HOPE Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How do I apply for funds?

Authors seeking funds should complete this online form.

Please note that authors will need a HarvardKey and an ORCID in order to complete the application process. Contact us if you do not have a HarvardKey.

Q: When is the deadline for applying for funds?

Authors must request reimbursement of article-processing fees within 60 days from receipt of the publisher's invoice for the accepted article.

Contact us if you may leave Harvard before receiving the invoice from the publisher, or before the 60-day deadline.


Q: Who is eligible to receive funds?

Funds are available to any Harvard employees and students (including faculty, researchers, administrators, librarians, staff, postdocs, and fellows) for articles resulting from their research activities.

Faculty and others who are covered by one of the Harvard open-access policies must be in substantial compliance with the relevant open-access policy. (All Harvard schools and some research centers now have open-access policies.) For more detail, see what compliance means for this purpose.

Funds for affiliates of Harvard Medical School are limited to quad-based researchers.

Q: What constitutes compliance with Harvard open-access policies for the purpose of eligibility for HOPE funds?

Compliance for this purpose means that you have signed an assistance authorization form and submitted appropriate versions of a substantial number of your policy-covered articles to DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), Harvard's open-access repository.

There are many ways to submit these articles, but the easiest is to use our quick-submit form. The Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) is available to help with compliance.

If you've signed the assistance authorization form and submitted the relevant files to the OSC, then you've satisfied this condition, even if the OSC needs more time before it can finish depositing the files in DASH.

In the case of an article with a waiver of the Harvard license, you should still submit a copy of the article to the OSC, for deposit in DASH, in accord with the Harvard open-access policies. OSC will not make that copy publicly available unless it has permission to do so.

In the case of co-authored articles, this condition applies to all Harvard-affiliated co-authors.

Q: What fees can the fund reimburse?

Reimbursable article-processing fees may include publication fees (charges levied on articles accepted for publication, including page charges), and submission fees (charges levied on articles submitted for publication). Eligible fees must be based on a publication's standard fee schedule that is independent of the author's institution.

In the case of foreign transactions, HOPE Fund reimbursements will take into account the exchange rate of an author's bank, and cover that cost on his or her behalf. However, HOPE will not reimburse additional bank fees or fees related to the transfer of payment or currency conversion. For instance, HOPE will not reimburse wire-transfer fees.

Q: What publication venues are eligible?

The venue of publication must be an established open-access journal, that is, a journal that does not charge readers or their institutions for unfettered access to the peer-reviewed articles it publishes.

Journals with a hybrid open-access model or delayed open-access model are not eligible. To be eligible, a journal must meet these additional requirements:

We trust requesters to make appropriate decisions about the quality of the publication venue and the value of its services in relation to the fees it charges. As we gain experience with administering the fund, we may institute further procedures for vetting journals.

Q: What if the research in the article was grant-funded?

Articles for which alternative funding is available are typically not eligible for reimbursement. This includes articles reporting research funded by a gift or a grant from a funding agency, foundation, or other institution (including Harvard itself) that allows grant funds to be used for article processing fees (whether or not the particular grant had budgeted for such fees and whether or not sufficient grant funds remain), and articles funded by an institution that itself pays article processing fees on behalf of the author (such as Wellcome Trust).


Q: What are the limits on reimbursement?

HOPE will pay up to $3,000 per Harvard author per fiscal year.

Apart from this cap, reimbursements can cover 100% of fees, and there is no limit on the number of fees reimbursed. Unused amounts do not roll over to future years. Exceptions to the $3,000 cap may be made based on availability of funds.

So far the fund has been large enough to cover all eligible requests. However, if that changes, we may limit access to funds on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: What if there are multiple authors on an article?

In the case of an article with multiple authors, each author is responsible for a prorated portion of any publishing fees. For example, for an article with three authors that is to appear in a journal with a $3,000 publication fee, each author is responsible for $1,000 of that fee. If two of the authors are eligible for reimbursement, they may enter an application for $2,000.

Q: When will the reimbursement process begin?

The reimbursement process will begin for an eligible author who has applied for funds as soon as the applicant has supplied the Office for Scholarly Communication with a publisher invoice and proof of payment.

See details about the deadline for applying for reimbursement.

Q: Will my article appear in DASH, Harvard's open-access repository?

Yes. The article will be deposited in DASH on your behalf. This will happen after the reimbursement process has begun for an eligible author, and after the Office for Scholarly Communication acquires an appropriate version of the article for DASH distribution.


