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UKRI Open Access Policy Update

On August 6th, 2021, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announced its updated open access policy. While the details are still to be fully announced in some areas, this policy will apply to:

  • peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 (unless already under contract).

Please note this is not the announcement of the next Research Excellence Framework open access policy, only the UKRI policy. However, UKRI have made it clear that compliance with their overall open access policy will also ensure compliance for the next REF. The main points are summarised below.

Journal publishing:

  • For all disciplines, research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022 will need to be openly accessible from the point of publication. There are two routes to compliance: 
    • Gold route: final published version available openly on the publisher's website
    • Green route: accepted version available on a repository without embargo
  • The use of UKRI funds for publishing in a ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will not be permitted

Book publishing

  • There is a new requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 to be made open access within 12 months of publication, with exceptions 
  • UKRI has expressed a clear preference for a CC BY licence, but exceptions are possible for use of non-commercial (NC) and no derivatives (ND) in certain circumstances
  • The block grant has been increased to £46.7 million across UK universities with £3.5 million ringfenced to support monograph publishing
  • There are exceptions to the policy for scholarly editions, textbooks and trade books (unless they are the only output of a funded project)

Full details of funding routes for journals will be made available in November 2021 and for monographs by 2022. The Office of Scholarly Communication will continue to update these webpages in line with policy announcements.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about how this affects your work.