Open Access Publishing for Researchers 

What is Open Access?  

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the right to use these articles fully in a digital environment, as defined by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).  

There are two ways to make your research open access: 

1. publishing in an open access journal


2. depositing a previously published article in an open access repository. 

The benefits of publishing open access include: 

  • increased visibility to a global audience 
  • generating more citations 
  • retaining copyright over scholarly work 

Open Access Publishing Agreements 

CSU Libraries has negotiated several publishing agreements that enable researchers affiliated with CSU to publish their work open access at no cost. All article processing charges (APCs) are covered under these agreements by CSU Libraries. 


If you have any questions or concerns about these open access agreements or the publishing process, please contact Khaleedah Thomas, Copyright & Scholarly Communications Librarian, at

Publishing Agreements (Fully Covered Charges) 

CSU Libraries will fully pay article processing charges (APCs) on your behalf for the following publishers. 

Cambridge University Press

The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries has an agreement with Cambridge University Press to support Open Access publishing. If you are affiliated with a participating institution, you can publish your article Open Access, at no cost to you, in gold and hybrid journals.

To be eligible, articles must:

For more information, visit Cambridge University Press's agreement website.


Due to overwhelming demand, the Libraries is no longer accepting funding requests at this time. We continue to evaluate pending requests. We’re also exploring the feasibility of future opportunities to support researchers with article processing charges for Frontiers publications. If you need assistance with article processing charges, please see Frontiers’ FAQ, Do I Qualify for Fee Support.


Microbiology Society

This agreement allows CSU researchers to publish an unlimited number of open-access articles (OA) and provides unrestricted access to the Society’s journal portfolio. This deal encompasses all of Microbiology Society’s six journals including Microbiology, Journal of General Virology, Journal of Medical Microbiology, Microbial Genomics, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology and Access Microbiology.

For more information, visit the Microbiology Society’s agreement website.


Corresponding authors affiliated with CSU may publish open access at no charge to the author. To qualify, articles must be published in a Wiley or Hindawi fully open access journal† (submitted on or after 1 January 2023) or published open access in a hybrid journal (accepted on or after 1 January 2023).

Publishing Agreements (Discounted Charges) 

CSU Libraries offers discounts on a portion of the article processing charges (APCs) for the following publishers. 

BioMed Central & Springer Open Journals

CSU’s supporting membership entitles CSU affiliates to a 15% discount on the article processing charge for articles submitted to any BioMed Central and Springer Open journals. Details on how to take advantage of this discount. 


Authors affiliated with CSU will receive a 10% discount on article-processing charges and book-processing charges. Authors must use their institutional email address to obtain the discount. See here for a list of participating journals and APC charges.


The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries has an agreement with SAGE to support open access publishing. Corresponding authors affiliated with CSU are entitled to a 10% discount on article processing charges (APCs) for publishing an article in one of SAGE's Gold open access journals. This discount will be applied automatically in the SAGE Open Access Portal. Authors are only eligible to receive one discount per article, so only the highest discount available to the author will apply. 

For more information, please visit SAGE's Open Access Agreement page for CARL

SPIE Journal Open Access 

The SPIE Digital Library contains the world's largest collection of optics and photonics applied research. Authors affiliated with an institution that subscribes to the SPIE Digital Library are eligible for a 25% discount on the fee to publish open access, reducing it to $1255.     

Open Access Initiatives 

Open access is a collaborative, world-wide movement. We support the following open access initiatives: 

DOAJ – The Directory of Open Access Journals, an independent index containing over 17,000 peer-reviewed open access journals 

Knowledge Unlatched – offers a crowd-funding model that enables scholarly content (books and journals) in a variety of disciplines to be freely available. 

SCOAP3 – Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics  

SPARC – A global non-profit advocacy organization that promotes open access, open education, and open data 

Resources for Open Researchers

More steps CSU authors can take toward sustainable, open access research:

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