PLOS Global Participation Initiative

Authors’ research that is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from eligible low- and middle-income countries will receive partial (group 2 countries) or full (group 1 countries) fee funding paid by the PLOS Global Participation Initiative (GPI). Group 2 PLOS GPI country authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS Publication Fee Assistance instead of the PLOS GPI.
1. Am I eligible?

Authors’ research that is funded primarily (50% or of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from eligible low- and middle-income countries will receive partial or full fee funding paid by the PLOS GPI. Eligibility for the PLOS GPI is based on the country that provided the research funding, not which country the author is from. Group 2 PLOS GPI country authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS Publication Fee Assistance instead of the PLOS GPI.

Authors can view the eligible countries list now or at submission. If author’s country is part of Group 1, the PLOS GPI will cover the entire publication fee and there will be no charge. If author’s country is part of Group 2, the PLOS GPI will cover part of the publication fee and the remaining publication fee will be $500 USD.

Example 1:

If an author is from Ghana and the research funding is sourced from the country’s government, the author will qualify for Group 1 and the publication fee will be fully covered by the PLOS GPI.

Example 2:

If an author is from Ghana receives primary research funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States, the author will not be eligible for Group 1 rates. The author will be charged the standard publication fee and will be ineligible for PLOS GPI. This is because the research funding was provided by a non-PLOS GPI listed country – in this case the USA.

2. What determines whether countries get listed in Group 1 or 2?

The PLOS International Advisory Group and PLOS consider a broad range of economic data (including HINARI, GNI per Capita and National Expenditure on R&D) to establish a more inclusive range of qualifying countries than many other publishers. PLOS reviews HINARI, GNI per Capita and R&D expenditure as a % of GDP on a yearly basis in Q1 of the calendar year. The recent country update was effective at 9:00 a.m. PDT on April 22, 2014.

3. What if I am eligible for the $500 USD publication fee and would like to request additional fee assistance?

Group 2 PLOS GPI country authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS Publication Fee Assistance instead of the PLOS GPI.

4. If I receieve PLOS GPI funding does it reduce my chance of being published?

It does not. Information about PLOS GPI or any PLOS fee support program status is not revealed to editors or reviewers. PLOS publication decisions are based solely on editorial criteria.

5. How do I receive PLOS GPI funding?

PLOS GPI funding eligibility is based on answering questions during the manuscript submission process.

6. What is the difference between where an author is from and where the research is funded?

The PLOS GPI eligibility is based on the country that provided the research funding, not which country the author is from.

7. How does PLOS determine the primary funding source of authors’ research if there are multiple authors?

PLOS makes the determination based on authors’ research that is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from eligible low- and middle-income countries. If the research has multiple funding sources then the majority of the funding determines if it is eligible for PLOS GPI.

8. How can I find out about alternative funding sources that are available?

More institutions, funders, foundations and government agencies than ever before have come together to cover author publication fees. For example:

  • Some funders allow publication fees to be included as line items on a grant.
  • Some institutional libraries offer Open Access funds. (Special note to UK authors – certain institutions will restrict payment to cover for Wellcome Trust and RCUK research grant recipients only.)
  • Some deans and/or department heads, or a co-author’s grant, may have discretionary funds available for Open Access publishing, or publishing in general.
  • European researchers may be able to access article processing grants from research funders, available via the institutional library. Examples include: Research Councils UK (RCUK), German Research Foundation (DFG) and The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Since its inception, PLOS has administered institutional fee support programs and provided PLOS individual fee support. For examples of fee support available today for which authors may be eligible, click on the chart below. To confirm amounts and details of funding and eligibility, contact the organization as indicated.