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UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Open Access policy

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If you are funded by the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC, you must comply with the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Open Access (OA) Policy. For articles submitted on or after the 1st April 2022, the policy also includes Research England and Innovate UK but not UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Requirements: for articles and conference proceedings submitted for publication on or after 1st April 2022

The policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles that acknowledge UKRI funding. This includes reviews and conference papers that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, a conference proceeding with an international standard serial number (ISSN), or on a publishing platform. 

You can make your article open access via one of two routes:

  • Route one: publish the article open access in a journal or a publishing platform. The Version of Record (final published version) must be immediately open access via its website with a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence. Funds for Gold OA may be available from the UKRI Open Access Block Grant
  • Route two: publish the article in a subscription journal and deposit the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) (or Version of Record, where the publisher permits) at the time of publication in an institutional or subject repository with a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence. A publisher embargo period is not permitted. 

The AAM is the author's version of a research article that has been peer reviewed and is accepted for publication, prior to typesetting by the publisher. It may otherwise be known as the 'author manuscript' or 'final author version' or post print. 

If you are intending to publish open access via route 2,and the journal does not allow deposit with  a CC BY licence and a zero embargo include this statement in the acknowledgement section of your manuscript and any submission cover letter/note: ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence [where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence’ may be stated instead] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising'.

You can apply to UKRI for an exception to use a Creative Commons No-Derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence by using the UKRI No-derivatives licence exception form.

You can publish in the journal or publishing platform you consider most appropriate for your research, provided UKRI's open access requirements are met.

UKRI also requires in-scope research articles to incude a Data Access Statement, even where there is no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible. Further guidance is available in Annex 1 in the UKRI policy and examples are provided in UKRI’s good research resource hub.

How do I know if the journal I intend to publish in is compliant?

For route 1:

Look at the journal webpage to determine if it is:

For route 2:

  • The journal will need to have a self-archiving policy that permits depositing the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) on an institutional or subject repository with a CC BY licence and a zero embargo. Information on journals self-archiving policies can be found on the Sherpa Romeo website.
  • If you are intending to publish open access via route 2 and the journal does not allow deposit with a CC BY licence and a zero embargo, include the following statement, provided by UKRI, in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript you submit, any submission cover letter/note, and the AAM you will deposit on ORO: ‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence [where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence’ may be stated instead] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising'.

If you are unsure if the journal you intend to publish in is compliant with the UKRI Open Access Policy, please contact the Library Research Support team.

Requirements: for monographs, book chapters and edited collections (published from the 1st January 2024) 

The policy includes a new requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from the 1st January 2024 to be made open access. This is either the final Version of Record or the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) which should be made available via an online publication platform, publishers' website, or institutional/subject repository within 12 months of publication. A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is preferred for the open access version to maximise opportunities for sharing and reuse. The open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content.

UKRI will be providing dedicated funding to support open access monographs, book chapters and edited collections. Funding will be provided via a centralised fund held by UKRI that will be applied for. Publication costs for monographs, book chapters and edited collections can continue to be included in research grant applications. UKRI will provide updated guidance by the end of 2022.

The full policy with a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the UKRI open access policy webpage

Requirements: for articles and conference proceedings submitted for publication up to the 31st March 2022

  • All peer-reviewed research and review articles published in academic journals or conference proceedings should be made Open Access (OA).
  • Publications can be made OA via the Gold route or the Green route, although UKRI/RCUK have a preference for the Gold route.
  • If publications are made Gold OA, a Creative Commons CC-BY licence is required. Funds for Gold OA may be available from the UKRI block grant.
  • If publications are OA via the Green Route an embargo period of no longer than 6 months is allowed (12 months for AHRC and ESRC).
  • The policy can be found on the UKRI Publishing your research findings webpage

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Library Research Support team