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The Open Access policy landscape in the UK is complex. The University of Cambridge Open Access Service assists researchers with policy compliance. Please use these pages to find out more about different Open Access policies and to work out if your journal is compliant.

The new UKRI Open Access Policy will be implemented from 01 April 2022. Find out how this will affect you.

Summary of policies

Funder Requirements Maximum embargo Funds provided?
REF 2021 Journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 to be made open access. 

STEM: 12 months 

HASS: 24 months

No 

Research Councils 

Research outputs must be made open access either through self- archiving/green open access, or by paying for gold open access. If self-archiving/green open access is selected, the accepted manuscript must be made available within a the specified maximum embargo period.

The requirements for authors funded by UKRI will change on 01 April 2022 when the new UKRI Open Access Policy is implemented. Find out how this will affect you.

STEM: 6 -12 months

HASS:12-24 months

A block grant is provided to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 

 

Papers have to meet a number of criteria before payments can be made from the block grant. 

Wellcome Trust 

All research articles which arise from Wellcome funding must be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official final publication date and published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY), unless Wellcome Trust has agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC BY-ND licence.  

No embargo allowed

A block grant is provided to the to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 

 

Papers have to meet a number of criteria before payments can be made from the block grant. 

Wellcome Trust Monograph OA Policy Monographs or book chapters to be openly available in NCBI Bookshelf and Europe PMC within 6 months of final publication. 6 months

Grant holders can make a request to Wellcome for supplemental funds to cover monograph open access publishing by contacting openaccess@wellcome.org

They should provide the following information: 

  • the grant holder's current employing organisation 

  • title of the monograph or book chapter 

  • Wellcome grant reference number 

  • publisher name 

  • proposed date of publication 

  • cost of the open access fee. 

Cancer Research UK An electronic copy of the final, published form of your paper (either the Author Accepted Manuscript or Version of Record) must be made available on Europe PubMed Central upon publication. Researchers can choose either to self archiving/green open access, or to opt for gold open access.  No embargo allowed

A block grant is provided to the to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 

 

Papers have to meet a number of criteria before payments can be made from the block grant.  

Breast Cancer Now All publications arising from funded research must be deposited in Europe PMC as soon as possible, and no later than 12 months following publication 12 months Grant holders may use underspend on their grants towards open access charges
British Heart Foundation

Primary research paper or non-commissioned review funded wholly or in part by BHF must be made freely available in Europe PubMed Central as soon as possible.

Researchers can choose either self-archiving/green open access, or to opt for gold open access. If self- archiving/green open access is selected, the accepted manuscript must be made available within the maximum specified embargo period.

6 months

A block grant is provided to the to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 

 

Papers have to meet a number of criteria before payments can be made from the block grant. 

NIHR

Research should be published in a journal that makes the findings available using the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0). Articles are to be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible.

 

NIHR's policy is changing on 1 June 2022. Articles submitted after this date must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official final publication date, without any embargo period, using the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0).

 

6 months

(no embargo allowed for papers submitted on or after 1 June 2022).

Funds to pay for immediate (Gold) Open Access to comply with this policy should have been included in your original NIHR grant, or they may be available from the NIHR. 

NIHR are introducing a ring-fenced pot of funding to research grants, called an 'envelope', which will be used to pay for open access publishing.

The envelopes will be applied to contracts issued from the 1st of June 2022. 

Versus Arthritis

Articles are to be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible

Researchers can choose either to self archiving/green open access, or to opt for gold open access. If self- archiving/green open access is selected, the accepted manuscript must be made available within the maximum specified embargo period.

6 months Must be requested via the Grant Tracker
Blood Cancer UK

Articles are to be made available through Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible. 

Researchers can choose either to self archiving/green open access, or to opt for gold open access. If self- archiving/green open access is selected, the accepted manuscript must be made available within the maximum specified embargo period.

6 months Must be budgeted into grants
Parkinson's UK

Articles are to be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible.

Researchers can choose either to self- archiving/green open access, or to opt for gold open access. If self- archiving/green open access is selected, the accepted manuscript must be made available within the maximum specified embargo period.

6 months Must be budgeted into grants

What you need to do

Wellcome Trust

Primary research funded in part or whole by Wellcome Trust must be made freely available at the time of publication, openly licenced (with the Creative Commons Attributions licence (CC BY 4.0), and deposited in Europe PMC.

Researchers can publish compliantly either by:

  • Publishing in an open access journal/platform that is listed in DOAJ and fulfils Plan S technical requirements;
  • Publishing in journal covered by a Transformative Agreement, (also known as a Read & Publish deal. Please consult our journal checker for a list of journals currently covered by a deal) or which is a ‘transformative journal’;  
  • Publishing in a hybrid or subscription journal that is not covered by a Transformative Agreement but retaining rights in the submitted manuscript to deposit their accepted manuscript in EuropePMC with a Creative Commons Attributions licence (CC BY 4.0) by the official publication date of their paper. The researcher must take responsibility to deposit their accepted manuscript in EuropePMC themselves via the manuscript submission dashboard

If researchers opt to retain their rights, they are required to use the following statement in their submitted manuscript:

'This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number xxxxx]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.'

If a publisher does not allow any of the above routes, then researchers will not be able to publish with them compliantly. Researchers should use the Plan S journal compliance checker to determine whether their journal of choice offers a compliant route.