We are no longer accepting COPE applications. The program is concluding in June 2022.

The COPE Fund was established, with Duke as signatories to the broader compact, in 2010 and has been funding article processing charges for faculty and student authors continuously for the past 12 years (500 articles, supporting 470 Duke authors, including faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduates). Its founding mission was to support “pure” open access publishers operating entirely on APCs rather than subscriptions in order to promote equity among subscription-based publishers and gold open access, which was, at the time, an innovative publishing model. COPE was designed to encourage the overall creation and sustainability of fully open publishing, as well as lower the cost barrier of APCs for Duke authors; this to endorse the open exchange of scholarship produced at the university.

In the time since COPE’s creation, APC-based open access has matured into a mainstream part of the scholarly publishing ecosystem. Market-dominant, for-profit publishers and university presses have seen the benefits and popularity of open access, subsequently making modifications to their own models to include OA options (e.g. pay-for-OA in closed-access journals and/or entirely open journals). As a consequence, there is lesser delineation between “pure” OA and a hybrid model of OA options and subscriptions. This has made it difficult for COPE to operate effectively using the principles upon which it was founded.

COPE fund has been closed this fiscal year (as the limited funding was entirely committed in August 2021) as we pivot to new models like a Cambridge University Press program that will both provide subscription access to Cambridge journals for the Duke community as well as cover open access article fees for Duke authors publishing in CUP journals. This provides a benefit to all Duke authors, not just those who applied for and were awarded reimbursement from COPE. It also encourages the building of partnerships between publishers and libraries to collectively fund journals and books so neither authors nor readers need to cover the costs.

The following information about COPE is archived for reference, but we are no longer accepting applications.

The Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) is a program established at 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 COPE program at Duke is intended to reduce barriers to open-access publishing – to support the ability for Duke 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 particular publishers or simply as subvention for authors, but aims promote a more equitable distribution of university funds between publishers that charge subscription fees that our Libraries pay and publishers of high-quality open access journals whose models are article fee-based. In this effort, Duke can reduce the financial barriers to authors publishing in fully open access journals, make Duke research as broadly available as possible, and more equitably support innovative models of scholarly publishing.

The fund is supported by Duke University Libraries, 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 meet all of the following criteria:

  • published in a journal in which all articles are made open access upon publication based on a schedule of article processing fees
  • published by fully open access publishers, meaning all of the journals produced by the publisher are open access (see below for examples and details of this policy)
  • listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals
  • members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association


COPE funds cannot :

  • support reimbursements for placing articles in “hybrid” open access journals, such as subscription-based journals that make some articles available openly 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.
  • support reimbursements for any journal published by a “hybrid” publisher, such as Springer Nature (including BioMed Central), Oxford, Cambridge, Elsevier, SAGE, BMJ, JAMA, AAAS, and Wiley (including Hindawi; acquired by Wiley in January 2021) because these publishers are still using a closed-access model of publishing for the majority of their journals.
    • This policy is intended to support a transition to a fully open access publishing model composed of high-quality OA journals without subscription fees and paywalls. At present, while the publishers of these journals support themselves via article processing fees, COPE is reserved for those publishers who have a demonstrated a commitment to openness. COPE funds are limited and cannot be used to further support journals and publishers whose model relies on charging Duke and other libraries significant sums through subscriptions. The Libraries are already supporting those publishers annually by subscribing to their closed access journals, at significant cost to the university. In the interest of equity in publishing models and supporting innovative open publishers of quality journals, COPE funds are reserved for articles in journals produced by publishers all of whose titles are fully open with no paywalls.

Do I qualify for COPE funds?

The following people qualify for COPE funds:

  • Duke faculty members
  • Graduate or professional students
  • Undergraduate students
  • Postdoctoral researchers
  • Medical residents and 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 do not have to be first or otherwise “lead” author.
  • You must attest that the journal complies with eligibility requirements as stated above.
  • You can submit your application for funding at any time, but we cannot reimburse you until an eligible journal has accepted your article and the fee to the publisher has been paid.

Are there any limitations?

  • Reimbursements will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis up until the funding for a given year is exhausted. The funding is renewed on the fiscal year schedule, meaning new funds are issued in July and the application period continues until June of the following year.
  • In a fiscal year, an individual author can receive a maximum reimbursement of $3,000 for article processing fees. The maximum reimbursement for any single article is $2,000. Authors cannot divide a cost higher than $2000 for a single article between their individual allotments. A single article, no matter how many Duke authors, can only receive $2000. This is to reserve limited funds for as many eligible articles as possible every fiscal year.
  • You cannot roll over unused funds to future years.

    How do I apply for COPE funds?


    For any questions, please contact open-access@duke.edu or Haley Walton.