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The One University Open Access Author Fund at The University of Kansas (KU)

Funding is only available for Lawrence and Edwards campus affiliates.

Funds allocated to the Medical Center have already been distributed. The KUMC Open Access guide has information on funding agreements available to KUMC authors.

KU's One University Open Access (OA) Author Fund is designed to heighten the visibility and accessibility of the University's scholarship and to support faculty, staff, and graduate students in all KU disciplines who choose to publish in open access journals that require author-fees for accepted manuscripts. It is intended for authors with limited sources of funding that allow for open access publication charges. $10,000 of funding has been approved for distribution in FY25.

The OA Author Fund is made possible by contributions from the offices of KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research.

Due to the significant number of applicants, but limited funds during the two-year pilot of this fund, considerable evaluation of award results and consultation with KU faculty and researchers resulted in changes to the application process, criteria, and awarding of funds. Please read all criteria below to ensure your successful application.

The awarding will now be a monthly competitive process reviewed within the first 5 business days of each month. Priority will be given to graduate students, early career research staff, pre-tenure faculty, those with little or no research funding to support their open access publishing, and first time OA Author Fund applicants. However, everyone that meets the basic criteria (see below) are welcome to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for FY25 opened July 1, 2024. Only KU Lawrence and Edwards campus affiliates are eligible for funding in FY25. Requests from each month are reviewed, prioritized, weighted for need and approved or denied within the first week of the following month and authors are notified of the decision.

Please review the application requirements and apply here:
Complete the OA Author Fund request form

See the OA Author Fund Awards page for a list of previous awardees.
Find the OA Author Fund Annual Reports page here.

Author eligibility

All faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and staff on the KU main campus in Lawrence and the Edwards campus are eligible to apply for funding. Priority will be given to first time OA Author Fund applicants, graduate students, early career research staff, pre-tenure faculty, and those with little or no research funding to support their open access publishing.

Authors applying for funds along with the primary authors of the publications must be KU employees or students. Preference is given to research or scholarship primarily conducted by KU employees or students.

We expect researchers to use appropriate research grant funds to pay such publication charges where applicable. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will fund open access publications as part of their research grants. For questions related to research funds and your application please email us at

Journal eligibility

Inquiring authors are encouraged to consult with the OA Author Fund reviewers regarding the eligibility and quality of open access journals prior to submitting manuscripts. Email your questions to

Authors applying for open access author funds must be publishing in journals that meet the below criteria:

  • Provide unfettered access to all peer-reviewed articles -- be an entirely open access journal. Journals with a hybrid open-access model or delayed open-access model are not eligible.
  • Be published by a member organization of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association OR adhere to its Code of Conduct.
  • Have a standard article fee schedule publicly posted.
  • Be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Exceptions to a DOAJ listing may be made if the journal meets other criteria and the OA funding review members verify journal credibility.

Authors are encouraged to review the journal for quality indicators such as those listed in the Evaluating OA Journals & Publishers research guide especially for those journals and publishers for which they are unfamiliar. Think.Check.Submit may also help identify trusted journals for your research. They provide a simple checklist that researchers can use to evaluate journal or publisher credibility. Reviewers of the application may also use those indicators when deciding whether a journal meets the quality criteria for funding.

Article eligibility

Articles must:

  • Be a peer-reviewed article submitted to an open access journal.
  • Not have been published prior to the authors' request for funds. Already-published articles are ineligible.
  • Have Publication Status of, "submitted-for-publication" or "accepted-for-publication". Funds will not be encumbered for manuscripts that are still being written.

Fund Cap, Disbursement and Administration

Fund Cap
Funds may be used to pay article processing charges up to $2,000 per article, but not color, page, or image charges.

A requesting author may be awarded funding once in a fiscal year period. There is no funding rollover.

Fund Disbursement

  • Requests may be made upon article submission or immediately upon acceptance.
  • Articles that are ready for submission to the journal and are awarded funds will have four months to complete the peer review process. If the paper is not accepted by the publisher or a PO not received for payment within four months of funding approval, the award will expire. The author will be contacted and may later reapply for funds.
  • Once a request has been approved, the requesting author may direct the journal to send the invoice to the KU Libraries contact, or you may send a publisher's invoice to
  • Funds will be divided into one-month portions. Applications received during the previous month will be reviewed within the first 5 business days of the next month, prioritized, weighted for need, and awarded.
  • Funds may only be paid to publishers' invoices or KU/KUMC department invoices for the amount of the award.
    • For clarity, this requires awardees to request a split invoice from the publisher or to have their department pay the full invoice and seek reimbursement from the library for the amount awarded.
  • Individual authors will not be reimbursed or paid for retroactive publications.
  • If not awarded, an author will be notified and may be eligible to apply the following month. Applicants reapplying are not guaranteed funding awards.

Competitive Review
Funding will be distributed through a monthly, competitive review process. Weighted priority will be based on: 1) author status (graduate student, pre-tenure faculty, early career research staff); 2) those who lack funding for open access publication charges; 3) those who have not previously applied for open access author funds.

Additional Criteria
The fund is a limited resource intended to support open access publishing across the university. We expect researchers to request funding for open access publication from their funding agency if they can do so. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will fund open access publications as part of their research grants. If such funds are not available, we welcome your application.

If funds are encumbered for a submitted manuscript that is later not accepted, those funds will then be released back to the fund for disbursement to accepted articles.

KU Libraries will upload the published version of each funded article to KU ScholarWorks, KU's open access digital archive of the scholarly work of KU faculty and graduate students.

Fund Administration
KU and KUMC libraries administer and assess the program with oversight provided by the KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research.

Citing the Fund
The article processing charges related to the publication of this article were supported by The University of Kansas (KU) One University Open Access Author Fund sponsored jointly by the KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research and managed jointly by the Libraries at the Medical Center and KU - Lawrence.

Library Hours and Contact Info

Library Building
Monday – Friday 7:30am – 11pm
Saturday – Sunday 6pm – 11pm

Reference Services
Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm

A.R. Dykes Library
Mailstop 1050
2100 W 39th Ave
Kansas City KS 66103