Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Fund

See also: OAK Fund FAQ and OAK Fund Application and Reimbursement.


The Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Fund at Texas A&M underwrites publication charges for scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and monographs published in open access publications.  The OAK Fund was established to help fulfill Texas A&M University’s commitment to the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity.

The goals of the OAK Fund at Texas A&M University are to support and encourage innovative models of scholarly publishing that take advantage of the opportunities of distribution and access presented by digital and networking technologies; to increase access to Texas A&M research and scholarship; and to aid Texas A&M faculty and research staff who want to publish in open-access venues but who do not have other sources of funding to cover Open Access publication charges.

Funding Guidelines

Eligible Authors

The OAK Fund is available to any current member of the faculty or full-time research staff at Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center. This eligible group includes faculty assigned to the Galveston or Qatar campuses, or to affiliated State Agencies, who hold joint appointments at Texas A&M University.  

Eligible Works

OAK funds apply to Open Access publication charges fees for peer-reviewed articles and book chapters or scholarly monographs. The Texas A&M Libraries is pleased to expand publishing options to faculty through the Libraries’ institutional membership with PeerJ, the award winning open access publisher of both PeerJ PrePrints and PeerJ (https://peerj.com/).  The Libraries’ OAK Fund will now also underwrite the cost of a basic PeerJ membership for each University author accepted for publication in the PeerJ journals. The membership lasts for a lifetime of publishing, even if the author leaves Texas A&M, and allows an author to publish one article in PeerJ per year.  The OAK Fund has 38 memberships to distribute to Texas A&M authors through the OAK Fund application process.

Fund Cap

The Texas A&M Libraries and the Vice President for Research have committed $25,000 each to fund Open Access publications for the 2014-2015 academic year. Funding for publications that comply with the eligibility criteria will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligible Publication Venues

Eligible journals must:
  • Provide free online access to all peer-reviewed articles they publish. Journals with a hybrid open-access model or delayed open-access model are not eligible.
  • Be published by a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) OR by a publisher that adheres to the OASPA Code of Conduct.
  • Have publicly available a standard article fee schedule.
  • Have a policy to waive fees in cases of economic hardship (though some exceptions to this requirement may be allowed).
  • Many, though not all, eligible journals will be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Eligible monographs must:

  • Provide free online access to all scholarly monographs or book chapters they publish. Monographs with a hybrid open-access model or delayed open-access model are not eligible.
  • Be published by a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) OR by a publisher that adheres to the OASPA Code of Conduct.
  • Have publicly available a standard Open Access publishing fee schedule
  • Have a policy to waive fees in cases of economic hardship (though some exceptions to this requirement may be allowed).

No Other Sources of Funding Available

The OAK Fund is a limited resource intended to support open access publishing across the university. We expect researchers to request funding for open access publication from their funding agency if they can do so (the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will all fund open access publication as part of their research grants). If such funds are not available, we welcome your application to the OAK Fund.

Article Reimbursement Cap

The maximum dollar amount that the OAK Fund will reimburse for a single article, book chapter, or monograph is $3000.

Author Reimbursement Cap

Authors may receive funding for up to $3000 per year for all open access fees. Unused amounts do not roll over to future years. The cap for funding available through the OAK Fund does not include vouchers available through the Royal Society of Chemistry ‘Gold for Gold’ program or membership in PeerJ. Use of RSC vouchers or PeerJ memberships by eligible faculty or researchers in no way diminishes eligibility for funding through the OAK Fund.

Multiple Authorship

In the case of a publication with multiple authors, each eligible author can apply for reimbursement for a prorated portion of the publication fee. An example: An article with three authors, two of whom are from Texas A&M, is to appear in a journal with a $3,000 publication fee. Each Texas A&M author may apply for reimbursement for $1,000. In the hypothetical case of an eligible monograph with a $6,000 publication fee, each Texas A&M author could apply for reimbursement for a prorated portion of the $3,000 funding cap per article, or $1,000.

Application and Reimbursement Process

Please submit your request for funds immediately upon your work’s acceptance for publication by following the OAK FUND: Instructions for Application and Reimbursement document.

Funded Works Submitted to OAK Trust, the Texas A&M Digital Repository

The Libraries shall deposit copies of the final published version of works supported by the Oak Fund in OAK Trust, Texas A&M’s online research repository (http://repository.tamu.edu). The Libraries’ Scholarly Communications staff will also contact funded authors and encourage them to deposit all their eligible research outputs into the repository.

Regular Review

All aspects of the OAK Fund program, including the amount of funding committed to the program, will be analyzed and reviewed at the end of  the 2014-2015 academic year and are therefore subject to change in future years. Comments from faculty who participate in the program are welcome and encouraged.

Contact for assistance or additional information

The OAK Fund is coordinated by the Libraries Office of Digital Services and Scholarly Communication. The office may be reached by phone at 979-862-1635. Other questions and applications to the OAK Fund may be submitted by email to oakfund@library.tamu.edu