The major problem for scholars who want to publish in Open Access journals is the lack of funds; at least at first sight, because more and more universities offer special funds for this purpose. However, it is sometimes quite difficult to find information about the new or existing programs. Here are two new examples.
The first one is the University of Iowa that has recently launched a new fund for Open Access publishing. The University offers $3,000 for publication in open access journals, which allow full, immediate, and free access to all the articles upon their publication, and $1,500 for publication in ‘hybrid’ open access journals. Researchers who gained grants that include funds for OA publishing cannot apply. The fact, that this scheme supports publishing in hybrid OA journals is quite surprising; most universities and institutions offering funds for OA required from authors to publish in completely open journals.
The second example comes from Lund University. Since 2008 the university has been helping authors to cover APCs. However, their policy has changed recently and now the university’s fund covers only 50% of the APCs. The reason given for this is that the fund was being used too rapidly. (It shows that publishing in OA is quite popular.) The fund only supports publishing in journals that are fully open access. Publishing in hybrid journals, where only some articles are freely available, is not supported, in contrast to the University of Iowa example.
Creating funds for Open Access publishing by universities and institutions is a very desirable trend. Those OA policies are a response to the demands of the scientific community and a result of the ongoing changes in science. However, I agree with the statement that OA needs mandatory policies established and financially supported by the governments.