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Open Access Publishing Support

Open access publishing has received considerable attention in recent years and has increasingly become a viable means for faculty, staff, and student authors to make their works available to the scholarly community in a timely manner. A growing number of discipline-specific, rigorous, well-respected, peer-reviewed open access journals are now available to scholars exploring publishing options beyond traditional publishers operating on a customer pay basis. Such journals often embargo article submissions for extended periods of time, thus delaying readers’ access to timely research – an issue that is particularly problematic in the natural sciences.

Faculty, staff, and student authors interested in publishing their works in open access journals are, however, often deterred from doing so because of the considerable article processing charges they have to pay open access publishers for preparing their articles for publication. These fees cover editing, layout design, and other associated work. Depending on the journal, fees may range from $500 to $5,000 for a single article. Processing charges for open access books can range from about $1,500 for a single chapter to $7,000 to $15,000 for an entire book.

Pepperdine Libraries encourages open access publishing and provides Pepperdine-affiliated authors several ways to offset these costs:

  • support stipends provided by the the library
  • institutional “read-and-publish” agreements with publishers allowing Pepperdine-affiliated authors free open access publishing opportunities
  • Digital Commons, our institutional repository


Support Stipends from Pepperdine Libraries

Faculty, staff, and student authors may receive up to $3,000 in total award money each fiscal year. Student authors must collaborate with a Pepperdine professor who can serve either as the primary author (first author listed) or senior author (last author listed).

Up to $2,000 per author per journal article or book chapter per fiscal year (August 1 – July 31)

Up to $3,000 per author per book per year fiscal year (August 1 – July 31)

With their expertise in scholarly metrics and the publishing landscape, library faculty are eager and ready to work closely with faculty, staff, and student authors to identify appropriate open access publishers who may be a good fit for their articles, book chapters, and books. 

  Application Process

  1. In advance of submitting the article, the faculty or staff author should contact Marc Vinyard to review open access journal options.
  2. Complete the online application.
  3. Marc Vinyard will schedule a meeting with the author to discuss their application.
  4. The faculty or staff author will receive a decision about their application in a timely manner.

Priority consideration will be given to:

  • research that has been publicly funded.
  • research that includes partial support for publishing through, for example, a grant or school/departmental subsidy. The faculty, staff, or student author should explore all funding options from grants and schools/departments/divisions before applying for library funding.
  • authors who publish in highly ranked journals. Ideally, journals should be ranked in the first or second quartiles in the Scimago or Scopus journal ranking for their subject areas. At a minimum, the journal should be included in the Directory of Open Access Journals and indexed in the Scopus database.

Articles must appear in gold open access journals that make all articles freely available on their website. The library is not funding hybrid open access articles. With hybrid open access, authors aren't required to pay fees for their articles to be published and they are only charged a fee if they want their article to be open access. (Please note, however, through our institutional “read-and-publish” agreements with publishers, Pepperdine-affiliated authors can publish open access in any of the 2,068 hybrid journals contained within Springer, Palgrave, society-owned academic journals on Nature.com, or Adis collections. See the section below for more information). Applicants agree to allow the free and open reuse of their published article. Authors who receive library open access funding are strongly encouraged to add past and future articles to the Pepperdine Libraries Digital Commons platform.

  Frequently Asked Questions for Support Stipends

Q: I’m interested in publishing in an open access journal. How do I get started?
A: Contact Marc Vinyard to schedule a meeting to learn more about open access. 

Q: How do I select an open access journal for publication?
A: Contact Marc Vinyard to schedule a meeting to learn more about journal rankings and how to determine which open access journal is most appropriate for your research.

Q: I have submitted my article to an open access journal and it has been accepted for publication. What should I do next?
A: Determine how much money the publisher charges for open access publishing. Then, reach out to other funding sources (department, dean’s office, and/or granting agencies) first. If you still need more money to pay for the fees, then apply for funding from Pepperdine Libraries' Open Access Publishing Support Program.

Q: When will I receive a response to my application?
A: We aim to respond in a timely manner, and we will do our best to take into consideration the deadline(s) you share in your application.

Q: What are some of the requirements for funding?
A: The proposed article/journal must:

  • Appear in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • Be included in Scopus Journal Rankings or Scimago journal rankings
  • Be published in a gold open access journal. Hybrid journals are *not* eligible because the publishers are involved in "double-dipping" by charging both article processing charges and subscription fees. Articles in hybrid journals are normally hidden behind paywalls unless authors pay the article processing charge.
    Articles must appear in gold open access journals that make all articles freely available on their website. The library is not funding hybrid open access articles. With hybrid open access, authors aren't required to pay fees for their articles to be published and they are only charged a fee if they want their article to be open access. Authors who publish in subscription journals can make their articles open access free of charge by adding their article to the Libraries Digital Commons platform after an embargo period.
  • Be in the English language, since our goal is to fund publishing that will reach the highest number of readers


Institutional “Read-and-Publish” Agreements with Publishers

As a member of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), Pepperdine Libraries is part of several read-and-publish agreements allowing Pepperdine-affiliated authors to publish articles open access at no cost. As part of their agreement, the publishers listed below will cover the article processing charges on research articles accepted for publication in their journals. For articles written by more than one person, the author listed as the corresponding author must be from Pepperdine to be eligible for the article processing charge waiver.

