KU Libraries Open Access Agreements and APC Discounts

Support for Open Scholarship

KU Libraries is committed to simultaneously providing access to the content needed for research and teaching and moving scholarly publishing toward a more sustainable future. We see Open Access 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 (typically corresponding) authors.

In order to benefit from these agreements, we recommend using your KU email address when submitting an article.

If your article doesn't qualify for one of the agreements on this page or the KU One University Open Access Publishing Fund, you may still be able to share your work openly in KU ScholarWorks. More information about these initiatives is available at the bottom of this page.

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 Elsevier's fully open access journals will receive a 10% discount on the APC. More information is available at Elsevier’s KU site.


KU researchers serving as a corresponding author can publish without any fees in all Frontiers’ journals. Articles are published with a CC BY License.  KU is the first university to provide publishing to all Frontiers’ journals via a flat-fee model.   

Institute of Physics (IOP)

KU Libraries has entered into a Transformative agreement with the Institiute of Physics (IOP). Corresponding authors from KU have the opportunity to publish articles with a CC By License in numerous journals without paying an APC. Here are the steps to submit an article.  


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.


PeerJ and KU Libraries have changed their publishing agreement. As of October 2023, KU corresponding authors can publish without a fee in any PeerJ journal. This flat fee model no longer requires all authors on a paper to be a PeerJ member. Additional information can be found on the PeerJ KU institutional Page.  


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.

The Royal Society of Chemistry

KU Libraries provides KU researchers with open access publishing in any of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s hybrid journals. Our Read & Publish Agreement will be offered to anyone using their ku.edu email address providing the opportunity to publish using either a CC BY or CC BY-NC license. 


KU Lawrence and KU Med have entered into a 3 year (2024-2026) agreement that provides corresponding KU authors with a 20% discount on article processing charges when publishing in Sage's portfolio of open access journals. More information, including a list of eligible titles, is available at the Sage/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.

KU ScholarWorks

If your article doesn’t qualify for one of the agreements on this page or for the KU One-University Open Access Publishing Fund,  you may still be able to share your work openly in KU ScholarWorks, KU’s online institutional repository of scholarly work by KU faculty, staff, and students.  Most publishers allow the accepted manuscript--the final draft that has the same content as the published version, but not the formatting--to be shared in an institutional repository.  If you’re interested in seeing how ScholarWorks can help you make your work visible to a global audience, please send the accepted manuscript and a link to the published version of the article to Marianne Reed, Digital Publishing & Repository Manager, at mreed@ku.edu.  This service is available to all KU researchers free of charge. 

Helpful Links

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Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright