The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SOAR Fund Guidelines

“Supporting Open Access Research” (SOAR) Fund 
at University of Massachusetts Amherst

(SOAR Fund at UMA)

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA) Supporting Open Access Research (SOAR) Fund underwrites reasonable article-processing fees for open access journals when funds are not otherwise available. The fund is supported by the University Libraries, which initially contributed $25,000 for FY 2014-2015 and have subsequently contributed $10,000 each fiscal year.

The goals of the UMA SOAR Fund are to:

  • build innovative models of scholarly publishing, in particular publications that are not supported by subscription revenue models or user-access fees;
  • increase access to research and scholarship from UMA; and
  • support UMA faculty, students, and staff who choose to publish in open-access journals but lack other sources of funding for article processing fees.

Eligible applications will support open access publication of completed manuscripts, reviewed and accepted for publication, but not yet published. This can include:

  • scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles;
  • chapters or contributions to peer-reviewed scholarly monographs (not textbooks); and
  • scholarly peer-reviewed monographs.

Eligible publications and publishing venues must be fully and immediately open access. Publications in “hybrid open-access” (which also charge subscription fees) or “delayed open-access” journals and monographs are not eligible. 


Authors with a manuscript accepted in the current fiscal year for publication in an eligible journal or venue may apply for funds by submitting an application.  Applications will be accepted and evaluated on a monthly basis throughout the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) until funds are fully expended.

All applications must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 50% of the maximum award of $1200

  • The applicant must be a current member of UMass Amherst and must be the primary or corresponding author.
  • The manuscript must have been accepted and proof of acceptance must be provided with the application.
  • The manuscript must be a contribution to a book or a scholarly article.
  • The journal or book must be fully open access and listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)/Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).  If the journal or book is too new to be listed in either directory, the publication must be completely DOAJ/DOAB compliant.
  • The publication allows authors to retain copyright.
  • The publication allows authors to use Creative Commons (or equivalent) licenses at no additional cost.

Applicants will earn additional percentages towards the maximum award by meeting any of the criteria below:

  • The applicant is early career faculty, a graduate student, or member of the community without external or grant funding (10%).
  • The applicant has never applied for SOAR funding before (10%).
  • The applicant is publishing in a field with minimal open access options (10%).
  • The publication either has the DOAJ seal or meets all of the criteria of the DOAJ seal (8%).
  • The publisher is a scholarly society or non-profit organization (including university presses). This covers the editorial process through the distribution chain (7%).
  • The applicant has an ORCID (5%).

Additional Restrictions and Limitations

  • Emeriti are eligible for SOAR funding if the research was completed while they were still affiliated with the university.
  • Authors are limited to one award per fiscal year.
  • The maximum award per fiscal year is $1200.
  • Applications will be evaluated on a monthly basis.
  • There will be two reimbursement deadlines per fiscal year - December and May. If UMA authors do not submit copies of their paid invoices by the applicable deadline, their award will be re-allocated back into the fund. Authors will receive email reminders one month and then one week before the invoice submission deadline.
  • All works will be deposited in ScholarWorks.

NOTICE:  UMA SOAR will provide funds on a first-come, first-serve basis, apportioned equitably to those with eligible publications, until UMA SOAR funds are exhausted.  UMA SOAR cannot guarantee funding in advance, and authors should only consider themselves funded after their application is approved and they have received a notice of award from the UMA Libraries.


The UMA SOAR Fund is administered by the Scholarly Communication Department at the UMA Libraries.  Applications are reviewed by an ad hoc team of reviewers, including librarians and faculty not affiliated with the application.  Awards and lists of publications will be accumulated annually and posted at the University Library website.  Funding for future years will be dependent on number of applications, available funds, and evaluations of the program.  We encourage feedback about the program.  Please contact with your thoughts and feedback.