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UK Research and Innovation/Research Councils UK Block Grant

UKRI/RCUK has allocated a block grant to the University to contribute towards the cost of Open Access (OA) publishing of UKRI funded research outputs, and this is centrally managed by Library Services.

University researchers are eligible to apply to this fund if:

  • Their peer-reviewed journal article or conference proceeding is the result of research funded by UKRI (excluding UK Space Agency, Innovate UK and Research England)
  • The author is employed by the OU (including honorary titles but excluding visiting titles) or is a current UKRI funded OU research student

If you are a previous PhD student with UKRI funding, please contact us to discuss and we will assess on a case by case depending on available funds. If you have any questions over your eligibility to access this grant, please get in touch:

The block grant will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  Given the expectation that the grant will not last us the whole year please always contact the Library Services Research Support Team before agreeing to pay Open Access charges with the publisher or requesting invoices.  Only Open Access fees the Library Services Research Support team has already agreed to will be paid.  Notice will be issued when the grant has been spent.

The journal should be compliant with the UKRI/RCUK Access to Research Outputs Policy. Library Services will check all applications and inform you if the publisher does not meet UKRI/RCUK requirements. Articles should be published under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence, which many publishers already offer. All publications should acknowledge UKRI/RCUK funding and how any underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed.

Information about publishers who provide paid options for OA (Gold OA) is available on the SHERPA RoMEO website. You may also find it useful to consult the RCUK Policy on Open Access Frequently Asked Questions.

Please note:

  • This fund is for UKRI/RCUK funded research outputs only; If you want to publish non UKRI/RCUK funded work on OA and require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC), please contact your faculty research support staff
  • The fund cannot be used to pay additional length charges or extra charges for colour images

How do I request payment?

  1. Verify that your publisher meets the following conditions: the article will be available immediately on OA via the publisher’s website and the article will be published under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.
  2. Submit a request form (you will need to have your grant number handy. If you have negotiated a special deal with the publisher for a reduced APC, we will need to know that too). ​
    • ​If the journal you are submitting to is a pure gold (i.e. fully open access) journal, then you should submit your request form upon article submission;
    • If the journal title is hybrid (i.e. it gives an option to publish open access or via the traditional subscription route) please only submit your request from once your article has been accepted for publication. ​​
  3. Wait for notification from the Library Services Research Support Team that the request has been approved, then contact the publisher to request that they send the invoice for the APC. Instructions on where the invoice should be sent will be provided at the time of approval of your request.

Think about data sharing too.

In addition to its Open Access policy, UKRI/RCUK also requires that wherever possible researchers share their data (taking in to account any legal, ethical and commercial constraints), and that published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data. You can read the Research Council Common Principles on Data Policy and guidance.

This can be done by adding the data to a suitable repository (for example the OU’s data repository, ORDO), and including a data access statement in the paper with a link to the repository record – or a reason why supporting data cannot be shared.

Individual research councils have their own policies which build upon these common principles. We’d recommend you check these and get in touch with the research support team if you have any questions. We’re very happy to help work out what can and should be shared, how to prepare it, and how to write a data access statement.

Contact us

Library Research Support team