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Researcher Support Library Services: UKRI OA Policy

UKRI's Open Access policy changed for articles in 2022.  Since January 2024, the policy has broadened to encompass monographs and chapters.  Find out what UKRI require from authors and how to get help with publishing your UKRI-funded work:

Not sure? Send us a query

UKRI Open Access compliance check form   

If you're not sure whether your chosen journal or book publisher will be compliant with the UKRI open access policy, add your details to the form above and the Library's research support team will reply with tailored advice.  UoP researchers are always welcome to contact the library research support team directly with any such queries:

Research Articles 
(for conference papers published in proceedings with an ISBN see guidance on chapters)

UKRI's OA policy is aligned with Plan S principles.

Key points and routes to compliance for articles acknowledging UKRI funding

   UKRI-funded research articles must be made open access immediately upon publication. This can be achieved in a few different ways:

Route 1, option a) Publishing Gold Open Access through one of the University's Read & Publish agreement at no cost to individual authors (to use this route, the Responsible Corresponding Author must be UoP affiliated)

Route 1, option b) Publishing Gold Open Access using the UKRI APC block grant to cover Article Processing Charges in eligible journals (to use this route, fill out the Article Processing Charge request form below).  Eligible journals are:

  1. Fully Open Access journals, or
  2. Certain hybrid journals which meet transformative requirements set out by Jisc 

Article Processing Charge request form 

Ensure you have complied with additional UKRI OA requirements listed below before requesting payment of an APC. 

Route 2) Publishing Green Open Access by depositing the Accepted Manuscript without an embargo into PEARL under a CC-BY licence

UKRI's OA policy says, "submissions must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter or note accompanying the submission:
“For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.”

Some publishers support this e.g. AAAS or Royal Society (see points 5 and 6c in the 'standard licence') though some will mandate embargos and retain the copyright, so researchers opting for this route may need to negotiate.  Publishers are increasingly aware of funder policies and often prepared to adjust terms to meet these requirements.   (Check your journal's accepted manuscript sharing policy).  Please contact the Library's research support team for advice on this route.

See also: How to deposit Accepted Manuscripts to Pearl via Symplectic Elements 

   A CC-BY license must be applied to the open version of research articles (unless the researcher has successfully applied for an exception, in which case CC-BY-ND may be permitted). CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND licenses are not permitted under any circumstances.  Please note this requirement also applies to Accepted Manuscripts deposited in PEARL if your paper is to be paywalled on the publisher site.


   A Data Access Statement must accompany published articles.  See our guidance on Research Data Management for more information on UKRI's requirements for research data.

Selection, Preservation and Sharing: selection of data, preservation and repositories, data sharing and open data

  Your research publications must acknowledge funding received from research councils. The use of ORCIDs is also strongly encouraged.

Monographs, chapters and edited collections
(including conference papers in proceedings with an ISBN)

UKRI's open access policy applies to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections* published from 1 January 2024.

Key points for Monographs, book chapters or edited collections acknowledging UKRI funding

   The final Version of Record or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be open access on an online publication platform, publisher's website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months from publication. [If using UKRI funds, outputs must be open immediately.]

   The open access version must have a Creative Commons licence (this does not apply to any materials included within a research article that are provided by third-party copyright holders). Unlike research articles, any CC licence is permitted.

   The open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content.

   Where an Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version.

   Your research publications must acknowledge funding received from research councils.

UKRI compliant routes to open access publishing

  • Deposit the Accepted Manuscript into a repository 

Publish Green Open Access by depositing the Accepted Manuscript into Pearl via Symplectic Elements with a Creative Commons licence.  A maximum 12 month embargo is permitted.  Currently, most publishers only permit deposit of a chapter and would request that copyright is transferred.  Researchers investigating this route may need to negotiate - publishers are increasingly aware of funder policies and often prepared to adjust terms to meet these requirements.  Please contact the Library's research support team for advice on this route. 

