To pay associated publishing costs with Open Access (OA), academic libraries are providing researchers affiliated with the university the funds necessary to publish in OA journals. Structured to reimburse the author fees for a researcher’s accepted manuscript to an OA journal; these funds support the dissemination of scholarship and promote the benefits of OA. With numerous academic libraries in the United States operating a fund to pay publishing costs, librarians are adapting their strategies for addressing popular demand from researchers by reevaluating submission criteria; specifically prioritizing based on need for young researchers in adjunct positions or doctoral candidates and reducing financial expenditure per researcher to expand allocation to additional people.
The essay seeks to effectively identify and compare strategies used by libraries throughout the United States. Beyond analyzing the structure of author funds, the essay explores the value of such programs in promoting OA values of not only free to read, but free to publish. Asking the question, are libraries best suited to expend resources by paying publishing fees and does it achieve its purpose of promoting OA journals? Overall, the essay outlines the role of OA in expanding the potential for libraries to develop its role in scholarly publishing; particularly by promoting researchers’ publications in OA journals using author funds.