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The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership between six health research charities set up on 1 October 2014 to enable open access to the published outputs of the research they support. The partner charities are: Arthritis Research UK, Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK, and Wellcome Trust.

36 universities and research institutes receive an annual award to meet the Open Access article processing charges (APCs). Where an APC is paid from COAF, the journal must deposit the final version of the article, on behalf of the author, in PubMed Central (PMC), and it must be made freely available on PMC at the time of publication - a link to the article on the publisher site is not sufficient.  The output must be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.

If the journal allows it, you can comply with the open access policies of the funders by self-archiving the author’s accepted manuscript version of the output in Europe PMC with a maximum six month embargo period.  In this case, no APC is charged and no call will be made on COAF.

Find out more about how COAF works and read answers to frequently asked questions.  

Services at the University of Cambridge 

The University administers the COAF block grant centrally. Authors should upload their accepted manuscripts to Symplectic Elements and the Open Access team will check funder policies. If the payment of an article processing charge is required, the Open Access team will help the author facilitate this payment. The process by which the Open Access team follows compliance can be viewed in the REF 2021 UK Research Councils and COAF Compliance Decision Tree.