The University of California is committed to making it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish open access. 

The UC libraries negotiate agreements with scholarly journal publishers to reduce the amount authors must pay when they choose to publish open access. Most agreements offer up to full coverage of the open access fees; others offer a discount.

Below are commonly asked questions about these agreements. You can also find details specific to a given publisher on the list of current open access publisher agreements.

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Funding Approval

Why am I being asked to contribute grant funds to publish my article open access?

Under most of UC’s open access publishing agreements, existing library subscription funds have been repurposed to instead provide financial support to help UC authors pay open access fees. Library subscription funds, however, are not sufficient to cover the full cost of open access publishing for every UC author. The funding models for these agreements depend upon authors who do have research funds to pay a portion of the open access fees. This allows the UC libraries to offer financial support to all UC authors, while ensuring that authors without grant funds can be fully covered if they choose to publish open access.

I have some funds available, but they are insufficient to cover the remainder of the APC after UC’s automatic $1,000 payment. Can I make a partial contribution and ask UC to cover the rest?

If you determine that you do not have sufficient funds to cover the entire author’s share (after the libraries’ automatic payment of the first $1,000 of the APC), you should request full funding. There is no mechanism for a partial contribution to the author’s share.

Authors are encouraged to budget for publication costs in future grant proposals. UC’s open access fact sheet for researchers applying for grants provides more details. 

Why am I being asked to give a reason for requesting full funding, and how will my response be used? Will my response determine whether or not I receive funding?

The data collected is used in aggregate by the UC libraries to evaluate, manage and improve our open access funding support programs. All responses are anonymized and the libraries will not attempt to verify the status of your research grants. Your response will not affect your eligibility.

How will I know if my funding request has been approved?

As long as you are affiliated with UC and are the article’s corresponding author, your funding request will be approved, in most cases immediately. For some publishers, due to the large volume of articles by UC authors, it may take up to 48 hours for you to receive an email confirmation from the publisher. To expedite approval, please use your UC email address and/or indicate your UC affiliation when submitting your manuscript for publication. 

If the corresponding author is not affiliated with UC, you will be responsible for paying the APC if you publish open access.

Who do I need to contact at my library to submit my funding request?

You do not need to contact your campus library. If requesting full funding of the APC, you will submit your funding request through the publisher’s manuscript submission portal and it will be automatically routed to the UC libraries for payment. If you have any questions, contact

Do I need to acknowledge this funding in a footnote or endnote of my article?

Acknowledgement of the libraries’ funding is appreciated but not required. If you choose to note it, please include the following: 

“[Partial/Full] funding for publishing this article open access was provided by the University of California Libraries under a transformative open access agreement with the publisher.”

Is there a cap on the number of articles I can publish under an agreement or on the amount of funding I can receive?

There are no caps on the number of articles published nor on the amount of funding you receive. As long as you are the corresponding author and conducted the work while affiliated with UC, you are eligible.

Author Eligibility

I am not sure whether I am eligible based on my role at UC (e.g. I am a student, postdoctoral scholar, clinician, adjunct or emeritus faculty, employee, etc.). Am I eligible?

Yes, you are eligible if you are the article’s corresponding author and the work was done while you were affiliated with UC, regardless of your role or personnel status. 

To expedite approval, please use your UC email address and/or specify your UC affiliation when submitting your manuscript for publication. If you have questions, contact

I am no longer at UC but the research for my article was conducted while I was affiliated with UC. Am I eligible?

Yes, if you are the article’s corresponding author and the work was done while you were affiliated with UC, you are eligible. In general, articles should be published within one year after departing UC in order to be approved for funding. Your UC affiliation must appear in the final published version of the article. If you have questions, please contact

If I already published a subscription article, can I change my decision and publish it open access under an agreement?

If you published your article within the term of an agreement but did not select open access, your article may be retroactively eligible in some cases. The effective dates for each publisher agreement are provided on UC’s Open Access Publishing Agreements and Discounts page. 

Generally, articles published before an agreement’s start date are not retroactively eligible for library funding support. Please contact if you have questions about your article’s eligibility.

Journal and Publication Eligibility 

How can I find out if the journal I’m publishing in is covered by a UC agreement?

There is currently no single list of the roughly 8,000 journals covered by UC’s publishing agreements. Please check the Open Access Publishing Agreements and Discounts page to see if your journal’s publisher has an active agreement with UC. 

Some UC campus libraries have agreements with other publishers. Check your campus library’s website for information.

Why doesn’t UC have an open access agreement with my journal’s publisher?

UC continuously seeks to expand the number of journals covered by open access agreements as our existing subscription agreements come up for renewal. See how we set priorities for engaging with publishers to negotiate transformative open access agreements. If there is a specific journal or publisher you recommend adding, please contact

What open access options do I have if my journal is not covered by one of UC’s open access publisher agreements?

A few UC campuses have funds to help pay for open access fees that aren’t otherwise covered by a transformative agreement. Check your campus’ fund for eligibility and other guidelines. You can also utilize UC’s open access policies that enable authors to deposit their final accepted manuscript into UC’s open access repository, eScholarship. (The final accepted manuscript is the version of the paper that includes changes from peer review, but does not contain the publisher’s formatting and copyediting that appear in the final publisher’s PDF).

What types of publications are eligible for funding support?

Generally, all articles containing original research are eligible. Other eligible article types vary by publisher. See the publisher agreement webpage for your journal’s publisher for details. Books and book chapters are generally not eligible under these journal agreements.

Creative Commons Licenses

Which Creative Commons license should I select for my open access article?

While it is entirely up to you as an author to decide which license to assign to your article, the Academic Senate recommends choosing a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. This license, which is presented as the default selection under most of UC’s publisher agreements, allows you, the author, to retain the copyright for your work and allows others to reuse and share your work with proper attribution. 

Some publishers also offer the choice of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) or Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licenses, both of which place some limits on how others may use your work. Please be aware that some publishers place restrictions on your rights with CC BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND licenses. UC is addressing author rights in its ongoing negotiations with publishers. Learn more about the Creative Commons license options or contact your campus library for help.

Payment Process and Invoices 

How do payments work?

If you are identified as a UC-affiliated author in the publisher’s manuscript submission portal (typically by using your UC email address when you submit your article), UC’s funding support will be applied automatically. 

  • If you are contributing grant funds towards the open access fee, you will be sent an invoice for your share of the fee.
  • If you are requesting full coverage of the open access fee, you will not be invoiced for any amount. The UC libraries will pay the full amount directly to the publisher.

See the publisher agreement webpage for your journal’s publisher for specific details.

I requested to have my APC paid in full, but I received an invoice from the publisher. Who can I contact for help?

Please contact and we will assist you in resolving the invoice.