KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access

As a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven fully supports its position on the importance of Open Access and Open Data for scholarship. A concrete example of this support is the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, which has been created to stimulate the transition to a cost-effective and sustainable approach to scholarly publishing.

KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access (summary)

The KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access fosters the development of new and innovative publishing models which are cost-effective and put scholars back in charge of the dissemination of the results of their research.

Although there are many roads to OA, KU Leuven is committed to support a cost-effective and sustainable implementation. The establishment of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access fits this goal, as Fair OA offers the well-known advantages of OA whilst at the same time avoiding a costly commercial business model for scholarly publishing. Furthermore, Fair OA strives to return control over the publication process to the scholarly community by making sure all legal rights (such as copyright) remain with researchers.

In order to stimulate authors to publish their work in Fair OA, KU Leuven has established a Fund for Fair OA, managed by KU Leuven Libraries and overseen by a committee with representatives from Leuven University Press, the Humanities and Social Sciences Group, the Science, Engineering and Technology Group, the Biomedical Sciences Group and KU Leuven Libraries, and presided by the vice rector of Research Policy. This fund provides financial support for the publishing costs of eligible OA books and articles:

  1. Book processing charges (BPCs) for books published by Leuven University Press, i.e. a publisher who adheres to the principle of Fair OA
  2. Article processing charges (APCs) for articles published in journals(regardless of the publisher), on the condition that this journal adheres to the principles of Fair OA and its scholarly quality is assured

Do not hesitate to contact us for additional information. The Open Access Support desk will handle all your questions.

BPCs for OA books with Leuven University Press (LUP)

Leuven University Press is an academic press of international standing that publishes high-quality, peer reviewed academic titles in a broad range of fields. True to its commitment to disseminate scholarly knowledge and support academic research, LUP supports Open Access. LUP is recognized by the European Research Council (ERC), the Wellcome Trust, and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) as a publisher that complies with the OA requirements. 

The OA edition is made available via JSTOR, Project MUSE and OAPEN Library, central repositories for hosting and disseminating OA books which guarantee quality assurance, global impact, dissemination and long term digital preservation. Besides the online publication that can be downloaded free of charge, LUP also offers readers the opportunity to buy a print edition of the book (print-on-demand).
Author’s rights and licenses
Authors publishing via the LUP OA model sign an OA license agreement with LUP that is in line with the requirements of the OAPEN Deposit License – all rights reserved. A Creative Commons license identifies the copyright holder, usually the author, and specifies the conditions for re-use of the work (user’s rights).

End users are allowed to read the work online, download, print and copy it for their own personal purposes within the legal framework of their national copyright law. Beyond this all rights are reserved. Authors are free to choose under which Creative Commons license they wish to publish their work.
How much can I apply for?
Authors can apply for 1/3, 2/3 or even 100% of the BPC, depending on their affiliation (see infra).

The base cost for the publication of an OA book with Leuven University Press is € 7500 (excl. VAT) and includes the total production cost, covering pre-press services, English language editing, typesetting, layout, marketing, distribution and promotion, as well as hosting on digital library platforms.

Alongside the OA production (epdf and epub), which will be freely available on JSTOR, Project MUSE and OAPEN and also included in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), LUP commits itself to ensuring that the print version of an OA book remains simultaneously available for sale. OA books also follow the same production and marketing trajectory as traditionally produced volumes.

Standard English Language Editing is included in this basic estimate. Not included are:

• Lithography and image corrections
• Copyright costs for images or text
• Purchase of high-resolution images

The BPC is calculated separately for each book, depending on the size - i.e. word count. 
Who can apply?
All researchers who wish to publish an OA book with Leuven University Press are eligible to apply for funding for book processing charges.

Authors affiliated with KU Leuven can apply for 2/3 of the BPC, the remaining 1/3 has to be financed by their own funds. Authors who do not have access to such funds can apply for a fee waiver, thus effectively receiving financial support for the whole BPC.

Authors not affiliated with KU Leuven University can apply for 1/3 of the BPC and will have to provide the remaining 2/3 themselves.
Special requirements
  1. Only manuscripts that comply with the KU Leuven policy on authorship qualify for financial support from the Fund for Fair Open Access.
  2. Only manuscripts published with the Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content (GPRC) label qualify for financial support from the Fund for Fair Open Access.
  3. The support of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA must be mentioned in the publication.
  4. (for authors affiliated with KU Leuven) The author needs to make sure that his/her KU Leuven affiliation is correctly cited in order to assure that the publication can be counted in the BOF-Key (distribution criteria of the “Special Research Fund”
  5. (for authors affiliated with KU Leuven) The final version of the book (i.e. the e-book as published by LUP) published with support of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA must be archived, at the time of appearance, in Lirias, the institutional repository of KU Leuven.

How can I apply?
All manuscripts considered for publication by LUP, whether Open Access or not, are presented to the press’s editorial board. Therefore, submitting a manuscript to LUP is the first step. Submitting forms and submission dates can be found here.

Following a positive advice from the LUP board, LUP will submit an application to the KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA committee on behalf of the author. This application includes the book proposal’s summary and table of contents, the feedback of the LUP board and the calculation of the BPC. The author will receive a confirmation of this submission.

Submissions are reviewed twice a year (April/May and October/November) by the appointed commission. If the requested funding is granted, the author will be receive a formal confirmation of the KU Leuven Fund for Fair OA. Authors will be notified either before January (for submissions assessed in October/November) or before July (for submissions assessed in April/May) about the outcome of their application.

A BPC can be granted while the manuscript is still under review, but the provisionally granted BPC will only be released when the review process has a positive outcome. Peer review is standard procedure; full manuscripts are sent to specialist readers for expert advice. Only when the scientific quality and merits of the manuscript have been positively evaluated by the external referees will the attributed BPC be used to publish the book in full Open Access with LUP.


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