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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.

To ensure you can fulfill the conditions of your UKRI grant, we recommend checking the latest policy requirements at an early stage. These include significant changes to scope and funding arrangements. 

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


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) published on or after 1 January 2024

The policy supports the transition to immediate open access to government funded research. 


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 concerning research articles?

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

Research articles must be openly available immediately upon publication. This can be achieved either via a gold route or via a green route to open access.

  • 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 / hybrid 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’"

Plan S rights retention strategy resources

We advise authors not to sign a publishing agreement which is in conflict with funder requirements.

  • 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 licence 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.

What are the key requirements of the policy concerning long-form publications?

UKRI have updated their open access policy and fund for books.

Monographs, book chapters, and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 must be made openly available within 12 months of publication under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY preferred; alternatives may be permitted).

Policy requirements will apply to long-form outputs published within seven years of the UKRI grant acknowledged ending.

How to comply

  1. Deposit your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in our institutional repository (RIS).
  2. Publish the Version of Record (VoR) open access via the publisher’s website or a publication platform.


The maximum funding available:

  • Book Processing Charge: £10,000 (inc. VAT)
  • Chapter Processing Charge: £1,000 (inc. VAT)
  • £6,000 for the first output in an alternative funding model (£3,000 for subsequent outputs).

Within these limits, up to £2,000 will be available for third-party rights clearance costs.

UKRI have produced some guidance on managing third party content, which we recommend authors familiarise themselves with at an early stage.

Institutions will make applications on behalf of authors via a two-stage process: 

  • Stage 1: University of Nottingham Libraries registers output(s) with UKRI; UKRI confirms eligibility for funding. A publishing contract does not need to be signed at this point.
  • Stage 2: Libraries confirms publication to UKRI; UKRI releases funds.


UKRI have outlined some policy exemptions (to be recorded by institutions): 

  • Publishing contract signed before 1 January 2024. 

  • The only appropriate publisher offers no compliant open access pathway. 

  • If permissions for third-party material cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative. 

  • Output is out of scope (e.g., scholarly editions, some trade books). 

  • In-scope output arises from a UKRI training grant (e.g., PhD studentship). 

Policy scope definitions can be found at Annex 1; guidance for exemptions is provided at Annex 3. There is also further UKRI guidance for researchers

If you are a UKRI-funded researcher seeking advice on UKRI's long-form open access policy requirements, please fill in our Open Access Long-form outputs form and we will be in touch to discuss your options. 

What do I need to do?

For long-form outputs:

  • Fill in the our enquiry form or email us for guidance before you submit your manuscript. 

For research articles:

  • Fill in the our enquiry form or email us for guidance before you submit your manuscript. 
  • 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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