Support for Open Access

Page last updated: 2024-05-15

The Library is a member of organizations that support Open Access and has agreements with select publishers that offer coverage of or discounts on Open Access fees (Article Processing Charges [APCs]) for Waterloo researchers.

Open Access fees fully covered by the Library

The Library participates in agreements with publishers that cover the cost of APCs for Waterloo researchers when they are the corresponding author (the first author). This means that publishing open access under the terms of the below agreements will have zero cost for Waterloo authors. The details of the agreements appear in the below table, pay close attention to the dates and which journals or types of articles are covered. If you have any questions about these agreements reach out to

In all cases, you must be the corresponding author and submit your article using University of Waterloo as your affiliation in order to be covered.

Publisher Agreement length Article types and journals covered More information
Cambridge University Press 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31 Research articles, review articles, rapid communications, brief reports, or case reports accepted in Cambridge Hybrid or Gold journals during the term of the agreement Instructions for publishing OA through this deal are available on Cambridge's Publish your article Open Access under a Read and Publishing agreement page.
Canadian Science Publishing (CSP), formerly NRC Research Press 2023-01-01 - 2025-12-31

All articles in the following journals:

  • Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Canadian Journal of Physics
  • Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Genome
  • Transactions of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering

Note that for CSP's other hybrid journals a 25% APC discount applies, as noted below

Cogitatio Press 2024-01-01 - 2024-12-31 All articles submitted by researchers via email addresses that are published in Cogitatio Press open access journals.  
Company of Biologists 2024-01-01 - 2026-12-31 Articles accepted in both hybrid and gold OA journals during the term of the agreement.

- Read and Publish Agreement with the Ontario Consortium of University Libraries (OCUL)

- Guide for corresponding authors at institutions with Read & Publish and other transformative Open Access agreements

Elsevier (Hybrid journals only) 2024-01-01 - 2026-12-31

Articles accepted in eligible hybrid journals [xlsx] during the term of the agreement.

Fully open access (gold) journals only receive a discount, as noted below.

If you have any questions about journal eligibility, please email
Institute of Physics (IOP) (eligible journals only) 2021-12-15 - 2024-12-14 Papers, special issue papers, reviews, or letters accepted in journals included on the eligible IOP journals list [xlsx]

IOP provides a guide to submitting under a Transformative Agreement.

Note: As of 2022-01-24 Waterloo is not listed on their list of agreements but Waterloo authors are still covered. This page will be updated shortly.

Microbiology Society 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31 All articles submitted by researchers via email addresses to any Microbiology Society journal  
Oxford University Press (Hybrid journals only) 2024-02-01 - 2026-12-31 Articles accepted for publication in eligible Oxford journals. Step by step guide (PDF)
PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine 2021-01-01 - 2024-12-31 Papers published in PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine

The Library covers APCs through PLOS' Community Action Publishing (CAP) program. More information about how the CAP program works for researchers is available on PLOS's Publishing FAQ page.

Sage (Hybrid journals only)

2024-01-01 - 2026-12-31

"Article" submission type papers, including but not limited to original research papers, review papers, brief communications, short reports or case reports, published in Sage Choice journals

Note: Sage Gold Open Access journals (fully open access journals) are not included. Waterloo authors are entitled to a 40% discount when publishing in Sage Gold OA journals.

Sage will automatically contact you to inform you of the agreement and invite you to take up the offer in the Sage OA Portal. Sage provides a guide for authors publishing OA in a Sage Choice journal.

Sage provides a summary on their page about Canadian OA deals.

Wiley (Hybrid journals only) 2023-01-01 - 2024-12-31

Eligible articles (case study, commentary, data article, education, lecture, method and protocol, perspective, practice and policy, rapid publication, research article, review article, short communication, or technical note) accepted for publication in Wiley's hybrid journals. 

Note: Wiley Gold Open Access journals (fully open access journals) are not included. 

Wiley's Open Access agreement for eligible authors at participating CRKN institutions in Canada contains information about how Wiley manages this agreement.

Open Access fee discounts

Waterloo authors must self-identify when submitting a manuscript in order to receive a discount.

Publisher Agreement length Discount Amount

More information

ACS - American Chemical Society 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31 $250 USD

The discount applies to ACS hybrid journals. The APC discount is applied upon acceptance of manuscript. Authors must indicate their institutional affiliation upon submitting of their manuscript in order to benefit from the discount.

