Open Access at QNL

The Library is committed to supporting open access publishing and ensuring opportunities for scholars across Qatar to publish in open access journals.

The Library provides two options in this regard: the Open Access Author Fund and open access vouchers. In the Open Access Author Fund, the Library pays for article processing fees on behalf of the author for articles published in open access journals. In the open access vouchers option, the Library’s partner vendors provide vouchers for eligible authors to publish their articles in one of these vendors’ open access journals.

Submit a Request for Open Access Author Fund


  • Support Qatar-based research through the provision of a national fund to support author costs related to open access publishing
  • Promote Qatar-based research through open access to scholarly research
  • Support authors who must comply with policies established by granting agencies that require open access dissemination of funded research and who have not already received funds for this express purpose
  • Create and support a permanent archive of Qatar-based research at the Library


  • The fund is open to students, faculty, researchers and staff from any institute of higher education or non-profit research institute within Qatar.
  • The application shall be made by the primary author of the article, who must have Qatari citizenship or residency. A copy of the appropriate permits of the primary author of the article must be submitted along with the application.
  • If an alternate funding source is available that permits payment of submission fees (e.g. a grant), this source must be used before applying for the fund. Applicants must provide proof that other funding sources (e.g. departmental grants or research awards) have been explored. If the external fund only pays for part of the author’s fees, an application may be made for the balance.
  • Eligible articles are required to have passed a peer review and have been approved for publishing during the current fiscal year. Applications must be accompanied by the notification of the acceptance of the article.
  • Articles will be funded if they are included in a journal that is listed at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ),, is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or adheres to its code of conduct. Articles in hybrid journals are not eligible.
  • Articles published in Arabic-language open access journals that are not yet listed in the DOAJ may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Journals must provide unfettered access to all peer-reviewed articles and make publicly available a standard article fee schedule.
  • The library reserves the right to refuse a request if the publisher appears to be a “predatory open access publisher.”
  • Preference will be given to articles published with a “CC BY” license.
  • The fund covers only the costs and fees associated with open access publishing. These fees are often referred to as “author fees,” “author payments,” “open access charges,” “article processing fees,” or “submission fees.” Costs for reprints, color illustration fees, non-open access page charges and other fees are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Requests will be processed on a “first come, first served” basis until the fund is exhausted.
  • A copy of the research must be provided to the Library for inclusion in the Digital Repository or the author must provide the DOI of the article. Further grant awards are conditional on meeting this requirement.
  • The maximum payment per article is $2,000 US or equivalent local currency.
  • Payments are made directly by the Library to the publisher in response to an invoice. It is recommended that authors apply early as it takes time to process the paperwork for payments.
  • It is recommended that authors register for ORCID (the Open Researcher and Contributor ID).
  • Applications for Open Access Books or book chapters will be considered. Publishers must be listed at the Directory of Open Access Books and not be behind any type of paywall.


What is open access?
Open access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
(Source: Suber, Peter. 2004. A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access. Retrieved from on 6 September 2015.)

What is “predatory publishing?”
The Blog Scholarly Open Access provides information and analysis regarding open access publishing and predatory publishing. The blog also provides “Beall's List” of “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers.” While there is some controversy about this concept, it is the intent to fund articles that are published in reputable journals, thus the emphasis on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

What is ORCID?
ORCID is a non-profit organization that provides a persistent digital identifier to distinguish you from every other researcher.  This identifier integrates your key research workflows, such as manuscript and grant submission, and supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities to ensure that your work is recognized.
Source: Retrieved from on 6 September 2015.

What is a “CC BY” license?
A "CC BY”  from Creative Commons allows others to “distribute, remix, tweak and build upon” your work, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered by Creative Commons, and is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
Source: Retrieved from on 6 September 2015.

Why does the Open Access Authors Fund not pay for hybrid open access journal author charges?
A hybrid open access journal is a journal that makes some articles in a subscription open access upon payment of an additional fee. Many open access funds originally paid these charges in the hope that publishers would make the transition to open access for these journals. As many of these have not made the transition, it no longer makes sense to pay article charges for these journals.

Can I archive my own articles even if they were published in a subscription journal?
It depends. Authors can still adopt an open access publishing practice by self-archiving post-prints from commercial publishers, subject to the conditions specified within copyright agreements. This method of open access, known as green open access, is endorsed by many publishers. Sherpa/Romeo provides a searchable index of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher’s copyright transfer agreement.

Open Access Vouchers

The Library is currently working on an open access agreement with all subscription-based publishers. Within the scope of its open access licenses, we have received a number of open access vouchers.

Researchers, faculty, students and staff enrolled, employed or affiliated with any institution in Qatar are eligible to apply for a voucher. The article you publish by using an open access voucher will be made openly available on the publisher's website for free and without delay. As the number of vouchers is limited, they will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Available vouchers


All current publisher-owned journals are included. Articles will be subject to the respective journal's editorial and peer review processes. Only articles presenting original research are eligible, i.e. articles of the type "editorial", "guest editorial", "preface" and similar are excluded from this open access arrangement.

You will be asked to identify your eligibility for a voucher during the submission process on ScholarOne Manuscripts, and you will be able to choose whether you accept or refuse open access publishing. On acceptance, the publisher will verify your eligibility and the availability of vouchers, and inform you if a voucher has been granted. If one has, you will be asked to complete the CC BY license. 

Ovid (Wolters Kluwer)

If your article is accepted for publication under the hybrid open access option, the article processing charges will be waived. 

After your article is accepted you must obtain a waiver code from the Library. We will verify you as the author and provide you with the waiver code. Please contact us for the code at [email protected]

Eligible articles are limited to research articles, reviews and case reports published under the hybrid open access option. In addition, vouchers may be used for any research articles, reviews or case reports published in the journal Medicine


The open vouchers may be used by academics, researchers, employees and students at Qatar University, Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medical and Research Center to publish academic articles in this vendor's open access journals (hybrid and author's choice journals are excluded).

To request a Karger open access voucher, contact us at [email protected]