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Financial support for open access publishing

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

  • through publisher agreements that provide discounts for publishing;
  • through shared financial support for publishing;
  • through memberships and infrastructure for new models of open access publishing; and
  • through campus partnerships.

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.

COVID-19: Important announcements

Due to the pandemic associated with COVID-19, the University of Ottawa Library is increasing its support for works dealing significantly with COVID-19. Specifically, the Library will reimburse 75% (rather than 50%) of the authors' fees for researchers who wish to publish their work dealing significantly with COVID-19 in an open access journal. Articles submitted before December 31, 2021 are eligible for this additional support. 

This decision stems from a reflection on the importance of open access, particularly during such in a crisis, given the large number of lives at stake. In addition, we also want to ensure that published articles will be unconditionally accessible in the future, as this pandemic episode is likely to be a lasting feature of the 21st century.

If you believe that your paper may qualify for this additional support, please contact the Scholarly Communications Librarian directly, whose contact information is listed at the bottom of the page.

Some publishers have waived author fees for research on the COVID-19 including SAGE, Cambridge, Frontiers and Hindwai. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has published a list of publishers who are promoting cooperative measures such as reducing or cancelling authors' fees, or opening up their collections.

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 

The University of Ottawa has an institutional membership that gives eligible authors a 65% discount on standard article processing charges to BioMed Central, Springer Open, and Chemistry Central journals. Manuscripts submitted on or after May 1st, 2018 are eligible for this discount. Eligible authors must select uOttawa from a dropdown list during the submission process.


Our institutional agreement with PeerJ will fund a Three-Year (Limited Term) Basic Membership for eligible authors who have their paper accepted to PeerJ. The membership allows for authors to publish up to three articles at no cost at any time within the three-year period. For a publication to be funded via memberships, all co-authors on a paper must have a valid membership. All non-affiliated authors need to obtain their own memberships as per PeerJ’s prevailing model and pricing.  

Any users who hold lifetime memberships previously funded by the University are unaffected by this new agreement. The lifetime memberships are still valid and allows the author to publish one PeerJ article every year at no additional cost.  

Manuscripts submitted on or after Februrary 1st, 2021 are eligible for this discount.  

To submit an article and activate the membership, eligible authors must use their email address at the time of submission. If you do not have a email address, please contact the Scholarly Communications Librarian


The University of Ottawa will cover 50% of the article processing charge for articles accepted to Frontiers Journals. Manuscripts submitted on or after May 1st, 2018 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.

PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology 

The University of Ottawa is participating in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) program which grants unlimited no-fee publishing in PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology for affiliated authors. Both corresponding and contributing authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa are eligible. Manuscripts submitted on or after January 1, 2021 are eligible. Authors must self-identify as being affiliated with the University of Ottawa at the time of manuscript submission. 


Through the Library’s CRKN agreements, affiliated authors can receive a 20% discount on article processing charges when publishing in open access with select Elsevier ScienceDirect journals. Corresponding authors must self-identify as being affiliated with the University of Ottawa to receive the discount. Click here to see which journals are eligible for the discount. Manuscripts submitted between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023 are eligible for this discount.

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.

American Chemical Society (ACS) 

Through the Library’s CRKN agreements, authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa can receive a 25% discount on article processing charges for "ACS Author Choice Open Access Services". 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, 2019 and December 31, 2021 are eligible for this discount. 


Through the Library’s CRKN agreements, authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa may publish their articles in open access in most SAGE Choice journals free of charge. SAGE Choice journals are subscription-based journals that give authors the option to pay an article processing charge to make their article available in open access. Click here to see the list journals excluded from SAGE Choice.

Authors wishing to publish in SAGE’s fully open access journals can receive a 40% discount on article processing charges (APCs) for participating journals. Click here to see the title list of participating fully open access journals. 

To facilitate open access publishing, processing of the APC waiver for SAGE Choice journals and the discount for fully open access journals is done automatically via the SAGE Open Access Portal (SOAP) when corresponding authors identify themselves as affiliated to a participating CRKN institution. SOAP is a dashboard for authors to submit their article, select a copyright license, assign a bill payer (if applicable), and view article status. 

Manuscripts submitted on or after January 1st, 2021 are eligible. 

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Through the Library’s CRKN agreements, authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa can receive a 20% discount on article processing charges. 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, 2019 and December 31, 2021 are eligible for this discount. 


University of Ottawa affiliated researchers receive a 10% discount when submitting to MDPI journals. Authors should select the University of Ottawa membership at the last step of the submission process; when submitting via the University of Ottawa IP domain the membership will be automatically pre-selected. MDPI journals are eligible for the Library's Shared Support program when funds are available. 

