10 Years of Article Processing Charge Support

CMU Students

This past January, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the Year of Open Science to, among other objectives, “accelerate discovery and innovation” and “drive more equitable outcomes.” The University Libraries has been a longtime supporter of open science and its related practice, open access, offering a number of ways for researchers to make their work freely accessible and easily discoverable online. One resource is the Article Processing Charge (APC) Fund.

An APC is a publishing fee charged to authors who are publishing in an open access journal. This fee replaces a traditional subscription that libraries and researchers would have to pay to access an article behind a paywall. However, it shifts the production cost to the author instead, which can be a barrier to publishing open access.

The Libraries maintains an APC Fund to assist faculty members, research scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students publishing open access. The fund covers 80% of the APC up to a maximum of $1500 per article (with allowances of $3000 total per requesting author per fiscal year). Articles must be published in a fully open access journal to be eligible, and must be open access immediately upon publication.

In addition, some of the Libraries’ affiliations include discounts on Article Processing Charges. Authors may need to inform the publisher for the discount to be applied.

The APC Fund isn’t a new resource at the Libraries — this is the tenth year it’s been available to help researchers on campus ensure access to their work. Over the past decade, the APC Fund has supported almost 400 articles — covering more than $380,000 for authors across campus. Just this year, articles from researchers in the Institute for Politics and Strategy, Mechanical Engineering, Psychology, the Institute for Software Research, Biological Sciences, and more were published with the help of the fund.

The APC Fund is just one solution that the Libraries offers to facilitate open access publishing. In 2018, the Libraries launched its current institutional repository, Kilthub, to increase the dissemination of open access materials created by the CMU community. CMU also has Open Access Agreements with ten different publishers — including Springer, Elsevier, and Wiley — which enable funders and institutions to cover open access publishing costs.

These actions ensure that works authored by the Carnegie Mellon community are being disseminated as broadly as possible, while encouraging use, increasing citations and amplifying impact, and enabling the Carnegie Mellon community to access works authored around the world.

To apply for APC funding, visit the LibGuide or contact the University Libraries Data and Publishing Services team.

by Sarah Bender, Communications Coordinator