Learn more about changes to the SFU Central Open Access Fund

Scholarly Publishing and Open Access plus a stylized book with the open access symbol

Important changes to the SFU Central Open Access Fund

The SFU Library Central Open Access Fund has been in place since 2010 to provide financial support for SFU authors to publish their work in open access journals. In Fall 2023, SFU Library convened a group of faculty and librarians to review the sustainability of the current model of the SFU Library Open Access Fund. Based on the task group's findings and recommendations and with the support of the Senate Library Committee, SFU Library will be phasing out the Open Access Fund over the next few years. The first step will be to significantly change the eligibility and amounts awarded in order to reduce costs while still supporting early career researchers. The task group has also recommended the library and university prioritize and support open access infrastructure and models that are more sustainable and equitable.

What has changed?

Beginning April 1st 2024:

  • The amount of the award will be reduced to $1250 CAD (previously $2500 CAD). 
  • Priority for awards will go to early career researchers: SFU students, staff, postdocs, adjuncts, assistant professors.
  • After April 1 2024, applicants may only receive one award in total (previously applicants could receive an award annually).
  • Articles will be eligible for support from the Open Access Fund only if the total APCs (Article Processing Charges) for an article is under $3,500 CAD. (This acknowledges that higher fees are not in line with the equity and inclusion principles of OA.)
SFU Central Open Access Fund

Previous criteria 

Aug 11, 2023 - Mar 31, 2024

Current criteria 

Apr 1, 2024 - Mar 31, 2025

Level of financial support

$2,500 CAD

$1,250 CAD


1 per year

Maximum of 1 funded article


All SFU affiliated researchers

Early career researchers: 
SFU students, staff, postdocs, adjuncts, assistant professors.

Preferred reimbursement process

SFU Library pays on behalf of applicant; remainder billed to researcher.

Applicant pays up front; up to $1,250 to be reimbursed by the Library

 Current and past applications: The Library will continue to support articles already approved through the SFU OA Fund application process

New applications: Applications for the OA Fund received after April 1st 2024, will be subject to the new OA Fund guidelines.

What remains the same?

  • Eligible early career researchers will continue to receive financial support towards APC cost.
  • The corresponding author (applicant) is responsible for completing the OA Fund application form. 
  • There is no change to which open access journals are eligible. Fully open access books or book chapters remain eligible for the OA Fund.

What alternatives are available? 

We know that Article Processing Charges (APCs) pose barriers to many researchers for publishing in open access journals. In addition to the OA Fund, SFU researchers benefit from the following open access publishing supports: 

 APCs waivers or discounts from selected publishers

SFU Library holds institutional memberships and participates in publishing agreements with many academic publishers, some directly, or as part of library consortia. 

These memberships provide waivers on article processing charges (APCs) or discounts for articles published by SFU authors. 

 APCs as an allowable expense

The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications requires that all peer-reviewed journal publications resulting from funding by the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) must be freely available online within 12 months of publication. 

As part of this requirement, article processing charges for open access publishing are an allowable expense in grant proposals

 Deposit to SFU's open repository at no cost

Researchers can meet the SFU Open Access Policy and federal access requirements free of charge by depositing their publications in Summit, SFU’s Institutional Research Repository

The Library will manage any embargo periods required by your publisher. 

Public access to the article will be automatic following the embargo end date.


The Library remains committed to supporting SFU authors in sharing the products of their research with the broadest possible audience, and we are available to discuss your open access publishing options.

 Please reach out to oa-fund@sfu.ca with questions or feedback.

Changes starting in April