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Open Access: Info for Authors

Author Rights (SPARC Guide)


A guide to your rights as the author of a publication (by SPARC).

The SPARC Author Addendum - Use this form to retain key rights to your publications.

Author Rights (SPARC video)

Open Access Spectrum

Thousands of journals have adopted policies that embrace some or all of the OA core components related to: readership; reuse; copyright; posting; and machine readability. This new guide is intended to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on publisher policies.

Paying Article Processing Charges (APCs) for OA Fees (applies to USask authors)

Many OA journals do not charge fees, or will waive fees if the author is from a developing country or does not have funding. OA fees (APCs) are generally an acceptable expense in grants - so you can budget for them in your grant application.

If you do need to pay APCs there are some other sources of help in paying fees:

Publications Fund from Research Services: Up to $1500. See this page for more details. 

  • In addition to the Publications Fund from Research Services, some colleges now also have their own Publications Funds. Faculty should check with their college.


Discounts for Article Processing Charges (APCs) by publisher:

  •  American Chemical Society (ACS): USask authors receive a $250 USD discount in OA APCs in ACS "AuthorChoice" journals (doesn't include ACS Omega). When completing your online payment form select "Apply Discounts" then search for and select "University of Saskatchewan" as your institution. The $250 discount should then be applied.
  • BioMed Central: The University Library pays a membership to BioMed Central; USask authors receive a 15% discount on APCs. The discount is set up via IP recognition, so when you submit an article from a desktop computer on campus the discount gets deducted automatically. If you submit the article from home or any other IP address (often includes laptops on campus), then you would need to state manually (via a dropdown box) that you are affiliated with the USask. BioMed Central staff would then proof the identity and affiliation and deduct the discount afterwards.
  • Cambridge University Press: USask authors are eligible for a 20% discount off OA APCs. The discount is automatically applied when the author submits their article to RightsLink and selects their institutional affiliation.   
  • Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press): USask authors publishing in NRC journals are eligible for a reduced fee of $1500 per article for the OpenArticle option. Authors must state that they are affiliated with a "CRKN institution." CRKN is the national consortium through which the University Library subscribes to this journal package.
  • High Energy Physics journals: The University Library participates in the SCOAP3 initiative. Authors of high energy physics articles publishing in journals participating in SCOAP3 do not pay APCs, retain their copyright, and their articles are immediately open access. See this page for more details.
  • Hydrology Research (IWA Publishing) OA Affiliate Program: As supporters of Hydrology Research the University Library has 2 vouchers available to cover the full cost of APCs for USask authors publishing in this journal (articles accepted for publication between Jan 1- Dec 31, 2020). Please contact for more information. 
  • MDPI: USask authors receive a 10% discount in Article Processing Charges (APCs), book processing charges (BPCs), and Chapter Processing Charges (CPCs). Authors will be prompted during the last step of submission to determine if they are eligible for the discount (if submitting from within the USask campus IP range this should be automatically selected for authors).
  • SAGE Choice Open Access Model: USask authors publishing in SAGE journals are eligible for a 40% discount per article on Open Access charges. Authors must email and state that they are affiliated with a "CRKN institution that licenses Premier All-Access" and request the discount code (CRKN is the national consortium through which the University Library subscribes to this journal package). See detailed instructions for authors in the document below.
    • Note: there are some SAGE journals that are not included in this discount or that have special discounts. See lists below or check with editors of your journal of interest. 

Tools for Authors


RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self-archiving of journal articles online and in open access repositories. Most publishers will permit you to post a copy of your article but usually restrict this to certain versions of the article, and may require you to wait a certain number of months before you post (i.e. the "embargo" period). RoMEO will tell you the policies of your journal.

More and more funding agencies are requiring recipients of their grants to provide open access to their research results. Does your funding agency require OA of your outputs? Find out by searching JULIET!

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed open access research journals, periodicals and their articles' metadata. Journals must apply for inclusion in this quality controlled list. This is an excellent place to search for reputable open access journals in your discipline.

This is a set of copyright licenses and tools that provide creators with a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work.


CARL Canadian Author Addendum & Guide (PDF) - This guide will take you through the steps to using the addendum form to modify the publication agreement in order to retain more rights to your published work. Link to the addendum is in the guide.

The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine will help you generate a PDF form that you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights (you can select criteria).

You can also modify the publication agreement yourself to suit your unique requirements. See this list of the various rights that you may want to retain.

Canadian Funders' Policies on OA

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

Grant recipients are required to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication. Recipients can do this through one of the following routes:

  1. Online Repositories
  2. Journals

NSERC & SSHRC: This policy applies to all grants awarded May 1, 2015 and onward.

CIHR: This policy applies to all grants awarded January 1, 2008 and onward. CIHR grant recipients have additional responsibilities to make their research data publicly available (see the link above for more details).

Link to policy statement.

Link to the policy FAQs.

Routes to OA: Green vs Gold

Gold OA is publishing in an OA journal (or hybrid journal) and the article is immediately available OA. Sometimes there can be an article processing charge (APC) for this.

Green OA is publishing in a conventional journal and then self-archiving a copy in an open online repository. Often there can be an embargo on the article, so it is not immediately available OA.

Make your Research OA - Free & Legally!

The OA Citation Advantage

There is now considerable evidence that open access articles are more highly cited. This is known as the OA Citation Advantage.

Useful Guide: "Making Your Publications Open Access"

Dawson, D. (2013). Making your publications open access: Resources to assist researchers and librarians. College & Research Libraries News, 74(9), 473–476.