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Open Access Publishing Fund

University Libraries supports Open Access publishing

Reimbursement Requirements


Once your application has been approved, payments from the Open Access Publishing Fund can happen in either one of two ways. Initially, we ask applicants to submit an invoice from a publisher, in anticipation of the Fund reimbursing that publisher. However, if that does not work, the Fund can reimburse the author's department, via an interdepartmental transfer.

How quickly payment happens depends on the publisher (their willingness to update the invoice, their deadline for payment, etc.), the applicant (gathering all of the details, noted below), and the capacity of the OAPF staff. The typical turnaround is approximately two weeks. Additionally, reimbursements have parameters set by the State, to which the Libraries must adhere:

(1) Reimbursing the publisher

Accepted: an invoice in US dollars.

  • This must note "George Mason University Libraries" as the Bill To entity.
  • 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.
    • The URL is particularly important, if the invoice's deadline for payment is soon.


Not 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)



(2) Reimbursing the applicant's department, via an interdepartmental transfer

Publishers are not always willing to change their invoice. If this is the case, the Fund can reimburse the applicant's department. The payment method is an interdepartmental transfer, meaning the applicant’s department pays the publisher's Invoice first, and then the Libraries will reimburse the department for the appropriate amount afterwards.

To start, the Libraries need all of the following before payment can be made:

  1. A copy of the original invoice.
  2. A letter/email from the responsible party in the department, confirming the fee was paid. The responsible party may be the person who has one of the following titles: Department Manager, Executive Assistant to Department Chair, Administrative Office Specialist, Office Manager, or Finance Manager.
  3. The department’s organization code: this is typically a six-digit number.
  4. The department’s budget code: this is typically a five-digit number.

Note: University Libraries will not reimburse to Foundation accounts.  

Attribution Requirement

Authors who receive support should include this statement in your acknowledgements:

Publication of this article was funded in part by the George Mason University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund

MARS Submission Requirement

Authors who are supported by the OAP Fund are required to deposit the article (“version of record”) in Mason’s digital repository, Mason Archival Repository Service (MARS), upon publication.

Please send the article link to Emilie Algenio ( for this purpose.