Open Access at QNL

Qatar National Library (QNL) is committed to supporting open access publishing and ensuring opportunities for scholars and disciplines across Qatar to publish in open access journals.

QNL provides two options in this regard; the Open Access Author Fund and the Open Access Vouchers. In the Open Access Author Fund, QNL pays the article processing fees, on behalf of the author, for articles published in open access (OA) journals. In the Open Acess Vouchers option, QNL's partner vendors provide vouchers for eligible authors to publish their articles in one of these vendors' OA 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 QNL


  • 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 needs to 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 (July 1 – June 30). 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, 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 QNL for inclusion in the QNL 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 QNL 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 (OA) 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 September 6, 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 provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.”
Source: Retrieved from on September 6, 2015.

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

Why does the fund not pay for hybrid OA journals author charges?
A hybrid open access journal is a journal that makes some articles in a subscription journal 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 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

QNL is currently working on an Open Access (OA) agreement with all the subscription-based publishers. Within the scope of its OA licenses, QNL has received a number of Open Access vouchers.

Researchers, faculty, students, and staff enrolled, employed, or affiliated to any institution in Qatar are eligible to apply for a voucher. The article you publish by using an OA voucher will be made openly available on the publisher's website for free and without any 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 ones are excluded from this open access arrangement.

The author will be asked to identify his/her eligibility for a voucher during the submission process on ScholarOne Manuscripts. The author will be able to choose whether he/she accepts Open Access publishing or refuses it. On acceptance, the Publisher will verify the author's eligibility and the availability of vouchers, and inform the author if he/she has been successful in obtaining a voucher. If successful, the author will be asked to complete the CCBY license. 

Ovid (Wolters Kluwer)

Eligible Authors whose articles are accepted for publication under the Hybrid OA Option shall have the article processing charges for such articles waived. 

After the acceptance of an article, the Corresponding Author must obtain a waiver code from their applicable institution (in this case Qatar National Library). The institution will verify the author and provide the waiver code for the author to use. Please contact us for the code on: [email protected]

Eligible Article types are limited to Research Articles, Reviews and Case Reports published under the Hybrid OA Option. In addition, the vouchers may be used for any Research Articles, Reviews or Case Reports published in Medicine journal. 


The OA 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 and the like in this vendor's OA journals (hybrid and author's choice journals are excluded).

To request a Karger open access voucher, please write to: [email protected]