Open Publishing Support Fund: Application Instructions

Follow these instructions to request funding for article processing charges.

After reviewing the fund’s eligibility guidelines:

  1. Ask the journal publisher about the possibility of a waiver or reduction of publishing charges and/or check if UT is eligible for an institutional discount. Through the Libraries’ support, UT authors have discounted APC rates with several publishers, including Springer Nature (BMC, Nature, SpringerOpen), MDPI, and PeerJ. Authors may need to take additional steps with the publisher in order to have the discount applied. (Further explanation is provided below.*) Report the results of your request in the appropriate box on the application form.
  2. Complete and submit the online application form. Requests for funding can be made at the point of acceptance to a publication.
  3. You will receive an email from the Office of Research and Engagement or the University Libraries regarding the decision.
  4. Please have your college/department pay the invoice up front.
  5. Submit the paid invoice with IRIS document number and a copy of the email confirmation to Melanie Murphy, mtaylo10@nullutk.edu, 1534 White Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37996-1529 (email preferred).

Send general questions to AVCRD@nullutk.edu. Questions about qualifying publications should be sent to Rachel Caldwell, Scholarly Communication Librarian.

As a reminder:


Apply Now: Online Application Form

Note: This form was updated December 2018.


*Waivers or Reductions

Asking about either a waiver or reduction in charges is a way to find out if there are any discounts for which we (as UT) or you (as authors) might be eligible. Some publishers have discounts for authors who are society members. A few provide discounts to authors at institutions where the library has a membership or other support agreement with the publisher (see below). Some publishers will waive the fees for those who are first-time authors in a new journal. Others provide discounts for graduate student authors.

If you have asked and there are no discounts for which you (or the institution) are eligible, state that in the appropriate field in the application form.

Institutional Discounts and Reductions

Note that with support from the UT Libraries, authors are eligible for reduced open access article processing charges from the following publishers:

  • MDPI
  • PeerJ (see below)
  • Springer Nature (includes BMC, Nature Publishing Group, SpringerOpen)

With Springer Nature, authors are advised to look for the “APC Agreement” section (or the payment options page) in the initial online submission process and select the option for “institutional discount,” rather than agreeing to pay the full amount of the article processing charge (APC). If the institutional discount option was not selected upon submission, authors are advised to contact Springer Nature to have the discount applied before their invoice is issued.

UT Libraries also has an agreement with PeerJ to cover all open access article processing charges for their journals. All researchers eligible for the Open Publishing Support Fund are likewise eligible for the UT PeerJ Publishing Plan. If you wish to publish in a PeerJ journal, do not complete this OPSF application form; instead, complete the UT PeerJ Publishing Plan Application before you submit your manuscript.

Graduate Commons Ribbon Cutting

Join us to celebrate the grand opening of a long-awaited space just for graduate students in Hodges Library.

UT graduate students gather for a meeting in the Graduate Commons at Hodges Library