Open Access and Research Council funded research


New UKRI OA policy implemented on 1st April 2022

In August 2021, UKRI announced their new OA policy which has now replaced the RCUK OA policy. The policy aims to ensure that findings from research funded by the public through UKRI can be freely accessed, used and built on.

The new policy will apply to:

  • publications which need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from the research councils and Innovate UK.
  • peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standards Serial Number (ISSN),
  • in scope publications submitted on or after 1st April 2022.

The policy will also apply to monographs, edited collections and book chapters published from 1st January 2024. More information, including the new policy, can be read at UKRI's website. 

There are two routes to compliance:

Route 1: Publish the research article OA in a journal or publishing platform which makes the final Version of Record immediately OA via its website under the Creative Commons CC-BY licence. This will usually involve the payment of an Article Processing Charge.

UKRI have given the College, a block grant to be used to support the costs of OA. UKRI are supporting publishers who are working to a sustainable transition to OA. UKRI have provided a list of eligible APC costs which the grant can be spent on:

  • Articles within full OA journals
  • Articles within hybrid (mix of OA and subscription articles) journals: College UKRI OA fund can only be used to pay APCs to publish OA in journals within the read /publish transitional agreements (TAs) that the College has subscribed to. These are currently Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Institute of Physics, Oxford University Press, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis and Wiley. More information can be found on the agreement page. 
  • Articles within journals classed as "transformative" by Jisc. 

Following discussion at Research Advisory Group and RKE committee, it has been agreed that College funds can not be used to pay APCs for costs that are classed as ineligible for the UKRI OA fund. Authors should consider if a compliant route 2 is available. In a minority of cases, authors may be required to submit to an alternative UKRI compliant journal, and where if applicable, costs are considered eligible for the UKRI OA block grant.

Route 2: Publish the research article in a subscription journal and deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record, where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository by the time of final publication. The AAM must be made available OA with no embargo period and must have the Creative Commons CC-BY licence.

Authors need to add the AAM to Pure within 3 months of the date of acceptance.

Authors need to ensure that submissions include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission:

 ‘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’

Authors should avoid signing publishing agreements with publishers that do not allow the inclusion of this statement and /or have an agreement that does not allow immediate OA under the CC-BY licence for the AAM.

UKRI do allow authors to apply for an exception to use a CC-BY-ND licence. Publishers may accept this alternative licence and then allow the inclusion of the statement, to provide a compliant route 2 option.

How to find out more about journal titles and publishers

  1. To check if a journal title is within a read / publish OA transitional agreement: use the Transitional Agreement look up tool - add the College name and journal title. If the journal is within a College agreement, there will be a "Yes" in the "Jisc agreement held" column. If just the College name is added, a list of the 8 agreements will appear with a drop down list of all the journals within the agreement. The UKRI OA fund can be used for journals within these agreement lists.
  2. To check if a journal title is within the Jisc transformative journal list: use the Jisc transformative journal list spreadsheet. The UKRI OA fund can be used for journals on this list.
  3. To find out more about different publisher's current compliance status with the policy, the Jisc "At a glance" spreadsheet provides a summary of whether the publisher offers a transitional agreement (note the College has to sign up to the agreement to make the APCs, an eligible cost for the UKRI OA fund), if the publisher provides transformative journals or the status of the discussions / negotiations with Jisc. The spreadsheet is in the "Funder - compliant agreements" box under "Publisher negotiations"

Authors need to:

  1. Check before you submit – it is essential to get advice on the available compliant routes for the journal, to establish if OA APCs will be paid and / or how to ensure that a correct and compliant publishing licence is signed. Researchers will need to know that the journal is offering a compliant route before the article is submitted / accepted. The tools above can be used to check if journals are in agreements or are classed as transformative journals.

  2. Complete the application form. This is essential for all articles, irrespective of which route is intended for the article. This enables the Team to check for compliant routes, to provide informed guidance and if relevant, to commit funds to pay the APC.
  3. Then when compliant route(s) for the journal are established, follow the detailed guidance above to ensure compliance.
  4. Include a Research Data Access Statement to all in scope outputs. This informs readers where the underlying research materials associated with a paper are available, and how the research materials can be accessed. The statement can include links to the dataset, where applicable and appropriate.
  5. Add a record to Pure, including a relation to the project. If route 2 is being followed, the AAM must be added to Pure within 3 months of the date of acceptance.
  6. Revisit this page regularly for the latest information.

UKRI are continuing to issue out more guidance to HEIs and this page will be updated accordingly. 

The Team will be in contact with more advice and information about our support for the new policy. Please email the team if you have any questions, we are always very happy to help. 

If you have questions regarding the UKRI OA policy, deposit to Pure, the Royal Holloway UKRI OA fund and the eligibility criteria, please contact

Updated 30th August 2022.

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