KU Libraries Open Access Agreements and APC Discounts

KU Libraries is committed to simultaneously providing access to content needed to support research and teaching and to preparing for and supporting the evolution of the scholarly publishing landscape towards a more sustainable future. We see open access (OA) as a key element to a more equitable and accessible scholarly publishing system.

In addition to supporting the use of KU ScholarWorks, the Faculty Open Access Policy, publishing open journals, and related scholarly communication services, we are actively working with a growing number of publishers to support open publishing opportunities for KU authors. The following programs either eliminate article processing charges (APCs) completely or discount them for eligible authors. NOTE: most of these programs use email to associate the author with KU; in order to benefit from these opportunities, we strongly recommend the use of KU email at point of submission.

Association for Computing Machinery

We are a pilot participant in ACM’s Unlimited Read and Unlimited Publish Model. KU Libraries pay a flat fee for three years (2021-2023), which was calculated based on the average number of KU articles published with ACM over the most recent 3 years. There is no APC for KU authors and we have the same “read” rights for ACM’s Digital Library as in prior years. We are working with ACM to achieve automatic deposit of KU authored articles into KU ScholarWorks.

Cambridge University Press

KU Lawrence has entered a three year Read and Publish Agreement with Cambridge University Press (CUP). KU patrons now have access to read CUP’s complete journal package. Corresponding authors affiliated with KU can publish their accepted articles as open in the over 350 journals covered by the agreement without paying any article processing charges. When completing an article submission authors must opt-in to publish their article as open and select their desired CC license.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

KU Libraries has a Transformative License Agreement with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Corresponding authors from KU can publish peer-reviewed research, review, and case-study articles in the Press’ five hybrid journals. Authors will be informed of their open access options after their article is accepted.

The Company of Biologists

KU Lawrence and the KU Med Library have signed a read and publish agreement with The Company of Biologists which eliminates article processing charges (APCs) for KU corresponding authors throughout the three-year term of the agreement (2023-2025) in the hybrid subscription journals Development, Journal of Cell Science, and Journal of Experimental Biology and in the open access journals Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open. Accepted articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Affiliation with KU is determined by the corresponding author’s email used at the point of submission. There is no cap on the number of articles that may be published under this agreement.

The Electrochemical Society (ECS) 

We subscribe to ECS Plus, a program that allows KU faculty to openly publish their articles in ECS journals (Journal of the Electrochemical Society and ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology) with no charge to the author. Authors must select ECS Plus under Step 6 - Open Access Waivers, Charges, and Credits, at the time of manuscript submission in order to be eligible for the APC waiver. There are no limits on the number of papers that can be published in any given subscription year.


KU Libraries & KU Med Library have negotiated a 3-year Read & Publish agreement with the scholarly publisher Elsevier (2023-2025). As a result, we retain the same “read” rights to Elsevier’s journals as we have in prior years. Additionally, the “publishing” component of the agreement eliminates article processing charges (APC) for a limited number of KU corresponding authors’ peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication in most hybrid Elsevier journals (searchable list), resulting in those works being open with either a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY; default) or Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical No-Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.

During each year of the agreement, approximately 265 OA articles in eligible hybrid journals will be covered. That cap is based on KU institutional publication history and should cover the vast majority, if not all of the eligible articles during the agreement period. Cell Press and The Lancet titles, and some society titles are excluded from the publish terms of the agreement. KU corresponding authors who publish in eligible Elsevier gold open access journals will receive a 10% discount on the APC. More information is available at Elsevier’s KU site.


We participate in the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP). MDPI is a Swiss publisher of over 360 open access journals. This membership provides a 10% reduction on listed APCs and is available for any manuscript where at least one authors is affiliated with either KU Lawrence or KU Medical Center. Participation in this program is free to KU Libraries.


We are participating in a new pilot membership program with PeerJ which enables KU researchers to publish up to three articles in a three year period at no cost to the author. Essentially, we are covering that cost directly. All coauthors are required to have a PeerJ membership. More information is available on the PeerJ KU institutional page and in a PeerJ press release about the program.


Through support from KU Libraries and the KU Office of Research, KU participates in several institutional partnerships with PLOS. Corresponding authors from KU Lawrence can now publish in any PLOS journal with no fees. To take advantage of this funding benefit, please indicate your University of Kansas Lawrence affiliation on the PLOS article submission form. In the case of PLOS Medicine, PLOS Biology, PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, our participation in the PLOS Community Action Publishing extends discounts to corresponding authors for papers where a KU Lawrence researcher is a co-author. For more information, see the PLOS Publishing FAQ's.

Taylor & Francis Transformative Agreement 

KU Libraries & KU Med Library have committed to provide a funding pool for 3 years (2021-2023) to cover APCs for KU corresponding authors’ peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication into fully open access T&F journals. For more details about the benefits of open publishing and how to find an eligible journal are available on the T&F KU Agreement site.

KU One-University Open Access Publishing Fund 

In addition to the agreements above, since 2012 we have provided funding support KU authors publishing in open access journals through a pilot Open Access Publishing Fund. Co-managed by KU Medical Center and KU-Lawrence librarians, and funded by the Provost’s Office and Offices of Research of both locations. KU-Lawrence and KU Med Center faculty, staff, and graduate students are eligible.

Helpful Links

Sustainable Scholarship Contacts

Acquisitions and Resource Sharing

Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright