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UKRI open access policy

The policy applies to UKRI-funded research articles from 1 April 2022 and to long-form publications from 1 January 2024.

If your research is funded by UKRI, you will need to ensure you are aware of the latest policy requirements including changes to scope and funding. We recommend checking this at an early stage to make sure you meet your funding conditions. 

UKRI have published guidance and resources. Please email as early as possible for advice.

Please note that peer-reviewed research articles submitted before 1 April 2022 need to comply with the RCUK open access policy. The information below relates to articles submitted on or after 1 April 2022. The UKRI page 'Publishing your research findings' sets out the requirements according to date of submission.

What do I need to know?

The open access (OA) policy applies to research funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which comprises the seven research councils (formerly grouped as RCUK), Research England and Innovate UK.

The policy applies to:

  • peer-reviewed articles, reviews, conference papers submitted for publication from 1 April 2022
  • long-form publications (monographs, book chapters and edited collections) from 1 January 2024

The policy supports the transition to immediate open access to government funded research. For more information, please visit our open access policies page.


The UKRI policy differs from the existing REF OA policy. Researchers should continue to comply with the requirements of the REF 2021 OA policy until further notice.  

UKRI has confirmed that outputs that satisfy the new UKRI OA policy (which applies only to publications that acknowledge UKRI funding) will also satisfy any future REF policy. 


What are the key requirements of the policy?

We recommend checking the full policy requirements on the UKRI website at an early stage.

Some of the key changes in the policy include:

  • Research articles must be openly available upon publication. This can be achieved one of two ways - either gold or green open access.


  1. Publish in a fully open access journal/platform or hybrid journal (funding restrictions apply) that makes the article immediately OA via its website. An Article Processing Charge (APC) payment is usually required.
  2. Publish in a journal covered by a transformative agreement (also known as a 'Read and Publish' deal).


Publish in a subscription journal for free and release the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) via a repository, upon publication (no embargo), under a CC BY license.   

This route requires you to include the rights retention text prescribed by UKRI in the funding acknowledgement section of your paper and any cover letter accompanying the submission: 

"For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence’ may be stated instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’"

We advise author's to be careful not to sign any publishing agreements which are in conflict with funder requirements.

Plan S rights retention strategy resources

  • UKRI will not fund open access charges in hybrid journals (journals which publish both subscription and open access articles) unless the journal is covered by a transformative agreement (TA) or it meets the Jisc definition of a transformative journal (TJ). Funding for TJs is at UoN discretion and subject to review if funds become limited.
  • Articles must be licensed using a CC BY or Open Government licence. Publishing under a CC BY-ND may be available upon request (subject to UKRI approval).
  • Publications must acknowledge support received from UKRI. Guidance on the required wording is available at 'Acknowledging your funding'.
  • Articles must include a data availability statement and an ORCID iD in the manuscript.
  • UKRI will not fund page or colour charges.
  • There is a new set of requirements for funded long-form publications (from January 2024). These must be made openly available within 12 months of publication via repository deposit (green open access) or immediately upon publication (gold open access). Some policy exceptions will apply.

What do I need to do?

  • Fill in the our enquiry form or email us for guidance before you submit your manuscript.
  • Read the UKRI Policy to ensure you are meeting your funding conditions.
  • Check if the rules of your journal or platform meet your grant conditions. You can use the Journal Checker Tool to see if your journal meets the requirements of the UKRI open access policy.



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