Research funder open access publication policies
Guidance on publishing research in line with funder policies.
Increasingly, research funders require grant holders to publish research that results from research funding in an open access format.
Research funder requirements vary, and researchers should be aware of their funder's requirements before submitting their research to any publisher to ensure that the publisher complies with their funder's policies.
If you are unsure or require further advice, please email email@example.com.
For specific guidance, jump to a section of this page:
If you receive research funding from UKRI or from one of its research councils, you must comply with the UKRI Open Access Policy.
The 9 UKRI research councils are:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Innovate UK (IUK)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Research England (RE)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
UKRI requirements for research articles
UKRI requires all peer-reviewed research articles to be published with immediate open access.
The policy includes 2 routes to open access:
- Route 1: Publish the article open access in a journal or publishing platform which makes the Version of Record immediately open access via its website with a CC BY or other permitted licence.
- Route 2: Publish the article in a subscription journal and deposit your Author's Accepted Manuscript in an institutional or subject repository at the time of publication with a CC BY or other permitted licence. A publisher embargo period is not permitted.
The open access version of your article must have a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. An exception to use a CC BY-ND (no derivatives) licence can be applied for by submitting a short form to UKRI.
Researchers can publish in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI's open access requirements are met.
UKRI requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections
From 1 January 2024, UKRI requires the final Version of Record or the Author's Accepted Manuscript to be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher's website, or institutional or subject repository within 12 months of publication.
A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is preferred for the open access version to maximise opportunities for sharing and reuse.
In addition to UKRI, other researcher funders may also have their own open access or publishing policies. Prior to submitting any research outputs to publishers, check any contracts or information provided by your research funder, use the Sherpa tools below, or contact RaY (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advice.
Sherpa Services provides tools and services to help researchers to comply with their research funder requirements.
- Sherpa Fact provides guidance on whether a journal complies with a research funder's open access policies. It provides advice on the available publishing options to help researchers make informed decisions on where to publish.
- Sherpa Juliet helps researchers to find research funder open access policies.
- Sherpa Romeo provides summaries of publisher open access archiving policies for individual journals.
Plan S requires research publications which receive research funding from cOAlition S funders to be published immediately and freely available in compliant open access journals and platforms.
Plan S is based on the following fundamental principles:
- No scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall.
- Open access should be immediate with no embargoes.
- Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence should be the default licence.
- Research funders should commit to support open access publication fees at a reasonable level.
- Research funders should not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless they are part of a transformative arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint.
To check that a journal is compliant with Plan S, use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool.
Plan S Rights Retention Strategy
The Plan S Rights Retention Strategy allows researchers to continue publishing in the journal of their choice, while still fulfilling the Plan S principle of publishing with immediate open access.
cOAlition S organisations and funders now require that at least the Author's Accepted Manuscript of all publications reporting on original research supported in whole or in part by their funding are published with a CC BY licence and with no embargo. For further details about Creative Commons Licences, see our Copyright Essentials page.
For further details, including a graphic overview of the rights retention, see the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy.
In addition to making your research outputs open, research funders may require you to make your research data open as well.
By providing a data access statement, readers will know where the underlying research data connected with the research paper is available and how the research data can be accessed. The statement can include links to the dataset.
At York St John University, researchers can share their research data using the University's open data repository RaYDaR. For help and support with writing data access statements and depositing data in RaYDaR, please email email@example.com.