Project Leader Guidelines for funding Open Access Publication


Open Access Publishing (OAP) is a growing practice amongst the research community that has been driven by the increasing availability of high-speed internet. This has made it possible to download electronic articles from anywhere in the world (1). This capacity has changed traditional scientific publishing practices that historically distributed science through paper copies that subscribers paid for. Traditionally, this ‘paywall’ meant that only individuals or institutions who could afford journal subscription fees could access research results. This way of distributing research findings has been criticized for disadvantaging less affluent institutions and countries.


By making journal access free, OAP overcomes this inequity (2). OAP also means that research funded by tax payers or philanthropic organisations will be freely available to the people who originally funded the research (3). OAP also increases the global community’s access to research. For researchers themselves, choosing OAP can increase paper downloads and the number of times that paper is cited, suggesting that OA papers have greater reach and increase the uptake of research (3). For funding institutions, OAP may increase the reach, uptake, and impact of the research they fund. However, the publication costs associated with OAP can be significant and for many researchers these costs are beyond the scope of the grants that funded the research.


Guidelines for SOSF support for OAP

Acknowledging these issues, the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) may provide support of up to USD $3,000 in Open Access Publishing fees for selected SOSF funded research projects. This support will be assessed on a case-by-case basis according to the following guidelines.


1.      The SOSF will typically only provide OAP support for SOSF funded projects.

2.      SOSF will only approve support for one paper for a given project per calendar year.

3.      The maximum amount for support will be USD $3,000. However, the SOSF encourages project leaders to consider the costs charged by the journal against potential benefit when selecting an Open Access journal.

4.      Project Leaders will need to provide a brief written explanation of how OA publishing of the SOSF funded research will enhance conservation outcomes.

5.      Papers will need to be provisionally accepted at the time of application, and project leaders will need to explain their choice of journal, and confirm that they have checked the following website to ensure that it is not a ‘predatory journal’: If the paper is not provisionally accepted at the time of application, any approval of OAP support by SOSF will be conditional on the journal accepting the paper.

6.      The SOSF will focus on a paper’s potential conservation impact and the needs of its target audience when considering a paper for OAP support.

7.      Considering Point 6 above, a journal’s impact factor will not be considered when making a determination about whether to provide OAP support.


Project leaders seeking OAP support should contact the SOSF via email and supply the information above and a copy of the draft manuscript. The SOSF will then assess the request. For those papers that will be supported, funds will only be transferred after receipt of confirmation that the paper has been accepted by the journal.

For more information about OAP support, please contact Sandrine Griffiths at


To apply for OAP support, please send a letter that addresses the guidelines listed above and send it to Letters may be submitted at any time.



1. Piwowar H, Priem J, Larivière V, Alperin JP, Matthias L, Norlander B, et al. The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ. 2018;6:e4375.

2. Björk B-C. Scholarly journal publishing in transition- from restricted to open access. Electronic Markets. 2017;27(2):101-9.

3. Björk B-C. Open access to scientific articles: a review of benefits and challenges. Internal and Emergency Medicine. 2017;12(2):247-53.