More information is available on the ACS OA pricing page, see "Subscriber Discounts". 

BMC - BioMed Central 2024-01-01 - 2024-12-31 15% The Library subscribes to a BioMed Central membership, which affords Waterloo researchers a discount on publication fees for fully open access BMC journals. Instructions on how to access the BioMed Central discount. You can be verified through your IP address while on campus or using the VPN, or manually assert your institutional affiliation.
Canadian Science Publishing (CSP) Journals (formerly NRC Research Press) 2023-01-01 - 2025-12-31 25%

This discount is applicable to hybrid open access journals only. The discount does not apply to any agricultural journals (Canadian Journal of Agricultural Science, Canadian Journal of Soil Science, Canadian Journal of Plant Science) or gold open access journals.

CSP's (formerly NRC) open access page describes the various open access options offered.

Elsevier (Gold Open Access Journals)

2024-01-01 - 2025-12-31


Waterloo affiliated researchers will be given a 20% discount on Elsevier APCs for their gold open access journals. To see if the journal you wish to publish in is included in the discount search Elsevier's title list for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) deal.

MDPI Ongoing 10% Discounts are provided through the Institutional Open Access Program. MDPI verifies your institution affiliation via your IP address; ensure you are on campus or connected to the VPN when submitting your work.
Oxford University Press (Gold OA Journals) 2024-02-01 - 2026-12-31 10% Waterloo affiliated researchers will receive a 10% discount on eligible gold OA journals [xlsx]
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31 15%

Waterloo affiliated researchers using their institutional emails ( will get a 15% discount on publishing fees associated with RSC hybrid journals (note that all RSC journals except their gold OA titles are hybrid - a list of gold OA journals is available).

The RSC system will automatically grant this discount if open access license is selected.

Sage Gold Open Access Journals

*Sage journals that are fully open access

2024-01-01 - 2026-12-31


Waterloo affiliated researchers will get a 40% discount on publishing fees associated with Sage Gold (fully open access) journals.

Sage will automatically contact you to inform you of the discount and invite you to take up the offer in the Sage OA Portal. Sage provides a guide for authors publishing in Gold OA Sage journal. If you have any questions please send a message to

Sage provides a summary of this on their page about Canadian OA deals.

SPIE Open Access Journals 2023-05-01 - 2024-04-30 25%

Read more about SPIE's open access offerings. The discount only applies to SPIE's fully open access journals - Advanced Photonics, Journal of Biomedical Optics, and Neurophotonics.

Springer Open 2024-01-01 - 2024-12-31 15% Discount is on Springer's fully open Books and Journals, and does not apply to Springer's subscription titles with OA options. More information is available on the Springer Open access membership site.This discount does not apply to Nature or Palgrave journals, despite the companies having merged in recent years.
Taylor & Francis Open Select Journals 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31 25% The discount is only on Taylor & Francis Open Select Journals. When publishing open access in an Open Select journal, the discount will automatically applied when you choose University of Waterloo as your affiliation.

For more information or assistance with claiming these discounts, please contact your librarian.

Library supported Open Access tools, platforms, and associations

  • arXiv: Arxiv provides open access to e-prints in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics. Owned and operated by Cornell University.
  • Bioline International: Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

  • Dryad: Dryad is an international data publishing platform and community committed to the open availability and routine reuse of all research data.

  • OpenCitations: OpenCitations is an independent infrastructure organization for open scholarship dedicated to the publication of open bibliographic and citation data using Semantic Web (Linked Data) technologies. OpenCitations has the potential to give institutions and individuals the ability to analyse and reuse publication citations in library collections, other infrastructures and in research. Funded through the CRKN and the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS).

  • Open Library of the Humanities (OLH): OLH is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). Funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined in the mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future.

  • punctum books: punctum books is "an independent open-access publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanities assemblage."
  • Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC): SPARC is a global coalition committed to making Open Access the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data and Open Education.
  • Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3): SCOAP3 aims to convert to Open Access the peer-reviewed literature in the field of High-Energy Physics by re-directing, on a global level, funds currently used to subscribe to these journals.

More information on Open Access can be found on the Open Scholarship Committee's Open Access page.