Q: Will the HOPE fund cover works by former Harvard affiliates who have since left the institution?

HOPE will cover otherwise-eligible works submitted for publication while the author is an otherwise-eligible Harvard affiliate, even if the works are published or scheduled for publication after the author has left the institution.

Q: What is the tax status of reimbursements?

For Harvard employees, such as faculty members or paid researchers, the payment or reimbursement of open-access publication fees may reasonably be viewed as a "working condition fringe" (defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 132 as any property or service provided by an employer to an employee to the extent that, if the employee paid for the property or service, the payment would represent a deductible employee business expense). Since working condition fringe benefits are excludable from income, amounts reimbursed to employees from the HOPE Fund would not be includible in income on the employee's Form W-2, and would not be subject to any reporting or withholding.

For non-employee students, the payment or reimbursement of the fees would not be deemed a "working condition fringe", but rather, scholarship or fellowship payments, which are subject to tax under Code Section 117 unless used for qualified tuition and related expenses.

Reimbursements thus may be taxable. For U.S. persons, there is no requirement for Harvard to withhold on, or report the amount of, such fellowship payments. Any required reporting is done by the recipients on their individual returns. For non-U.S. persons, taxable amounts are subject to reporting on a Form 1042-S, and are subject to withholding, subject to any income tax treaties with the recipient's country of residence, in the same manner as any other fellowship payment to such individuals provided by the university.

Q: Who decides other aspects of the fund's implementation?

Implementation of the fund and reimbursement process is handled by the Office for Scholarly Communication, in consultation with OSC Faculty Advisory Committee.

Q: Is information about the fund's use available?

Yes, we provide open access to Harvard's HOPE fund data, from 2010 to the present, through the Open APC project, an initiative providing open data on fees paid for open-access journal articles by universities and research institutions.

Note that this information is limited to APCs paid by the HOPE fund, and does not cover APCs paid from other sources for articles by Harvard authors. For example, some APCs are paid by grants or funding agencies.

We also maintain a list of HOPE-funded articles and award recipients.

Q: How does Harvard limit the use of HOPE funds?

The HOPE fund is intended to pay publication fees on scholarly articles by current Harvard authors. HOPE funds are subject to several restrictions based on the works, the fees, the journals, the authors, and the timing. These are described in other entries above, but here's a summary to make them easier to review.

Restrictions on works

  • HOPE only covers publication fees for scholarly articles, not books or other genres of scholarship.
  • If the research underlying the article was funded by a grant or other institution willing to pay the fee, then HOPE will typically not pay the fee. HOPE will consider exceptions case by case.

Restrictions on journals and publishers

  • The journal publishing the article must meet certain conditions:
    • It must be a full (not hybrid) open-access journal.
    • It must make articles open access under a Creative Commons license.
    • It must have publicly available standard article fee schedule, and the fee requested by the Harvard author must conform to that standard fee schedule.
    • It must have a policy to waive or discount its fees in cases of economic hardship.
    • It must be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), unless it's too new for DOAJ eligibility.
  • The journal's publisher must be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or adhere to its Code of Conduct.

Restrictions on authors

  • Authors must be current Harvard affiliates (including faculty, administrators, librarians, staff, postdocs, fellows, and students).
  • Faculty members and other affiliates covered by one of the Harvard open-access policies must be in substantial compliance with the relevant open-access policy.
  • Authors must sign an Assistance Authorization form.
  • Authors must have an ORCID, and include it in their request for funds.

Restrictions on timing

  • Authors must submit their reimbursement requests within 60 days from receipt and payment of the publisher's invoice for the accepted article. They may request funds before an article is accepted or immediately upon acceptance.

Restrictions on awards

  • HOPE reimburses authors, and does not pay journals or publishers directly. Authors must pay the publication fees first and then seek reimbursement from HOPE. If you have any questions about which fees are reimbursable, please contact the Office for Scholarly Communication. We'd be happy to help.
  • Authors may receive up to $3,000 in HOPE funds per person per fiscal year.
    • If an article has co-authors, then each author is responsible for a prorated share of the fee. If a paper has n co-authors, only one of whom is a Harvard affiliate, that author may only request 1/n of the fee. If there are two Harvard co-authors, they may request 2/n of the fee, and so on.

Please contact the Office for Scholarly Communication if you have any questions about these restrictions or about your own circumstances.