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Selecting a Journal to Publish your Manuscript

Scholarly Publication Models

One aspect of selecting a publishing model is knowing your rights as an author. No matter what publication model you pursue, it is essential that you review any contracts associated with the publication of your manuscript.

When publishing, authors are presented with a contract or copyright transfer agreement drafted by the publisher. Many publisher drafted agreements transfer copyright fully to the publisher thereby restricting an author's subsequent usage of his or her published work, including reuse of the work in teaching and further research. After transferring copyright to the publisher, the author generally has little say in how the work is later used and restricts the dissemination and impact of scholarship.

The traditional model of academic publishing is the subscription-based journal. The subscriptions are either paid by the reader or libraries providing the journal in their collections. In effect, users are paying to read the content. Due to the cost of subscription fees, access to your article may be limited which can lessen the impact of your project. In addition, it usually takes longer from submission to acceptance and publication in subscription-based journals because:

  • A certain number of articles are needed to publish an issue
  • Publishers have a surplus of publishable articles due to space limitations


The following YouTube video "Open Access Explained!" created by Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD) Comics. The video explains open access in context of science research and publication.

What are Article Processing Charges (APCs)?

Article processing charges are fees that journals charge to publish an article open access in advance of the publication. These charges are typically paid by the researcher, who may draw on grant funds or other sources to pay the fees depending on the situation. Generally APCs are paid after an article is accepted for publication and before it appears in the journal. APCs are distinct from submission fees, which are rare and should be looked on with suspicion by authors evaluating journals for quality. APCs are also distinct from page charges or overlength charges, which some publishers, particularly in the sciences, have historically charged, and distinct from book subvention costs common among some humanities monograph publishers.

UIC Open Access Fee Waivers and Reductions

Journal Publishers with Discounts or Waivers

Journal Subscriptions Supporting Open

  • The following are publishers or subject areas where the UIC library provides support making the journals open access.   If overall support for the subscriptions fails to meet the needs of the publishers, these journals will most likely return to closed subscription based journals.
    • Annual Reviews Subscribe to Open
    • SCOAP3 - for high energy physics journals

Knowledge Unlatched - the University library is contributing funds to support OA publication of books in linguistics and languages

Cambridge University Press Journals (Full Waiver)

Waives a limited number of OA publication fees for research articles accepted to fully open access journals or hybrid journals.  Corresponding author must be from UIC, and they should use their institutional email address and affiliation when submitting the article. If an article is accepted, the author will receive an email to opt into open acces, and then an email to set up an account with RightsLink, where they should select the option to seek funding from their institution. The RightsLink email may say you need to set up a payment, but you are really opting in to the OA program, and "payment" will be $0. Cambridge will follow up after publication to provide a second opportunity to opt into the program. See the Cambridge walk through information for author.

Elsevier (Waiver for hybrid journals, discount for fully open access journals)

Beginning with articles accepted on January 1, 2024, corresponding authors from the University of Illinois system (UIUC, UIC, and UIS) may opt in to receive a waiver of the APC for open access publication of research articles in eligible Elsevier hybrid journals or a 15% discount of APCs for open access publication of research articles in Elsevier fully open access ("gold") journals. Individuals who opt out have until January 31 of the following calendar year to retroactively opt in. Any University of Illinois Chicago researcher regardless of status (graduate student, faculty, or other classification) is eligible as long as they are the corresponding author. You will need to indicate the University of Illinois Chicago as your primary institution affiliation to receive the discount, and we encourage you to use your email account as the contact. You will then be prompted to select either the OA publication waiver with a $0 fee, or traditional subscription-only publication. Each waiver or discount will be approved by the library within two weeks--if you do not receive approval and are approaching the two week deadline, please contact

Wiley (Full Waiver)

UIC authors are eligible for a full waiver of APC publication fees.   Corresponding author must be from UIC, and they should use their institutional email address and affiliation when submitting the article. Corresponding authors for hybrid articles should choose the open access option when prompted during the completion of their author agreement. Corresponding authors for gold journals must select the option to indicate their APC is covered by an agreement, and select UIC as the institution, during the submission process. Unlike hybrid journals, the system at this time does not notify you of your eligibility so you must be proactive.   See a list of eligible Wiley hybrid journals and the APC rate for each.   If prompted, find Wiley Open Access Account Code.

IEEE (Full Waiver)

UIC authors are eligible for a full waiver of the APC publication fees (there is an annual limit on the number of waivers). UIC authors with an accepted article should choose the "Open Access" option when asked by IEEE, which will then be routed for approval of the waiver.  IEEE publishes nearly 200 journals in engineering and technology - this applies to 160 hybrid and 28 full open access journals.

IOP Publishing (Full Waiver)

Corresponding author must be from UIC, and they should use their institutional email address and affiliation when submitting the article. 

Fellowship Membership

BMJ Case Reports (Fellowship Fee)

We have an institutional membership which will cover the individual membership fee to become a fellow.  During your 12 month Fellowship period you can submit as many cases as you like, access all the published material, and re-use any published material for personal use and teaching without further permission. This does not cover open access charges.   That is a separate optional fee not covered by this membership.  

Primo catalog record with institutional fellowship info:

Institutional Memberships


UIC is a full member of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition of universities, research libraries, and organizations. SPARC works to create a "more competitive and diverse marketplace for scholarly communication through support of high-quality, economical alternatives to high-priced journals."

SPARC works with publishing partners who are committed to fair pricing, the ethical use of scholarly resources, and intellectual property management policies that emphasize broad and easy distribution.

Public Knowledge Project (PKP)

PKP is a major developer of open access publishing software including Open Journals Systems (OJS), Open Monograph Press (OMP), and other systems. The University Library is a member of PKP and hosts several journals on its OJS server.