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Open Access

This guide is to help UNLV authors learn about open access, article processing charges (APCs), avoiding predatory publishers, and open access policies.

Questions about the APC fund?

If you have questions about the fund, the eligibility requirements, or about open access, please contact Andrea Wirth at

Other Support for Article Processing Charges

Additional Sources of Funding for APCs

  • Funding agency supporting your project: Check with your funding agency to see if grant funds can be used to support article processing charges.
  • UNLV: Check with your department or college administration to see if funds are available. 
  • Co-authors' institutions: Ask your co-authors to investigate sources of funding from their institutions - start with the library if unsure who to ask.
  • The journal or publisher: In some cases, there may be waivers or reduced fees for authors who simply cannot afford to pay the APC.
  • Publishers sometimes offer discounted (or even free) open access publishing on a temporary basis. Check with the editor or publisher as to whether there is a discount that may apply to UNLV authors.

Open Access Funds

The University Libraries support two funds at this time.

Tenured and Tenure -Track faculty:  This page is for the UNLV Open Article Fund. Please continue reading and use the application linked below to apply for funds available only to faculty.

School of Medicine faculty, residents, and fellows: Please visit the School of Medicine Library Open Article Fund guide.

Graduate Students:  The MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund pilot has concluded. We are investigating other options to support graduate students with open access publishing.

UNLV Open Article Fund

The Libraries continue to support funding for UNLV researchers seeking to publish in fully open access journals. As of 2020, the libraries collection budget is supporting this effort with approximately $20,000 per year. In 2018-19 nearly $30,000 was awarded, with funds supported through the library's collection budget and special one time funding by the Libraries Advisory Board.  All of the current funding is supported by the library's collection budget.

This is a small fund to encourage and help faculty publish OA but it cannot meet all of the growing need we are seeing on campus. This means that in some fiscal years we will need to switch off the fund when the dollars are exhausted. For that reason, we encourage authors to check the status of the fund before they submit to an OA journal if they are relying on funds from us.

Support for Open Access

The University Libraries seeks to assist UNLV researchers in sharing their work widely through open access. We have long supported open access, with the implementation of Digital Scholarship@UNLV in 2009, and now we wish to expand UNLV authors' options by assisting them with the costs of publishing in open access journals. Specifically, this fund supports article processing charges (APCs) for open access journals.

Sharing research through open access provides benefits for authors (greater reach and use of their works), for UNLV (showcasing the research scholarship to potential  students and faculty), and to the public, lawmakers, non-profit organizations, and small businesses by ensuring that research that could impact their decisions is available to them.

UNLV Open article fund logo

How to Apply for Funds

Learn about the UNLV Open Article Fund on this page. Eligibility requirements and other information are provided here.

To apply for funds, please complete the online application form. You will login with your UNLV affiliated email to access the form. You may preview the fund application questions below.

To apply, you will need:

  • Information about you (contact information, affiliation with UNLV, role on article)

  • Information about the article for which you are seeking funding (title of article, journal, co-authors)

  • Funding amount requested

  • To confirm agreement with the following:

    • To place a copy of the final published work in Digital Scholarship@UNLV

    • To acknowledge in article that “The publication fees for this article were supported by the UNLV University Libraries Open Article Fund."

    • That neither you nor your co-authors have grant funding that supports article processing charges for this publication.

    • That that this research was completed in the capacity of your employment at UNLV or as a UNLV graduate student.

    • That you have not yet paid the APC (we do not reimburse authors for payments already made)

  • Preview the application form below to see the entire application.

Ready to Apply?

Visit the application form.

Eligibility Requirements

Who can apply for funds?

The person requesting open access funds must:

  • Be UNLV tenured or tenured track faculty (Law School faculty are not eligible). Graduate student authors should apply to the MSI Open Article Fund specifically created for graduate students.
  • Not have received an award within the last 12 months

Additionally, first time applicants will get preference for funding when the remaining balance in the fund cannot support all outstanding applications. Requests for funding will still be reviewed as they come in.

Which publications are eligible?                         open access logo

Journal criteria:

This fund will support scholarly articles to be published in fully open access peer reviewed journals. The fund does not cover articles to be published in hybrid journals (where only some content is open access), books, book chapters, magazines, or other types of publications.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Most successful fund applications are for journals included in the Directory of Open Access Journals ( There are exceptions since newer journals, or established journals that have not yet applied for membership, may not be in the database. However, we now ask that authors do a preliminary check to see if the journal they intend to publish with is in the DOAJ.  If it isn't, you may continue with the application, but the journal will be reviewed closely by library staff to ensure that it does not display characteristics of a predatory journal. We will use the criteria from OASPA (described below) to evaluate the journal further. You may also wish to review the OASPA information to see if the journal you are considering is following good practices for open access publishing.

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)

The article must be in a journal whose publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) 


the journal otherwise demonstrates that it adheres to the OASPA code of conduct and membership criteria, even if the publisher is not a member.

Article criteria:

Articles with a status of ready for submission, submitted, or accepted are eligible. Articles already published and articles still being drafted are not eligible.

Additionally, articles based on grant funding where grant monies can support APCs are not eligible.

Additional Requirements

Role of Digital Scholarship@UNLV (repository)

Final articles must be added to Digital Scholarship@UNLV, the University’s open access repository. University Libraries Staff will coordinate this process.


The article must acknowledge the University Libraries using the following (or very similar) text:

“The publication fees for this article were supported by the UNLV University Libraries Open Article Fund.”

Award limitations

  • The maximum amount per article is $1500 and is to be used only for article processing charges. The award does not support color, image, or page charges.
  • First-time applicants will get preference for funding. Applications are typically processed on a first come first serve basis. First time applicants will be prioritized when the UNLV Open Article Fund is low and multiple applications come in at a short period of time. 
  • Due to limited funds, each author is limited to one award every 12 months.

Decision and Notification of Award

Decision Authority

The Libraries Scholarly Communication and Data Services Department will review UNLV Open Article Fund applications. Funding requests meeting the criteria described above and on the application form will be approved until the pilot funds are expended. If the department is unsure the criteria is being met (e.g. such as the journal’s adherence to OASPA code of conduct), the Libraries Collection Committee will assist in the review. The content and topic of the article for which funding is being sought is not considered in the review.

Decision Timeline

While we expect to have a much faster turnaround time, please allow two weeks for a response to your application. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, in the order they are received.

Payment Process

***The library can only process first time invoice payments. It does not reimburse individual authors and UNLV does not allow partial payments to be made on invoices received.***

Invoices. Authors with approved funds should send the publisher’s invoice directly to for payment. The Libraries will expedite payment (for up to the amount awarded) as quickly as possible. However, foreign publishers may take longer than U.S.-based publishers - see note below.

APCs greater than $1,500. The maximum award for this fund is $1,500. For awards that only partially cover the full article processing charge, you will be asked to supply a Workday Program Code and Spend Category to which the balance can be charged. The library does not reimburse individual authors and UNLV does not allow partial payments to be made on invoices received.

Invoices typically take 30 days to be processed for payment by UNLV Accounts Payable. Library staff enter them for payment within a few business days of receipt.

Publishers not in the NSHE Suppliers Database

Publishers that are not already registered as an NSHE supplier will need to register

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