The Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) is a program by universities to support equity in business models used for scholarly publishing. Each participating university commits to “underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds.”

The program is intended to reduce barriers to open-access publishing – to support the ability for scholarly authors who wish to make their work open access to do so, even in cases where they do not otherwise have funding available to cover article processing charges (APCs). This program is not intended as a subsidy for publishers or simply as subvention for authors, but aims to provide support for Duke authors to choose the venue for their work that best suits their needs, to make Duke research as broadly available as possible, and to reduce financial disincentives for publishing in open access journals.

At Duke, the fund is supported by Duke University Libraries, the Office of the Provost, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.

Can COPE funds support my work?

Duke University provides COPE funds to reimburse authors for article-processing fees accrued when publishing in peer-reviewed journals that are:

COPE funds cannot :

  • support reimbursements for any journal published by a “hybrid” publisher, such as Springer-Nature, Oxford, or Elsevier, because these publishers are still using a closed-access model of publishing for the majority of their journals. This policy is meant to support open access as a publishing model and not encourage publishers to create open journals just to profit from both subscriptions and open access publishing fees.
  • support reimbursements for placing articles in “hybrid” open-access journals, such as subscription-based journals that make some articles available after an author pays fees, but continue to charge subscriptions and prevent open access to the rest of the journal.
  • support reimbursements for article processing fees that can otherwise be covered by a gift or grant from a foundation, institution or agency. In other words, if you have funding from another source that will cover APCs, you should use that source instead of requesting COPE funds from Duke, to allow us to conserve the limited COPE funding for authors who have no other options.

Examples of fully open access publishers:

  • Public Library of Science (PLoS)
  • BioMed Central
  • Hindawai Publishing
  • eLife
  • Frontiers
  • PeerJ

Approval for COPE funds is not limited to these publishers, but any applications including other publishers will be explored for meeting criteria before approval.

Do I qualify for COPE funds?

The following people qualify for COPE funds:

  • Duke faculty members
  • Graduate or professional students
  • Postdoctoral researchers

In addition:

  • You must be the author of an article that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed, open-access journal.
  • You must attest that the journal complies with eligibility requirements.
  • You can submit your application for funding at any time, but we cannot reimburse you until an eligible journal has accepted your article.

Are there any limitations?

  • Reimbursements will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis up until the funding for a given year is exhausted.
  • In an academic year, you can receive a maximum reimbursement of $3,000 for article processing fees. The maximum reimbursement for any single article is $2,000.
  • You cannot roll over unused funds to future years.

How are funds divided among multiple authors?

  • Multiple, eligible Duke authors of a single article are responsible for a prorated portion of article processing fees.
  • All eligible authors can be reimbursed, up to the annual cap, for their prorated portion.

How do I apply for COPE funds?


For any questions, please contact or Haley Walton.