  • Identify a publisher with cost-neutral open access business models

Many reputable publishers are now supporting open access publishing on their websites/platforms at no cost to individual authors (known as Diamond Open Access which has no upfront publishing or read-access fees).  Costs are covered through library consortia annual subscriptions or dual-edition publishing (continuing to sell print/high quality eBooks for eReaders plus providing a free .pdf).  Some of these initiatives have been financially supported by JISC and UKRI as funders encourage the sector to find sustainable models for open access publishing as an alternative to book/chapter processing charges.  Outputs must be available within 12 months of publication with a Creative Commons licence under this route.

  • Apply for UKRI funding for book/chapter processing charges

UKRI have dedicated approximately £3.5 million annually to support open-access monograph/chapter publishing on publishers' websites/platforms (Gold open access).  Under this route, outputs must be open access immediately upon publication with a Creative Commons licence.  Institutions will need to apply to UKRI for use of the funds on behalf of authors.  Amounts payable per output type are capped and negotiation with publishers on costs may be required.  Full details are available on the UKRI website.  Applications to the fund are managed through a two stage process:

  • Stage 1: the research organisation registers the output(s) with UKRI for funding.  A publishing contract does not need to be signed for a stage 1 application.

  • Stage 2: the research organisation provides final confirmation of publication to allow UKRI to release funds.

Funds are to be released by UKRI twice a year.  The University of Plymouth has an internal process in place for making payments to be later reimbursed by UKRI.  Please contact the Library's open research team with any questions.

This form is for Stage 1 of requesting open access funds from UKRI's sector-wide fund for monographs, edited collections, or book chapters.  The library's open research team will process any requests from UoP authors and forward to UKRI for consideration.  Contact with any queries.

Policy exceptions for long-form publications

UKRI recognise that there may be instances where complying with the above policy is not feasible. Some exceptions where the policy does not apply include:

  If a contract has been signed between author and publisher before 1 January 2024 which prevents adherence to the policy.

   If the only appropriate publisher for your work does not provide a compliant open access option. (UKRI expects this to be rare, and only after significant consideration of options and liaison with the publisher.)

   If the sole funding acknowledgement is for a UKRI ‘training grant’ (eg PhD stipend).

   If permissions for third party material cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative which enables open access publication.

   Trade books are exempt from the policy (except in cases where they are the sole output of UKRI funded research)

   Scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, scholarly illustrated catalogues, textbooks and all types of fictional work are exempt from the policy.


*Definitions of long-form outputs according to UKRI policy (taken from the UKRI open access policy):

Academic monograph Defined as a long-form publication which communicates an original contribution to academic scholarship on one topic or theme and is designed for a primarily academic audience; an academic monograph may be written by one or more authors.
Book chapter Defined as a written scholarly output, formally published for the first time, together with similar outputs from other authors in a single publication, forming a permanently identifiable set of contributions on a common theme, bearing an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This includes chapters in academic books arising from conferences.
Edited collection

Defined as a written scholarly output in which individual chapters or contributions have been written by different authors, and whereby the contributions from each author are intellectually distinct. This includes edited book collections arising from conferences.

An edited book collection may arise from a conference, but it is constructed as a publication in its own right rather than reproducing the proceedings of the conference. See Conference papers and proceedings.

Edited collections in scope of the UKRI Open Access Policy are those which are required to acknowledge UKRI funding and where the editor(s) satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

a) the editor(s) of the collection has sole responsibility for curating the publication

b) the editor(s) of the collection has made a substantial contribution to the editing, choices for inclusion and underpinning process of investigation in the publication.

The complete edited collection must be made available open access, regardless as to whether the authors of chapters comprising a collection were/are supported by UKRI.

Trade book

Defined as an academic monograph rooted in original scholarship that has a broad public audience, a trade book is only in scope of the policy where it is the only output from UKRI-funded research.

Out of scope long-form publications

UKRI’s open access policy does not apply to the following long-form outputs:

• Trade books: The decision of whether a book should be considered a trade book or an academic monograph, is at the discretion of the author and publisher.

• Scholarly editions. Defined as an edition of another author’s original work or body of works informed by critical evaluation of the sources (such as earlier manuscripts, texts, documents and letters), often with a scholarly introduction and explanatory notes or analysis on the text and/or original author.

• Exhibition catalogues.

• Scholarly illustrated catalogues.

• Textbooks.

• All types of fictional works and creative writing.