Collections and Library Services

Scholarly Communications

Open Access Publishing


Open access (OA) means that scientific information, typically a journal article, is freely available with limited restrictions on reuse. There are different ways to achieve open access for your scholarship and different publications follow a variety of models:

Green OA: this refers to an author self-archiving their work in open access repository, such as Libra

Gold OA: the journal is fully open access, and authors may be required to pay article processing fees (APCs)

Hybrid OA: the journal offers authors the option of publishing open access for an APC. These can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. If the author does not select this option, their article will be behind a paywall.

Diamond OA: the journal is both free to read and free to publish

Article Processing Charges

Why UVA doesn’t pay individual APCs

UVA, including the Health Sciences Library, does not have a fund to pay article processing charges (APCs), a fee sometimes charged by publishers for open access publication of a work. This is because subsidizing individual APCs does not address the increasing costs of publishing. Most publishers who charge fees for open access in subscription journals (so-called “hybrid” open access) also “double dip” by charging high subscription fees for the same journals, and these fees continue to rise each year. There is no mechanism for controlling the cost of APCs or preventing double-dipping when the library doesn’t negotiate directly with the publisher.

UVA has experimented with funding individual APCs in the past. A pilot APC funding program offered by the University Library from 2013-2017 found that authors who sought funding were concentrated in a few departments, so the program benefits were not equitably distributed. Additionally, the staff time needed to vet and process individual requests was unsustainable.

Open access fees create barriers for authors who lack access to funding, including graduate students and trainees, as well as authors from less-resourced institutions and countries (Kwon, 2022). They also further entrench large multinational commercial publishers, making it harder for non-profits to compete (Kingsley, 2017).

How UVA supports open access
Instead of benefiting a small number of faculty by paying individual APCs, UVA chooses to support open access platforms and services which benefit the whole university community and beyond. To learn more about these resources or discuss your publishing options, please ask a librarian.

  • Publisher arrangements for open access subsidies

The UVA Library, alongside VIVA (Virginia’s academic library consortium), has negotiated arrangements with several publishers to subsidize costs associated with open access publishing. Those relationships currently include Cambridge University Press, Rockefeller University Press, and Wiley. Find out more about these arrangements.

  • Peer-reviewed open access press: Aperio

Aperio supports open access publishing of journals, monographs, open textbooks, and other educational resources. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and evaluated quarterly. Find out more about publishing with Aperio.

  • Institutional repository: Libra

Libra provides a stable, discoverable location for scholarship of all kinds, such as theses and dissertations, datasets, and journal articles, Libra ensures your work is discoverable in Virgo to the UVA community and beyond. Find out more about publishing with Libra.

  • Platform for open educational resources: Pressbooks

Pressbooks is online software used by authors, publishers, and educational institutions around the world, to create easy-to-access text material. Books hosted in Pressbooks are usable on devices of any kind and accessible from anywhere. Find out more about publishing with Pressbooks.       

  • Copyright reference and consultation

Copyright law relates to scholarly and creative works in a number of ways, whether you’re reusing existing material or considering how best to steward your own work. The Health Sciences Library can provide basic information on copyright, and the University Library also offers guidance and consultations on copyright and intellectual property.


Text adapted from Brandon Butler and Amber Reichert of the University of Virginia Library


Kingsley, D. (2017). So did it work? Considering the impact of Finch 5 years on.
Kwon, D. (2022). Open-access publishing fees deter researchers in the global south. Nature.


UVA Guidelines

In May 2021, the University of Virginia Faculty Senate voted to approve a set of Open Access Guidelines and Recommendations, addressing publications, peer-reviewed and otherwise, and other research products created by UVA scholars. This document does not supplant other UVA policies but sets expectations for scholars disseminating their work.

For more information, visit the UVA Library's guide.

Open Access Publisher Arrangements

UVA does not have any general funding for open access fees, though there are funds available for the development of open educational resources.

UVA has several agreements with specific publishers to waive article processing charges for open access publishing:

Publisher Description Learn More
ACM (Association of Computing Machinery)

Open access article processing charges for all  ACM journals, magazines, and proceedings are covered by VIVA (Virginia's academic library consortium) through December 31, 2024. This arrangement does not include books or book chapters.

Read more
BMJ Case
See Instructions for Authors for a user guide and help on how to submit cases. For access problems or questions, Contact BMJ. To submit your article, connect to the submission page while on a UVA computer network and reference the UVA Fellowship Code, found here.

Includes coverage of publishing fees for open access articles published in certain fully open access journals or subscription journals with an open access option (hybrid journals) through December 31, 2024.

CUP’s Open Access waiver web site includes a list of eligible journal titles.

Use the tool on this page to learn about eligibility and what journals are covered.
PLOS Corresponding authors from UVA can publish at no cost in seven journals: PLOS One, PLOS Complex Systems, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Digital Health, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and PLOS Pathogens. The agreement runs from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025. The corresponding author must select their institutional affiliation and use their institutional email address during the article submission process. This is part of the PLOS Flat Fee Agreement.
Springer Nature Corresponding authors from UVA can publish open access in Springer Hybrid journals at no cost from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025. A list of participating journals can be found here and more details about the agreement are available on Springer Nature's VIVA page.

Article processing charges for Wiley fully gold open access journals and subscription journals with an open access option (Wiley's hybrid journals) may be covered by VIVA (Virginia’s academic library consortium) until December 31, 2024.

Read the VIVA Wiley FAQ and the workflow to request funding.

Please ask a librarian if you have any questions about any of these agreements.

Skip to Main Content

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1350 Jefferson Park Avenue P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville, VA 22908 (Directions)

facebook twitter instagram
© 2024 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
Copyright & Privacy