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Open Access Publishing

This guide provides information on identifying Open Access journals, making use of open repositories, and finding university-related discounts for Open Access publishing,

Wiley and Hindawi Journals

Northwestern authors can publish their articles as open access at no cost (*) in all Wiley hybrid journals, all Wiley gold journals, and all Hindawi journals  from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2025.  

What do authors need to do to publish OA at no cost in Wiley hybrid and gold journals and all Hindawi journals?  

Corresponding authors must identify themselves as being affiliated with Northwestern University when submitting articles through the Wiley publishing workflow process. 

For Wiley hybrid journals, you will use the Wiley submission system. Once your article has been accepted, upon logging into the Wiley Author Dashboard, you will see the option to make it OA. As part of Wiley’s OA request workflow, you must indicate your affiliation with a participating BTAA institution. 

For Wiley gold journals, you will use the Wiley article submission system. At the time you submit your article, in the Article Publication Charge section, you must select “My institution or funder has an agreement with Wiley…” To indicate your affiliation with a participating BTAA institution, use Wiley’s Account Code Tool to find your institution’s Account Code, and then enter it into the submission form. You will receive an email confirming that if your article is accepted, it will be published OA at no cost to you. 

For Hindawi journals, you will use the Hindawi submission system. At the time you submit the article, in the Manuscript & Author Details section, indicate your affiliation with a participating BTAA institution. Hindawi will forward this information to Wiley. You will receive an email from Wiley confirming that if your article is accepted, it will be published OA at no cost to you.

* Note: The Wiley agreement for article publishing does not include extra charges for color illustrations or supplemental material.

Further inquiries and questions can be directed to John Blosser, Department Head, Library, Acquisitions; Northwestern University Library at

Is my accepted article eligible?

Eligible publications have a corresponding author from Northwestern University or a participating BTAA institution, are primary research and review articles (which may include original articles, case studies, reviews, and short communications), and are accepted for publication in a Wiley hybrid journal or submitted and accepted to a Wiley gold or Hindawi journal during the term of the agreement.  

How can I find Wiley hybrid and gold journals?  

To find Wiley titles, use the Wiley Journal Recommender System and filter the Search Results using the Open Access filter by selecting “Yes” (t to find only gold OA journals and “Optional” to find only hybrid journals. ​ 

What are the copyright considerations for Wiley hybrid and gold journals? 

Publications by Northwestern authors in Wiley hybrid and gold journals will be made open access and authors can generally choose from three Creative Commons Licenses: CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, and CC-BY-NC-ND . Read your chosen journal’s author guidelines for details on the journal’s specific copyright agreement.  

How can I find Hindawi journals?  

To find Hindawi journals, use the Hindawi catalog and filter by discipline.  

What are the copyright considerations for Hindawi journals? 

Authors will retain their copyright in Hindawi journals and all publications by Northwestern authors will be made open access. Authors can choose a license from the creative commons license suite, though the vast majority of articles are published with the CC-BY license. In Hindawi journals, any associated data is given a CC0 1.0 license.    

PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine

Northwestern University is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and NU authors are able to take advantage of an agreement for BTAA members to participate in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) program.  Authors of accepted manuscripts for two PLOS journals do not incur Article Processing Charges (APCs):

To ensure the benefit:

Upon submitting a manuscript to either PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine, be sure to list your institutional affiliation in the submission system, Editorial Manager. If the work is accepted for publication, the benefits are applied to any publication fees, handled in the background by PLOS and the BTAA. More information about ensuring the benefit is described here.

* Note: BTAA has finalized agreements for only these two listed PLOS journals. [through 12/2023]

Biochemical Society Journals

The agreement between Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and the Biochemical Society is in place from 11/2023 until the end of 2026. It guarantees uncapped, fee-free open access (OA) publishing for corresponding authors at participating institutions (including Northwestern University). All Biochemical Society journals are included. Alongside is full read access to all Biochemical Society journals (published by the Society's publishing arm, Portland Press). 

For participating institutions: 

  • Unlimited Gold OA publishing for corresponding authors across all of the journals, ensuring funder compliance and without the need for any payment of article publishing charges; 
  • Read access to all journals and their full archives, in perpetuity, across the portfolio; 
  • Simple R&P workflow for authors: the editorial submission system has been updated to ensure that publishing in the journals means OA publishing, by default, for all affiliated corresponding authors... 

See more information in the BTAA site.

BMJ Case Reports

A Galter institutional subscription (fellowship) enables Northwestern authors to not pay individual article processing charges for accepted articles in BMJ Case Reports. There is an extra fee to make the accepted article immediately open access (to non-subscribers); all reports are made openly available in PubMed Central after a 24 month embargo. 

For more information about submission information for publishing in BMJ Case Reports, contact the Galter reference team <> or Galter's liaison librarians

MDPI Discount

Authors affiliated with Northwestern University receive a 10% discount on the article processing charges (APCs) for any paper published in an MDPI journal. Note that only one discount through an IOAP scheme is permitted per paper, and the discount cannot be combined with other available discounts (e.g. discount vouchers or society membership discounts).

Authors can also benefit from a 10% discount on the Book Processing Charges for MDPI Books.  

Instructions for receiving the MDPI discount:

When a paper is submitted, it is automatically matched to a list of participating universities based on the email address. Authors are asked to confirm the choice, or select an institution if none was found. MDPI staff verify each selection as part of the initial screening of submitted papers. See more information here.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Discount

Institutional site license (subscription) discount for Northwestern University authors

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

Corresponding authors receive a discount open access fee of $5,300, since Galter Library maintains an institutional current-year site license for Northwestern University. This is a savings compared to the regular fee ($5,800) and makes the articles immediately free online. Authors of accepted papers should note the reduced fee ($5,300) on the PNAS billing forms included with the author proofs.


Open Book Publishing at Northwestern

Open Book Publishing is a simple book production software that is powered by Pressbooks and available to Northwestern faculty and staff who want to publish openly licensed materials. You can use Open Book Publishing to create and publish original materials, or to adapt existing openly licensed materials such as open educational resources (OER), textbooks, scholarly monographs, fiction and non-fiction books, white papers, and more. Open Book Publishing supports integration of embedded multimedia, interactive exercises, mathematical equations, and web annotation.

Published webbooks are mobile friendly, and can be exported in multiple formats, including accessible EPUBs and PDFs that can be distributed digitally or printed at cost.

If you are interested in setting up an account, contact

Funder Support for Open Access

While open access implies that information doesn’t cost anything to access, it does sometimes involve costs to the author to publish the work. Hybrid journals (a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access) and fully open access journals often require an article processing fee or charge.

NIH funded researchers may consider including the cost of publishing in their NIH grant applications, according to the NIH Grants Policy Statement. See the grants policy for more information. Other funders may also allow inclusion of article publishing charges in their research grants. (sample list)

Northwestern University Open Access Fund

As of August 1, 2023, the Northwestern University Open Access Fund is no longer accepting applications for individual APCs. The Northwestern Libraries have shifted support for Open Access publishing to institutional-level initiatives. Read more in this announcement.

Other Discounts

Discounts and waived APCs via Northwestern University for other specialized disciplinary initiatives may be available, such as chemistry, microbiology, physics, social sciences: Association for Computing Machinery, Cogitation Press, Microbiology Society, Royal Society of Chemistry... 

For more information, refer to the "Journals covered by open access agreements" list or contact the liaison librarians in the University Library (Evanston campus)