Taylor & Francis

Through the Library’s CRKN agreements, authors affiliated with the University of Ottawa can receive a 25% discount on article processing charges for T&F Open Select Journal. At the time of submission, the author submits the article via Taylor & Francis Online following the standard process. On acceptance, they are offered the choice to make the article open access. If they chose to do so, they will be asked to generate a quote for the APC. When they select a CRKN institution as their organisation, the discount will automatically be applied. The author then accepts the quote, and choose among several Creative Commons licenses to sign and register themselves or a third-party organisation to receive the invoice at the discounted rate.

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 paid by the author 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. Hybrid journals are not eligible for the Library shared support.

We are currently accepting manuscripts submitted as of May 1st of the current fiscal year. 

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for the 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
    • 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 on the reimbursement process and to submit an application, please visit:

Other funding opportunities

Researchers may be eligible for further publication funding support from the following programs. Note that eligibility, terms and conditions vary from the Library's programs. Researchers should verify the criteria of each and enquire with the funding program administrator for any questions regarding eligibilty and terms. 

Office of International Research

International Publication Support Program

The International Publication Support Program (IPSP) provides support to offset the publication costs generated by research collaborations with international partners.

Faculty of Health Sciences

Open Access Publishing

The Faculty of Health Sciences will provide, on a competitive basis, financial assistance to support publications of quality academic manuscripts in open access journals. Faculty financial assistance is meant to cover only a portion of the cost of the open access publication.

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 platform that supports Social Science and Humanities (SSH) journals in Canada and internationally. In 2017, Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP)  formed a strategic partnership to create Coalition

The goal of Coalition is to provide an open, non-commercial, independent production and dissemination infrastructure for Canadian scholarly SSH journals, based on a business partnership model with shared governance and continuous financial support for open access dissemination.

There are approximately 120 journals currently involved in the project with an embargo period of 12 months, down from 24 months in 2014. The intent of the project is to move to fully open access in the future. Through its membership in the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), the University of Ottawa Library has continually supported this initiative since 2014, and has committed to the next phase of the project, which will run from 2018 to 2022.

Open Library of Humanities

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a peer-reviewed, multilingual academic journal and books platform for the humanities. Nearly 200 libraries internationally 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 is a not-for-profit initiative based in the UK that makes scholarly content freely available through collective library funding. A selection committee vets titles from over 110 publishers and then these titles are presented to libraries to “unlatch”. If the funding goal is reached, these titles then become openly available as digital versions, democratizing access to knowledge on a global basis. Over 1,500 books and journals have already been “unlatched” and are freely available online. 

In 2014, the University of Ottawa Library participated in the pilot phase of this initiative by committing funds to make 28 books available in open access. In 2016, it committed 148 titles, and in 2017, it funded 151 titles. The 2018 offer is currently being assessed.

OpenEdition Books

OpenEdition Books is a platform for books in the humanities and social sciences. The majority of their titles are French-language and more than half of these titles are available in open access. The Library provides annual support to their “Freemium” program, which funds their open access model.

Open Book Publishers

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

To date, Open Book Publishers have published 133 titles in the humanities and social sciences:

Public Knowledge Project (PKP)

The Library is a supporting member of PKP, a multi-university initiative developing open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing. PKP is a non-profit research initiative that focusses on making the results of publicly funded research freely available through open access policies and on developing software solutions and strategies to make this possible. Open source software developed by PKP includes Open Journal Systems (OJS), which the Library uses for our journal hosting and publishing support. 

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

The Library is a member of SPARC, an international organization that “works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education.” Through collaborations with authors, publishers, libraries, students, funders, policymakers and the public, SPARC promotes the changes to both infrastructure and culture needed to make open the default for research and education.


DuraSpace as an independent not-for-profit organization providing leadership and innovation for open technologies that promote durable, persistent access to digital data. DuraSpace supports the success, sustainability, and development of open source projects, including DSpace, the infrastructure that supports uOResearch, the University of Ottawa’s institutional repository.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Through the Library’s membership in the Ontario Consortium of University Libraries (OCUL), we support the Directory of Open Access Journals. The DOAJ is an indexing service that aims to increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language. 

University of Ottawa Press

The University of Ottawa Library and the University of Ottawa Press (UOP) have a funding agreement to support the free online availability of selected titles published by UOP. The Library provides financial support to help cover the costs of publishing four new books per year in open access with Creative Commons licenses. Since the beginning of the partnership in 2012, 18 books have been published in this way, and 69 backlisted books have been made available in open access, for a total of 87 books, or 14% of the Press’ catalogue. The open access versions are made available through uOResearch, and are archived in perpetuity on Scholars Portal. For a listing of the Press’ open access titles, visit their website:

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 managed 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. 

Given that the effective date of the Tri-Agency OA Policy coincided with the beginning of our 2014-2015 fiscal year, the University took the opportunity to refocus and renew its commitment to OA in a responsible and ultimately more sustainable manner. Hence, uOttawa discontinued the Author Fund and redeployed over $100,000 to support the various strategic memberships and 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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