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The Libraries’ Open Access Author Fund changes to Article Processing Charge discount model in 2024

The Libraries’ Open Access Author Fund changes to Article Processing Charge discount model in 2024

Photo by Finn Hackshaw on Unsplash

As of March 2024, York University Libraries (YUL) will be changing its Open Access Author Fund (OA Author Fund) model to focus on participating in nationally negotiated agreements with publishers to provide article processing charge (APC) discounts. 

From 2013 to 2023, YUL provided York researchers with access to a small fund that researchers could use to pay APCs when publishing in a ‘Gold’ Open Access journal. While in many academic fields there are alternative publication venues that do not charge APCs (ex., the “Diamond” Open Access model), APCs have become common in some fields, especially among international for-profit academic publishing houses. 

The OA Author Fund was originally structured as a limited support that researchers could use to help cover the cost of APCs. However, in recent years the previous iteration of the fund was typically expended in under a month and funded less than 20 York University articles per year.

New Model

Over the last few years, YUL has had the opportunity to participate in negotiated APC discounts through its membership in the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN). These agreements are referred to as ‘transformative agreements’ and ‘read and publish agreements’. Essentially, they provide researchers at an institution with full or partial coverage of Gold and Hybrid journal APCs with specific publishers.

This funding model has had a far wider reach than the OA Author Fund model. For example, our publisher APC discount agreements through CRKN covered 100% of the APC charges for 162 York University articles in 2023. This provided York researchers with a savings of $549,061.90 USD.

In the interest of maximizing available funding for Open Access research at York and providing greater access to APC discounts, the Libraries’ OA Author Fund has been recently restructured to feature nationally negotiated APC discount agreements.  

This is a departure from the previous model; however, this new approach will provide greater benefits for authors and our community.

Accessing APC Discounts

To learn more about YUL’s existing APC discounts, including discounts that cover 100% APCs for specific publishers, please review the Open Access Investments webpage.

Questions & Comments

If you have questions or comments about the Libraries’ new direction in supporting Open Access research and publishing, please email