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Open Access Publishing Fund

University Libraries supports Open Access publishing

How to Apply

An individual who is otherwise eligible (as specified in this guide) and whose article has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed open access journal (as defined in this guide) in which the article is immediately available online, is eligible to apply.

As you complete the application form, you'll be asked to upload these additional items:  

  •  letter of acceptance from the publisher,
  • a copy of the manuscript indicating the affiliation of each author on the paper, and
  • a copy of the publisher’s invoice for the article processing fee in US dollars:
    • The invoice must show "University Libraries" or "George Mason University" as the party being invoiced (e.g., not the author and the author's Mason affiliation).  This is driven by state auditors and we have no flexibility to modify the requirement. If an invoice cannot be generated that shows the amount the OAPF fund is reimbursing and lists the University as payee, we offer the option of inter-departmental transfer of funds (see "Requirements," in the left menu) to the author's department if that unit pays the publication fee.
    • Invoices with the author/applicant and their GMU affiliation as the Bill To entity will not be accepted

    • The dollar amount must also be accurate, and this will differ on a case-by-case basis.

    • The invoice date must be within an acceptable timeframe: this will also differ on a case-by-case basis.

    • Applicants need to ask the publisher for a link/URL for credit card payments, and then forward it to OAPF staff. URLs:

      • should not require the user to create a username and password,

      • should not be time-sensitive (expiring after a certain time limit),

      • should be enduring and persistent: OAPF staff first need to click on it, to verify it works, and then the Libraries' Accounting staff need to click on it, and it should still work.

An appropriate invoice (see above) is the only acceptable document. What cannot be accepted: 

  • A screenshot within the (publisher's) author's portal, showing a balance
  • A Pro-Forma: A pro forma is a preliminary bill sent to authors, in advance of an invoice
  • A bank transfer
  • A wire transfer
  • A Debit Note
  • A link to the publisher’s payment portal, requiring the user to create a username and password
  • An invoice issued by a third-party vendor (e.g. some publishers use the Copyright Clearance Center to handle payment)


IMPORTANT: Applications must be complete, including all of the documents and details noted above, to be considered.




Funding Awards

Applicants will be notified of funding approval. Payment will be made either (a) directly to your publisher, or (b) to your department. The University Libraries cannot reimburse an individual author. For more information, see "Requirements > Reimbursement Requirements" from the left-side menu.

Once an application is complete (qualifying journal and conforming invoice) processing should be complete within 10-14 days.  International payments may take longer if publisher does not accept a credit card.