  Cambridge University Press (valid until December 31, 2024)

All Pepperdine corresponding authors are offered open access publishing at no charge. During the submission process, their institutional affiliation and email are used to automatically associate with the SCELC agreement and, upon acceptance, are offered open access publishing. Original research articles are defined as research articles, review articles, rapid communications, brief reports, and case reports. Authors can use Cambridge’s waivers and discounts page to confirm their eligibility ahead of time and view a list of the 387 journals covered by the agreement. Authors who published on or after January 1, 2021 may order open access retroactively within the same year of publication.

  American Chemical Society (valid until December 31, 2025)

Any Pepperdine corresponding authors who wish to publish open access in all 79 subscription-based and fully open access American Chemical Society journals can do so through a discounted article processing charge of $3,000. Those who do not have research funds to pay the discounted article processing charge can request full funding from SCELC.

If an author has grant funding for open access publishing, authors receive a discounted $3,000 open access article processing charge. If the author does not have grant funding for the article processing charge, the author can still choose to publish open access. When they are asked if they have research funds to pay for the article processing charge, they should select “seek funding” which will route the request to the SCELC subscription pool.

  Springer (valid until December 31, 2024)

Any Pepperdine corresponding authors who wishes to publish open access in any of the 2,068 hybrid journals contained within Springer, Palgrave, society-owned academic journals on Nature.com, or Adis collections is eligible as long as their original paper, review paper, brief communication, or continuing education publication is accepted. Two caveats:

Nature-branded or Scientific American content is excluded as are the 279 fully open access journals in the Springer portfolio.

This agreement will provide free open access publication for up to 550 articles in 2023 across participating SCELC institutions (including Pepperdine University), which is roughly 101% of the average number of qualifying articles that participating institutions’ corresponding authors published in those journals over the past three years. It is possible that the SCELC consortium will collectively exceed this cap, but a historical analysis of author open access opt-out rates and other factors makes this unlikely. It is hoped that future agreements will be able to include a higher number of articles and journals.

  The Company of Biologists, Ltd. (valid until December 31, 2026)

Through an agreement established between The Company of Biologists, Ltd and Pepperdine Libraries, all Pepperdine corresponding authors are offered open access publishing at no charge for articles published between 2024-2026. The included journals are: Journal of Experimental Biology, Development, Journal of Cell Science, Disease Models & Mechanisms, and Biology Open. Refer to this step-by-step guide for corresponding authors to learn more.

  Elsevier (valid until December 31, 2027)

All article publication charges (APCs) are now covered in full for any Pepperdine corresponding authors who wish to publish open access for over 1,800 Elsevier hybrid journals pending acceptance in the journal. During this same time period, APCs may be covered for an additional 500 gold open access Elsevier journals. We encourage you to use this benefit. It comes at no additional fee to Pepperdine University or the Pepperdine Libraries as a result of a cost-neutral three year Read & Publish Agreement negotiated between our library consortium SCELC and Elsevier. 

To take advantage of this agreement, refer to the eligible titles lists for Elsevier hybrid journals and Elsevier Gold Journals. The corresponding author must be affiliated with Pepperdine and this role cannot be reassigned once the article has been submitted.

While the number of open access articles published in hybrid journals (where open access is optional) is unlimited, there are limitations in funding availability for publishing in fully open access journals (where open access is mandatory) and Elsevier has placed a cap on the amount that SCELC libraries can publish collectively in a given year. Funding is first-come, first-serve based on when the article is accepted. This means authors submitting to a fully open access Elsevier journal should be prepared to pay the APC at acceptance in the unlikely event that the number of fully open access journal articles published by SCELC institutions exceeds the limit in any given calendar year. Authors can contact Marc Vinyard for questions before submitting an article. 


Publishing in Digital Commons, our Institutional Repository

Institutional repositories are open access, electronic archives of manuscripts and articles written by the researchers at specific institutions. Unlike the traditional publishing model, these repositories allow researchers to retain their copyrights to their manuscripts. However, institutional repositories rely largely on voluntary contributions of papers at individual institutions. Many researchers are hesitant to deposit their published manuscripts in their institutional repositories for a variety of reasons, including that the policies of traditionally-published journals regarding local archiving vary. Fortunately, we can include most articles in Digital Commons, Pepperdine's institutional repository! Our librarians are available to help researchers review each journal's rules and embargo period (usually in the 1-2 year range). The benefit to Pepperdine-affiliated authors is that articles that are part of Digital Commons get indexed in Google -- in full text -- thus broadening the reach of their scholarly work.

  Which Version Do I Archive?

Many publishing agreements stipulate that you may only archive a specific version of a publication in an institutional repository.  These versions may include: 

  • Pre-Prints: “Pre-print” refers to an original version of a manuscript that is submitted to a journal for publication, before it has gone through the peer review process.
  • Post-Prints:  “Post-print” or “Accepted Manuscript” drafts have gone through peer review and have incorporated all revisions.
  • Version of Record: The publisher’s version, also known as the Version of Record, is the final version of an article after it has gone through typesetting and final copyediting by the publisher. This version is usually not permitted to be archived in an institutional repository.

For information on which version you can archive, consult the Sherpa Romeo website which provides information on publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. Our librarians can help with this step.

Adopted from https://guides.himmelfarb.gwu.edu/scholarlypub/hsrc. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.