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Scholarly Communications@TCU: Open Access Fund

Information about scholarly publishing and open access issues at TCU


TCU Library LogoThe TCU Open Access Fund assists TCU faculty, staff, and students who want to publish their work as open access (OA), but where the cost of doing so is prohibitive to the author.

*New* for 2024-25 is we intend to receive applications continuously through the year. We will be adjudicating applications approximately once per month. Please also review all guidelines below to see other changes.

The button below will lead to the application form.

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Questions? Please email

General Information

General Information
The TCU Open Access Fund assists TCU faculty, staff, and students who want to publish their work as open access (OA), but where the cost of doing so is prohibitive to the author.

Who may apply?
All current TCU students, faculty and staff may apply for funding.

When should I apply?
The application form is available year-round.

What types of works are covered?
Open access journal articles, conference proceedings, monographs, monograph chapters, and other scholarly material such as data sets.

What fee is covered?
The Article Processing Charge (APC) or similar fee is covered under this fund, up to the limits outlined below. No other fees are covered.

What limits apply?

  • For each work, the funding may not exceed $3,000.
  • If there are multiple authors for a work, then the corresponding author applies on behalf of all authors for a particular work. The corresponding author must be a current TCU student, faculty or staff member. If the corresponding author is a Burnett School of Medicine affiliate faculty member, then at least one co-author must be a current student, or employed faculty/staff member.
  • Each corresponding author may be approved for funding a maximum of two times in a fiscal year.

Alternative Funding

  • If an author has extramural grant funding, the author must affirm in the application that the funding is insufficient to cover the APC amount. The library reserves the right to contact The Office of Sponsored Programs regarding grant funding availability.
  • If the APC can be covered by one of TCU's transformative agreements (Link to webpage), the author must use that opportunity instead.

Eligibility Requirements

Journals must meet two eligibility criteria: One criterion relating to the OA model of the journal, and one criterion related to quality control.

OA Model
The first criterion for approval is that the journal must provide free access to all its published content via the Internet immediately upon publication. Excluded from this program is any journal that either delays online publication of articles or that is open access for only a portion of its content (commonly called a “hybrid” OA journal).

Quality Control
The second criterion relates to quality control. In all cases, the article must undergo peer review. The library recognizes that there exist open access journals that exercise no quality control, or solely exist to scam potential authors. Such “predatory” journals are specifically excluded from this program.

Journals must be part of the Directory of Open Access Journals ( to show eligibility, in addition to all other criteria in this document.

For journals that do not qualify under the Quality Control criteria, the library reserves the right to make occasional exceptions.

Monograph and monograph chapters are eligible for the fund if the following two criteria are met:

OA Model
The entirety of the book must be freely available online via the Internet immediately upon publication, regardless of whether the application is for a book or book chapter. Applications where only a portion of a book is freely available will not be considered. The book must be made available under an Open Access license, such as a Creative Commons license.

Quality Control
The book must undergo independent and external peer review prior to publication. The publisher must be listed in DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books). 

For books or book publishers that do not qualify under the Quality Control criteria, the library reserves the right to make occasional exceptions.

The library will consider these works on a case-by-case basis using criteria analogous to the criteria for journal articles and books. In all cases, the publisher must be committed to making its content freely available upon publication, and must have a peer review process.

Applying for Funding

The library application form is open year-round. To apply simply fill out the online form.

You may apply for funding for a work once it is ready to submit to the publisher, and up until one month after it has been published. Additionally, the library will pay the publisher directly and will not reimburse applicants, so please do not pay any fees upfront. If the invoice has been paid by any party besides the library, eligibility ends.

Adjudication of Applications

All applications for funding will be considered. A panel will adjudicate the applications approximately once per month The panel’s decision shall be final.

The panel will use the following guidelines to consider which applications to approve:

  • Preferring applicants that have made the most progress towards getting their work accepted for publication.
  • Preferring to spread funding to a wide variety of university departments
  • Preferring applicants who have not recently received funding from the TCU OA Fund
  • Preferring applicants who apply the earliest.

Upon and After Approval

The library will notify all applicants whether funding was approved.

  • Once you are notified that funding is approved, you have 30 days to notify the library that you accept the funding offer.
  • The deadline to send the invoice is six months after funding is approved, unless the library states otherwise. After the deadline, the funding will expire. The library may extend the deadline in extenuating circumstances.
  • Once funding is approved, the funding is dedicated to a particular work and cannot be transferred to any other work.
  • Once the funding is approved, the funding is dedicated to a particular corresponding author and is non-transferrable without library approval.
  • Once funding is approved, if the applicant wishes to change journals, the applicant must ask the library to reapprove funding for the new journal.
  • When your work is accepted for publication, the publisher will send you an invoice. Send this invoice to the library immediately. Do not pay the publisher yourself, as the library will not reimburse. Please be patient with the payment process.
  • The library will deposit a copy of the work in the TCU Institutional Repository. The author is required to give deposit permission in the application form.
  • The library recommends that the author acknowledge funding in the article with the following text: "Publication charges for this article were supported by the TCU Library Open Access Fund."

Published articles funded January 2024-present

Articles funded in prior years

See this document for a list of all articles supported by the TCU Open Access fund in prior years.