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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?

Long form outputs arising from UKRI grant funding that are published on or after 1 January 2024 will be subject to open access requirements.

Full policy details are promised by UKRI in autumn 2023. What we know so far:

    • Scope: monographs, book chapters and edited collections (defined at Annex 1)
    • Venue of OA publication: online publication platform, or publisher's website, or institutional or subject repository
    • Timing of OA publication: version of record or author's accepted manuscript must be free to view and download within 12 months of publication
    • Licencing: Creative Commons licence (UKRI prefer Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence), or Open Government Licence if suitable
    • Third-party copyright materials: supporting content such as images, illustrations and tables should be included in the OA version where possible
    • Exemptions: UKRI recognises certain "rare instances" where an exemption may be claimed (defined at Annex 3)
    • Funding: From autumn 2023, you will be able to apply through the University to a new UKRI fund to support long-form OA costs. If you are currently applying for a UKRI grant and expect to publish a long-form output during 2024, you may include open access costs in your application.
If your long form publication will be in scope of these new UKRI OA requirements, we recommend that you inform your preferred publisher as early as possible and ask if they can offer a compliant open access publishing option.

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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