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Cambridge funding guidelines for open access charges 

The University of Cambridge receives block grants that can be used to for pay open access charges in certain circumstances. Due to funder restrictions, the block grants cannot be used to pay for other publishing charges, such as colour charges or page charges.  

Eligibility criteria 

The different block grants have different rules. There are four criteria that are common across the funders:  

  1. The paper must acknowledge funding from a British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), or Wellcome Trust research grant; 

  1. The corresponding author’s stated affiliation is to the University of Cambridge; 

  1. The journal must deposit the version of record in EuropePMC (if funded by UKRI, this is a requirement only for biomedical papers funded by MRC and BBSRC); 

  1. The paper is not eligible under a University of Cambridge Read & Publish deal. 

In addition, there are funder-specific rules around what types of journals and articles the funders support. These are outlined in the table below. 

Funder specific funding criteria 

Block grant 

Journal is Open Access 

Journal is Hybrid 

Journal is Transformative  

Paper is an original research article 

Paper is a review article 

BHF 

Supported

Supported

n/a 

Supported

Supported

CRUK 

Supported

Supported

n/a 

Supported

Unsupported

UKRI 

Supported

Unsupported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Wellcome  

Supported

Unsupported

Supported

Supported

Unsupported

 

A note on research grants 

The Open Access Team can only pay open access charges in cases where a paper acknowledges a specific research grant.  

Cancer Research UK also permits the Team to pay charges where the paper acknowledges a Cambridge CRUK Centre core grant (but not a Cambrdige CRUK Institute core grant).

We are currently unable to pay fees where the only grant acknowledged in the paper is a MRC Unit/Institute core grant.  

 A note on Transformative Journals 

Transformative journals are a status that Coalition S and UKRI have given to hybrid journals that fulfil a set of criteria. They are not recognised by BHF and CRUK.  

Please note that both hybrid and transformative journals will only be supported while the block grants are above a 30% threshold. This is to ensure that authors publishing in fully open access journals can continue to be supported.  

A note on review articles 

Cochrane Reviews and meta-analyses are included by CRUK and Wellcome Trust in their definition of original research. These are the only types of review articles that are supported by CRUK and Wellcome Trust. APCs for other review articles funded by CRUK and Wellcome Trust will not be paid centrally by the open access team.

UKRI's policy does cover review articles, although narrative review articles are explicitly excluded. 

A note on Rights Retention 

Rights Retention is a mechanism by which authors can retain their right to apply a CC BY (or other licence if permitted by their funder) to their accepted manuscript. It enables compliance for authors whose funders require them to make their research immediately available with a CC BY (or other) licence upon publication in cases where the research will be published in a hybrid or subscription journal. UKRI and Wellcome Trust have this requirement, whereas BHF and CRUK do not.  

Where rights retention is required for compliance, there should be no open access charge to pay