Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wisconsin launches an OA publishing fund

The University of Wisconsin at Madison has launched a Library Fund for Open Access Publishing.  (Thanks to Heidi Marleau.)  From the site:

The UW-Madison Libraries have established a fund to support open-access publication fees and digital publishing by faculty and academic staff....

With the establishment of the Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing (OSCP), UW-Madison librarians will begin publicizing the availability of funding support for open-access publishing as a part of their outreach and liaison activities.

    The Open Access Fund will:

  • Enable the library to pay publication fees for articles that have been accepted for publication by an established open-access journal. There are now more than 2000 open-access journals serving the international academic community. Many open-access publishers do not require a publication fee, but some of the best known, e. g., Public Library of Science and BioMed Central, have substantial fees that may discourage authors from submitting their articles for publication.
  • Provide seed money and/or matching funds for the publication of open-access books, conference proceedings, and new electronic journals. Large collaborative projects (such as the development of a new journal) will require a contribution from publishing partners as well as the approval of the General Library System Director.

    Guidelines for publishing or open-access support:

  • Proposed projects must be initiated by UW-Madison faculty/academic staff.
  • Publications must allow free access via the Internet for a substantial portion of the published content within six months of the first publication.
  • Projects with cost sharing and/or high degree of cost-effectiveness will be preferred.
  • Relevance of the publication to UW’s research, teaching, and outreach missions.
  • Publications that require one-time financial support will be preferred over publishing projects that are likely to require ongoing support.
  • The fund will not be used to support staffing or capital equipment.


  • Kudos to UWM. This will help faculty publish in fee-based OA journals even when they are not funded or not funded by an agency that permits grant money to be used for this purpose.  It supports the rise of an OA system of peer-review providers.  To judge from the examples, it helps subsidize UWM-based OA journals to reduce the costs for authors elsewhere.  And if Wisconsin enlarges the fund with money saved from dropped journal subscriptions (based on university decisions to cancel subscriptions or publisher decisions to convert to OA), then it will help redirect existing money from toll access publishing to open access publishing. 
  • Wisconsin joins the University of Amsterdam, Nottingham University, and Texas A&M in supporting such a fund.  If there are others that I’m overlooking, I’d like to hear about them.
  • I hope that UMW complements this fund with a policy to require OA archiving in the UMW institutional repository —whether the articles were first published in an OA or a TA journal.