this year to commit further monies from our collections budget to support publishing with BMC this fiscal year.


Our institutional agreement with PeerJ will fund a Basic Membership for eligible authors who have their paper accepted to PeerJ. A Basic Membership is a lifetime membership that will cover the processing charges of the first publication, and will allow the author to publish one PeerJ article every year at no additional cost. Manuscripts submitted on or after September 15, 2015 are eligible for this discount.

To submit an article and claim the discount, eligible authors must use their email address at the time of submission. If you do not have a email address, please contact Jeanette Hatherill.


The University of Ottawa will cover 50% of the article processing charge for articles accepted to Frontiers Journals. Authors are responsible for paying the other 50%. Manuscripts submitted on or after May 1st, 2017 are eligible for this discount. Eligible authors must go through the link to Frontiers on the Libraries' Databases A-Z list and select uOttawa from a dropdown list during the submission process.

Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

The University of Ottawa is a member of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN). Through CRKN agreements a 50% discount is available to uOttawa researchers. The fee for the OpenArticle option is $1,500, reduced from $3,000 per article. At the time of submission, please identify yourself as being affiliated to the University of Ottawa in order to qualify for this discount. Manuscripts submitted between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2021 are eligible for this discount.


Through the Library’s CRKN agreements, authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa can receive a 40% discount on article processing charges for SAGE journals. At the time of submission, please identify yourself as being affiliated to the University of Ottawa in order to qualify for this discount. Manuscripts submitted between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017 are eligible for this discount. (Under review January 2018)

Library shared support

If your journal publisher is not included in the section above, you may apply for shared support through the Library.

The Library will cover 50% of the open access publishing fee for eligible articles. 

Eligible articles must be peer-reviewed and submitted for publication in fully open access journals only. A fully open access journal must make all content freely available online immediately upon publication.

Manuscripts submitted on or after May 1st, 2017 are eligible for this discount. 

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for Library shared support:

  • Eligible open access journals must follow acceptable standards of scholarly publishing. We reserve the right to refuse applications from publishers deemed predatory based on established criteria.

    Some examples of commercial open access publishers of good standing include, but are not limited to:

    • Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    • Dove Medical Press
    • Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Publications
    • MDPI
  • The publisher’s fee schedule must be publicly available online.
  • Shared support funding covers only the costs associated with open access publishing. Costs for reprints, submission fees, colour illustration fees, page charges, administrative charges and other fees are not applicable.
  • Applicants must first use funds received through research grants that are intended to cover publication or submission fees.

For more information and to apply, please fill out the application form.

Library support for open access

In addition to memberships that benefit uOttawa researchers, the library financially supports various open access initiatives that benefit the global research community.


Érudit is a database platform that supports French SSH journals in Canada and internationally.

uOttawa has committed $20,666 from September 2014 to December 2016 to support a partnership between CRKN and Érudit that provides financing for a gradual transition to full open access for Érudit journals.

To do this, the embargo period will be reduced from the current 24 months to 12 months, with the intention of moving to fully open access in the future.

Open Library of Humanities

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a peer-reviewed, multilingual academic journal and books platform for the humanities.

The University of Ottawa Library is proud to be one of the nearly 200 libraries internationally that contribute to cover the costs of publication for authors.

The unique publishing model of OLH gives authors no-fee access to a platform with many benefits including professional presentation, annotative functionality, robust digital preservation, increased discoverability, and social media sharing functions.

Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched, a not-for-profit based in the UK, proposes a business model enabling publishers to cover their fixed costs and reduce prices for libraries.

The University of Ottawa Library participated in the pilot phase of this initiative in 2014 committing funds to make 28 books available in open access.

Open Book Publishers

The Library holds an annual membership to Open Book Publishers (OPB), a non-profit organisation established by academics in Cambridge (UK) to publish rigorously peer reviewed Open Access monographs.

To date they have published 50 titles in the humanities and social sciences.

A history of financial support for open access publishing

As a leader in open access in Canada, the University of Ottawa has a strong record of supporting open access initiatives. From 2010 to 2014, the Library administered the University’s Open Access Author Fund to support researchers publishing in open access.

Over the course of its existence, it funded over 500 articles by 350 authors with money provided by the central administration and substantial additional financial support from the Library’s collections budget. By October 2014, we had received an unprecedented number of applications which fully committed the budget and as a result the Fund was suspended.

With the effective date of the Tri-Agency OA Policy coinciding with the beginning of our 2014-2015 fiscal year the University was provided an opportunity to refocus and renew our commitment to OA in a responsible and ultimately more sustainable manner. We therefore discontinued the Author Fund and redeployed over $100,000 to support the various strategic memberships in open access initiatives listed on this page.

Publications financially supported by uOttawa

Notice regarding predatory publishers

You may have heard of predatory publishers, but do you know how to avoid them? We have established a checklist to evaluate a publisher’s legitimacy. If you are considering publication with a publisher you are unfamiliar with, please consult our criteria first to ensure that you are not giving away your money at the cost of your credibility.

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