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The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Supporting Open Access Research fund information


The UMass Amherst Libraries SOAR (Supporting Open Access Research) Fund was established by the Libraries in 2014 to support open access publication by faculty, staff and students when funds are not otherwise available. The fund is supported by the University Libraries, which initially contributed $25,000 for FY 2014-2015. In subsequent fiscal years, the Libraries contributed $10,000, and $20,000 for FY'23. The Dean of Libraries increased the FY'24 fund total to $25,000. The maximum individual award amount is $1,900 or the total amount of the fee to publish, whichever is less.

The goals of the UMA SOAR Fund are to:

  • build innovative models of scholarly publishing, in particular publications that are not supported by subscription revenue models or user-access fees;
  • increase access to research and scholarship from UMA; and
  • support UMA faculty, students, and staff who choose to publish in open-access platforms but lack other sources of funding for author processing charges (APC).

The SOAR Fund is compatible with the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE)

Eligibility & Administration

Applications will be considered:

  • from a UMass Amherst faculty, staff or student who is the corresponding or primary author. Faculty (including Emeriti), staff and students are eligible if the research was completed while they were still affiliated with the university;
  • for scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters or contributions to peer-reviewed scholarly monographs (not textbooks) or scholarly peer-reviewed monographs; 
  • for completed manuscripts, reviewed and accepted for open access publication within 12 months prior to application; and
  • for an author processing charge (APC) for which the corresponding author has fully paid (invoice and proof of payment required).

Eligible publications and publishing platforms must be fully and immediately open access. Publications in “hybrid open-access” (which also charge subscription fees) or “delayed open-access” journals and monographs are NOT eligible. 

Based on the UMass Amherst Open Access Policy, all publications awarded SOAR funds will be deposited in the institutional repository, ScholarWorks.

A corresponding/primary author is limited to one award per fiscal year. A manuscript may only receive one award.

Applications will be accepted between September 1, 2023 and April 19th, 2024 and reviewed in two rounds. The deadline for Round 1 is October 6th and the deadline for Round 2 is April 19th. The total fund of $25,000 will be allocated as follows:

  1. October 6th, 2023 - $6,250 for manuscripts by corresponding authors from STEM departments, and $6,250 for manuscripts by corresponding authors from humanities and social sciences departments.
  2. April 19th, 2024 - $6,250 for manuscripts by corresponding authors from STEM departments, and $6,250 for manuscripts by corresponding authors from humanities and social sciences departments.

Any application not covered by the first round allocation will be considered in the second round, until the fund is expended.

UMA SOAR cannot guarantee funding, and authors should only count on funding after their application is approved and they have received notice of the award amount from the UMA Libraries. Award funds will be transferred to the author's department account upon receipt of a paid invoice to reimburse the author for publication charges.

The UMA SOAR Fund is administered by the Scholarly Communication Department at the UMA Libraries.  Applications are reviewed and awards granted by a committee based on the criteria set forth below.  Awards and lists of publications will be accumulated annually and posted.  Funding for future years will be dependent on number of applications, available funds, and evaluation of the program.  We encourage your feedback about the program; please send it to Christine Turner, Scholarly Communication Librarian, at

Review Criteria for Award Determination

All applications MUST meet ALL the following criteria in order to be eligible for funding at 50% of the maximum award of $1900 (or the total APC if less than $1900).

  • The applicant must be a current member of UMass Amherst or have been a member of UMass Amherst when the research was conducted.
  • The applicant must be the primary or corresponding author.
  • The applicant must have an ORCID ID
  • The manuscript must have been accepted and proof of acceptance must be provided with the application.
  • The corresponding author must provide proof of a paid invoice for the author processing charge (APC).
  • The manuscript must be a contribution to a book or a scholarly article.
  • The journal or book must be fully open access and listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)/Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).  If the journal or book is too new to be listed in either directory, the publication must be completely DOAJ/DOAB compliant.
  • The publication allows authors to retain copyright.
  • The publication allows authors to use Creative Commons (or equivalent) licenses at no additional cost.

Applicants will earn additional percentages towards the maximum award by meeting any of the criteria below. Furthermore, if requests exceed funding allocation, applications will be prioritized in the following order:

  1. The applicant has not received SOAR funding previously (10%).
  2. The applicant is a student or early career faculty (10%).
  3. The publisher is a scholarly society or non-profit organization (including university presses). This covers the editorial process through the distribution chain (10%).
  4. The applicant is without external or grant funding (20%).


The 2024 SOAR Fund is closed. Please check back in late August or early September for news on the 2025 SOAR Fund.

Thank you!