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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) / Research Councils UK (RCUK) Open Access (OA) Policy.


  • All peer-reviewed research and review articles published in academic journals or conference proceedings should be made 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 license is required. Funds for Gold OA may be available from the UKRI/RCUK 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).
  • All publications should acknowledge UKRI/RCUK funding and how any underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed.

Hello I’m Maxine, and in this podcast brought to you by Library Services, I’m going to talk to you about the UKRI Open Access Policy.

UKRI, formerly known as RCUK, have an Open Access Policy which applies to all peer-reviewed research articles and conference proceedings.

Both “Gold” and “Green” routes to Open Access are supported, though UKRI has a preference for immediate Open Access with the maximum opportunity for re-use.

UKRI have provided the OU with funds to cover gold open access for a proportion of research papers. This grant runs to 31st March 2020. Grant holders who are full members of OU staff or research students are eligible to use these funds.

You can also comply with the policy via the green route by depositing your author accepted manuscript in an Open Access repository like ORO.

The author’s accepted manuscript is the version after peer review but before copy editing and type setting by the publisher.

UKRI expect any embargo periods to be within six months for STEM disciplines and within twelve months for arts, humanities and social sciences. Publisher’s embargo periods can be checked on the Sherpa Romeo website.

Finally, all publication must include an acknowledgment of UKRI funding and a statement detailing how underlying materials and data can be accessed.

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