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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.

Update June 2022

Update June 2022: The UNLV Graduate Student MSI Open Article Fund is no longer accepting applications at this time

We have expended our allocated funding for this project at this time. Please watch this page as we explore options to continue support for graduate students who wish to publish in open access journals.

We are excited to see UNLV graduate students supporting open access through their publication choices. In the meantime, if you were considering publishing open access, and had intended to apply to this fund for support you may wish to consider:

  • If your publication is related to a grant, asking your PI to check with UNLV OSP about whether any of those awarded funds can be used for open access publication
  • Asking your department or college for support
  • Asking a co-author at another institution if they have a similar fund
  • Reviewing APC waiver criteria on the journal publisher’s website (Some may offer waivers if no other source of support is available. Policies for waivers vary greatly by publisher.)

Three Open Access Funds

The University Libraries support two funds at this time.

Graduate Students:  This page is for the MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund. Please continue reading and use the application linked below to apply for funds available only to graduate students. 

Tenured and Tenure -Track faculty:  Please visit the UNLV Open Article Fund page 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.

MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund

The Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Student Council and the UNLV University Libraries are pleased to announce that funds to support graduate students publishing in open access journals are now available.

The MSI Student Council is providing financial support for this new fund and the Libraries Scholarly Communication and Data Services Department and the MSI Council collaborated to design the criteria, application process, and management of the fund.

What is the UNLV MSI Open Access Fund?

The purpose of this MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund initiative serves as a means of helping facilitate this recently-attained standard of very high research activity among graduate students at UNLV. Although this initiative aims to help promote publishing activity among minority and historically-underrepresented students at UNLV--a demographic with documented lower rates of academic publishing (e.g., the scope of this initiative is open to all graduate students, including disenfranchised groups within academia as well as any graduate students with a demonstrable financial need and inability to meet article publishing costs a within peer-reviewed open access journal.

The criteria and process for applying for funds are provided below.

Support for Open Access

The University Libraries have a long history of supporting open access including Digital Scholarship@UNLV (UNLV's institutional repository) and the UNLV Open Article Fund available to UNLV tenured and tenure-track faculty.

How to Apply for Funds

Learn about the MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund on this page. Eligibility requirements and other information are provided below.

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

  • 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 a UNLV Graduate student
  • 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, the articles supported in the following ways are not eligible for the MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund:

  • if your article is supported by grant funding where grant monies can support APC costs

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 support for publishing using the following (or similar) text:

“The publication fees for this article were supported by the MSI Graduate Student Open Access Fund."

Award limitations

  • The maximum amount per article is $1,500 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 fund balance 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 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), a representative from the MSI Student Council 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


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. If you do not have access to a Workday account, we recommend you consult with the journal publisher about options for generating an invoice for the amount the fund is paying.

**Authors, please be aware that payment for domestic publishers takes a couple of weeks to process. Invoices are taking 30 days to be processed for payment. This is from the time the invoice is received in the email to the time the campus Accounts Payable office releases payment to the publisher.

Note about Foreign Publishers

Foreign publishers that are not already registered as an NSHE supplier will need to register. Additionally, UNLV purchasing will review all foreign invoices before they are paid.

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