Department Blog

Scholarly Communication

Open access funds available

April 16th, 2015 by Mary Wood

Publishing in an open access journal?


Funds are available to offset the associated publishing fees.

Support is for Academic Senate, Academic Federation members, faculty, post-docs, residents, fellows, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles free to all readers immediately upon publication.

The OA Fund provides Davis authors reimbursement up to $1000/article for open access fees for those publishing in full open access journals  (journals in which all articles are published open access)

The fund is intended to subsidize reasonable open access publishing charges for researchers when funds are otherwise unavailable. Eligible charges include article processing fees for fully open access journals.


The UC Davis University Library is providing the funds in order to support Davis authors interested in reshaping models of scholarly publishing


additional information and application


PeerJ: Free submission until Jan 1, 2014

December 2nd, 2013 by Amy Studer
PeerJ has announced that authors can now publish their work in PeerJ, entirely for free, through end-2013.
” We are pleased to announce that from now through the end of 2013, any article that is submitted to PeerJ PrePrints (including any articles which have already been submitted there) can go on to be published in PeerJ (the journal) entirely for free (assuming it passes peer review and assuming you initiate the PeerJ submission process before Jan 1st 2014). “

How Open Is It?: Open Access Spectrum

October 22nd, 2013 by Amy Studer


SPARC, PLoS, and OASPA have developed a guide to bring a more nuanced discussion of open access in journal publications.

Rather than asking a seemingly simple question of whether or not a journal or article is open access, HowOpenIsIt? provides a guide to the complex spectrum of open access.  Core components of open access include:  reader rights, reuse rights, copyrights, posting, and machine readability.  Here is an excerpt (click on image to access full document pdf):


For additional information:

PLoS HowOpenIsIt?

SPARC HowOpenIsIt?

Image credits:  “HowOpenIsIt?™ Open Access Spectrum”, © 2013 SPARC and PLOS, licensed under CC BY

Evaluating the quality of open access journals

October 8th, 2013 by Amy Studer


Last week, an article published in Science by John Bohannon renewed discussion about the quality of peer review in open access journals among scholarly communication stakeholders and received attention from the popular news media.

Science article:

Bohannon, J. (2013). Who’s afraid of peer review? Science, 342(6154), 60-65. doi: 10.1126/science.342.6154.60


Knox, R. (2013, October 3).  Some online journals will publish fake science, for a fee.  NPR.  Accessed October 8, 2013, from

Bohannon (2013) submitted spoof papers reporting fake, methodologically flawed research to open access journals from 304 different publishers, with 157 journals accepting and 98 rejecting the paper.  “For the 255 papers that underwent the entire editing process to acceptance or rejection, about 60% of the final decisions occurred with no sign of peer review” (Bohannon, p. 64).

Open access advocates have responded to the article in Science, criticizing the study’s methods and the paper’s conclusions:

Joseph, H. (2013, October 4).  Science Magazine’s open access “sting.”  SPARC [blog].  Accessed October 8, 2013, from

Suber, P. (2013, October 3). New “sting” of open access journals [blog]. Accessed October 8, 2013, from

Additional resources:

The UC Davis Library’s Open Access Topic Guide, offers some suggestions for how to evaluate the quality of open access journals:

This recent article provides of good overview of the problem of mixed quality in open access journals:

Millard, W. B. (2013). Some research wants to be free, some follows the money: Bogus journals complicate the open access movement. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 62(2), A14-A20.   Accessed October 8, 2013, from