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“Without the help of the UD, I couldn’t publish this paper”

By Katy Kelly and Tina Beis

In September 2023, University of Dayton computer science doctoral candidate Samah Baraheem’s research paper was accepted to a major journal in her discipline — an exciting achievement for any scholar. However, since the journal is open access and not funded by subscriptions, Baraheem had to pay an article processing charge (APC) in order for her paper to be published. APCs are a common practice in the publishing industry — and a barrier to researchers worldwide.

To support UD researchers facing this challenge, UD Libraries’ 2023-24 Open Access Publishing Fund will pay up to $1,000 per article to help offset open access journal or book publishing fees. “My adviser, Dr. Tam Nguyen, told me about this service,” Baraheem said. “I applied because the journal accepted my article, and I didn’t know about its policy of publication where open access is the only way to publish with them. I couldn’t afford to pay the publication fee, but with the help from Open Access Fund, I was able to publish my article.”

In Baraheem’s case, the fund paid for half of the APC. Since August 2023, five faculty members and one student have published their works in open access journals using this fund.

“Thank you very much for your support,” Baraheem stated in an email. “I really appreciate your assistance. Without the help of the UD, I couldn’t publish this paper.” She will graduate this spring and will work at another university as an assistant professor. Her article “AI vs. AI: Can AI Detect AI-Generated Images?” in the Journal of Imaging had already been viewed over 3,500 times as of Feb. 9.

UD researchers can also benefit from another open access initiative from the state’s academic library consortium OhioLINK, part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. OhioLINK has negotiated agreements with five major publishers, which allow its institution’s authors to publish open access fee-free. The agreements also provide access to a broad range of high-quality research articles from these publishers.

In OhioLINK’s first two years of open access agreements during 2022 and 2023, 35 institutions published more than 1,700 articles, saving authors over $6 million in avoided APC costs. 

At UD, 24 faculty representing all but one academic unit have published open access at no charge. Associate Professor of Management Kathrin J. Hanek has leveraged the agreements twice for her articles “Barriers for Women in the Workplace: A Social Psychological Perspective” and “Gender and Competitive Performance: Closing Gaps with Smaller Competitions.” 

“These agreements have been a phenomenal tool for me as a researcher, allowing me to publish two articles open access, which has made my research much more accessible to both people in and outside of academia,” Hanek said. “Making research more broadly accessible is fundamental to spreading knowledge, generating new research and enhancing the impact of findings in the community — and the OhioLINK agreements make all of that possible. It’s a huge service to the community.”

The University Libraries and OhioLINK recognize that it takes financial support and collaboration to ensure research can be accessible to all. The Open Access Publishing Fund and OhioLINK’s open access agreements have saved UD researchers and UD over $87,000 in fees. The Libraries take the step from saying to doing by dedicating financial and staff resources to expanding the benefits of open access scholarship.


— In the University Libraries, Katy Kelly is a professor and assistant dean of strategic communication and outreach. Tina Beis is an associate professor and director of collections strategies and services. 

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