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UK Research and Innovation Block Grant

UKRI 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)
  • 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 eligibity to access this grant, please contact the Library Research Support Team.

The block grant will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  Please always contact us 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. 

The journal should be compliant with the UKRI Open Access Policy. According to the date your article was submitted, you will need to refer to one of the following policies:

You may also find it helpful to refer to the OU guidance on the UKRI Open Access Policy. Library Services will check all applications and inform you if the publisher does not meet UKRI requirements. Articles should be published under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence, which many publishers already offer. All publications must acknowledge UKRI funding and how any underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed.

It is important that you check that the journal is compliant with the UKRI Open Access Policy at the point of submission. If you are not sure please contact us for advice. 

Information about publishers who provide paid options for gold OA  is available on the Sherpa Romeo website.

Please note:

  • This fund is for UKRI (formerly RCUK) funded research outputs only. If you want to publish non UKRI funded work on OA and require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC), please contact your Faculty Research Support staff. The Library is also taking out Transitional Agreements that cover publishing costs. 
  • The UKRI Open Access block grant 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 OA via the publisher’s website,
    • the article will be published under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence and
    • for hybrid journals the journal is included in a transitional  open access agreement  (i.e.transformative journals or transitional agreements) that meet the Jisc requirements for Open Access
  2. Check that the Library does not already have a Transitional Agreement that will cover the open acess publishing costs. There is a also a Jisc Transitional Agreement Lookup tool you can use to check.
  3. Contact us if you are not sure. 
  4. Submit a request form for payment of article processing charges (you will need to have your grant number to hand). If you have negotiated a special deal with the publisher for a reduced APC, include that on the form. Wait for notification from the Library Services Research Support Team that the request has been approved, we will inform you the next steps you need to take.

Think about data sharing

In addition to its Open Access policy which requires you to include as Data Access Statement, even where there is no data associated to it or the data are inaccessible, for advice on how to write a Data Access Statement see UKRI/RCUK access to data requirements (OU guidance). UKRI 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 us 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