The University Libraries support the goal of making CU Boulder research findings immediately and freely available worldwide via publication in open access journals. See the CU Boulder Open Monograph Fund for information about support for monographs.

The Open Access Fund is intended to support that goal by providing a means for authors without access to funds from other sources to pay for reasonable article processing or publishing fees charged by full open access publishers. Initially, this limited fund will be self-funded by the Libraries and will not come from the campus budget to the Libraries. The Libraries are interested in exploring more sustainable means of funding for open access publications if there is broader support for such efforts across campus.

Articles that comply with the eligibility criteria (below) will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis until available funds are exhausted.

Funding does not imply an endorsement of any journal, nor does it imply an assessment of the quality or research value of any article.

Eligibility Criteria


Current CU Boulder faculty, staff and students may request funding up to $2,000 per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) to pay for article-processing or publishing fees for full open access journals.


Any peer-reviewed research article accepted into a journal meeting the criteria is eligible.


Any journal that provides free, immediate, online access to the full text of all research articles and follows accepted best practices for open access publishing is eligible. This includes, but is not limited to, journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. At a minimum, journals must be compliant with the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association’s Code of Conduct.

In accordance with the Libraries' goal of supporting sustainable publishing models, so-called “hybrid” open access journals that provide free online access for only some articles will not be eligible for funding.

Alternative Funding Options

This fund is intended to support open access to research articles where publication fees are not covered by grants or other funding sources. The Libraries encourage authors to include publication fees in grant requests whenever possible. This fund is not intended to replace such funding sources.

Multiple Authors

Funding is limited to $2,000 per article regardless of the number of authors. Funding for articles with multiple CU Boulder authors will be prorated (e.g., if there are two CU Boulder authors on the same article, each author can request up to $1,000 or they can submit one joint application). Funding for articles with authors from other institutions will not be prorated unless the non-CU authors have secured funding from their institutions or other sources. Applicants may be asked to solicit funds from non-CU authors.

Institutional Repository Submission Requirement

Applicants who receive funding are expected to submit a PDF copy of the published version to (Re: Open Access Fund) for inclusion of the article to CU Boulder’s institutional repository at the time of publication.


In the author’s acknowledgements, please include the statement: Publication of this article was funded by the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries Open Access Fund.

Application Process

If the above criteria are met, the Open Access Fund Application Form can be used to request funds. Requests for publisher payment may be made as soon as an article is accepted and a statement or invoice for publication charges is received. 

Authors will be notified via email upon approval of funding (typically within seven business days). Payment will be made directly to the publisher.


For more information or questions about the application process, contact:

Melissa Cantrell
Scholarly Communication Librarian 
Center for Research Data & Digital Scholarship
University Libraries, Norlin Library
184 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0184