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George Mason University Infoguides | University Libraries
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Open Access Publishing Fund

University Libraries supports Open Access publishing

Great news!

Earlier in the year, funds for the OAPF program were exhausted, but an additional allocation has been made for FY2022. We are again accepting applications for a limited time for FY2022.

Please note: the last day to apply is 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday, March 21, 2022. Otherwise, the fund is replenished on an annual basis at the start of the fiscal year and distributed on a first come, first served basis to qualifying applicants.

This guide is very brief but it is important anyone considering applying for funding from the OAPF should read the entire guide for important information about author and journal eligibility, invoicing requirements, payment procedures and other considerations before filling out the application form.

About the Fund

Most open access (OA) publications do not require payment because the host institution or society absorbs the burden of cost. However, one OA business model currently practiced shifts some costs of publication from the end-user (i.e. reader) or an intermediary (i.e., the subscription model) to the creator (i.e., author). In this model, access to online articles is free of pay barriers to readers, and so qualifies as “open access” content.¹ Users may print-out or electronically share these articles without payment to or permission from the copyright holder. However, it creates a barrier to publication for authors.

The University Libraries offers financial support to eligible members of the Mason community to offset costs of publishing in scholarly OA journals that charge author fees (Article Processing Charges or APCs). The Open Access Publishing Fund at Mason supports four broad goals:

  1. To encourage publication in scholarly open access journals.
  2. To reduce financial barriers to scholarly research,
  3. To disseminate scholarship produced at George Mason University as widely and quickly as possible, and
  4. To foster research and artistic collaboration among and between scholars at Mason and throughout the world.

Questions? Contact the Open Educational Resources and Scholarly Communications Librarian ( 

What is "Open Access"

“Open access,” as defined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative, means “free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

Important Exclusions

Researchers who receive grants that permit monies to be allocated for open access publication will not receive support from the OAP Fund (check ROARMAP to learn more about your funder’s policy). See more in the "Grant-Funded Projects" tab at the left.

Articles appearing in 'hybrid' publications (wherein an author pays a fee to provide open access to an article in a fee-based, subscription journal) are ineligible for OAPF awards.  See more in the "Where to publish" tab at the left.