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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.

Please note that on 13 February 2020 the UKRI Open Access Review Consultation was announced. Information about the University's response can be found on our dedicated UKRI Open Access Review Consultation 2020 webpage.

Summary of policies

Funder Requirements Embargo Funds provided?
REF 2021 Journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 to be made Open Access 

12 months STEM

24 months HASS

No 

Research Councils 

Research outputs to be made Open Access

6 -12 months STEM

12-24 months HASS

A Block grant is provided to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 
Wellcome Trust  From 1 January 2021, all research articles which arise from Wellcome funding must be made freely available at the time of publication and openly licenced and deposited in Europe PubMed Central. 0 month embargo A Block grant is provided to the to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 
Wellcome Trust Monograph OA Policy Monographs or book chapters to be made Open Access 6 months Additional funds are provided to the grant holder to cover Open Access charges
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 as soon as possible. 6 months A Block grant is provided to the to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 
British Heart Foundation An electronic copy of each primary research paper or non-commissioned review funded wholly or in part by us is made freely available in Europe PubMed Central as soon as possible. 6 months A Block grant is provided to the to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and Transformative Agreements. 
Versus Arthritis Articles are to be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible 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.  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 6 months Must be budgeted into grants

What you need to do

Wellcome Trust

Researchers funded by Wellcome Trust should note that Wellcome’s open access policy for research papers submitted after 1st January 2021 has changed.

From 1st January 2021, 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 your publisher does not allow any of the above routes, then you 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.

Additional notes Researchers funded by the following funders:

  • Cancer Research UK
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Blood Cancer UK
  • Parkinson’s UK
  • Versus Arthritis

Can publish compliantly either by:

  • Publishing gold open access (publisher's charge an article processing charge for this route). If you opt for this route, your publisher will deposit your article in Europe PMC on your behalf. Researchers can choose to publish either in fully open access journals or hybrid journals. We have a number of Read & Publish deals, in place with publishers, which cover the open access fees for eligible journals. If you are eligible under one of the deals, you do not need to arrange an invoice to pay the fees. 
  • Publishing green open access (self-archiving). This can be achieved either by the publisher depositing your paper in Europe PMC on your behalf within 6 months of publication, or by depositing in Europe PMC yourself via their manuscript submission dashboard. There is no fee if you opt for this route.

If your publisher does not allow any of the above routes, then you will not be able to publish with them compliantly. Researchers can use Sherpa Romeo to check the open access routes offered by their journal of choice.

Researchers should use the creative commons attributions licence (CC BY 4.0).

Please remember that you must acknowledge your funder in your paper, and include your research grant number.

Researchers funded by Cancer Research UK should note that their funder now only provides open access funding for primary research articles. The other funders listed above will assist with open access fees for primary research articles and non-commissioned research articles.