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Open Access

A guide to open access for Macalester faculty, staff, students.

Article Processing Charges (APC) for open access journals

An article processing charge (APC), also known as a publication fee, is a fee which is often charged to authors to make a work available open access in either an open access journal or a hybrid journal (mix of open access and “by subscription/purchase only” articles). This fee may be paid by the author, the author's institution, or their research funder. 

The library has a limited fund to cover the costs for article processing charges (APCs) for publishing an article so that it is openly accessible. In providing free, online access to Macalester scholarship, open access publishing facilitates putting works from new and early career scholars in front of a wider audience, increasing readership and additional citations, worldwide. The library has set priorities in order to expand the impact of the limited APC funds for early career researchers and for students conducting collaborative research with faculty:

  • Faculty-student or staff-student co-authored works are given highest priority.
  • Scholarship of early career researchers, for example, but not limited to Doctoral Fellows, Invited Professors, and pre-tenured faculty are prioritized over faculty that have obtained full tenure.

APC Fund 2023-24 Guidelines - Learn more about the APC fund guidelines, requirements, and responsibilities


Publishing Partnerships and Agreements

While the library is committed to helping early career researchers, providing funds for APC fees is not sustainable. We are supporting the following publishers that are working toward sustainable open access publishing models. These publishers do not charge any authors APCs or the library has entered into a publishing agreement that helps support a transition to a sustainable, non-APC-based model.
Browse book, journal, and data publishers below.


Lever Press publishes born digital, open access monographs. The Lever Press provides full editorial support including peer review and editing as well as marketing for published monographs. This press was created by liberal arts colleges and continues to align its work with the values and mission of institutions such as Macalester. Lever Press is committed to “Platinum OA,” in which all the costs of acquiring, editing, developing, and producing the work are borne collectively by our supporting institutions—not by individual authors or their sponsoring departments or institutions.

A consortium of open access book publishers and open publishing service providers, Open Book Collective, brings libraries and other knowledge institutions together in community toward the goal of a more sustainable and equitable open access book future. The six academic-led, non-profit, born open access book publishers do not charge author fees to publish and select on academic merit rather than commercial interests.


Cogitatio is a Small, independent press that publishes four peer reviewed, international journals:

This press is working toward eliminating APC fees, and any upcoming publications are free for Macalester authors or for those of other member institutions.

Macalester Library and PLOS have partnered Macalester Library and PLOS have partnered to cover your publishing costs through the end of 2024. PLOS is dedicated to reshaping scholarly communications to ensure that Open Access publishing is truly open to every researcher. Our partnership with PLOS means you will pay no fees when you publish Open Access in any of the 12 PLOS journals––and also the forthcoming journal Complex Systems.

We are a supporting member of the Open Library of Humanities which provides open access to peer-reviewed articles in the humanities. Support for this initiative is by libraries so there are no article processing charges (APCs) for authors. Their mission is "to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future."

SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), managed by CERN, is a source of pooled funds to help cover article processing charges (APC) in open access high-energy/particle physics journals and reports, copies are also deposited into the SCOAP3 repository. SCOAP3 has piloted “flipping” selected books and journals to open access.


Dryad is a repository for publishing open data related to research publications across disciplines. Features include data curation, metadata requirements and checks, and a preservation/succession plan; most file format uploads are accepted. An ORCID ID is required to login.

Morphobank is an open database that provides metadata and organizational features specific to comparative/morphological biology data, including images.