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Research funder open access policies

In-Scope research articles

The new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) research councils open access policy applies to In-scope research articles submitted for publication on or after 1st April 2022. For outputs submitted before 1st April 2022 see the previous RCUK open access policy.

In-scope research articles are defined as:

"Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standards Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform."

Funded by one of the following research councils:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Innovate UK
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Research England
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

All articles must:

How to comply with the policy

Route 1

You can comply by publishing:

  • In a fully open access journal or publishing platform that meets the UKRI requirements
  • Gold open access in a subscription journal covered by one of City’s transformative agreement
  • Gold open access in a JISC approved transformative journal

UKRI block grant funding is available to pay for open access, however, it must not be used for subscription journals that are not part of JISC approved transformative agreement, or JISC approved transformative journal.


How to identify a compliant journal

You must check before submitting that your preferred journal is compliant. You can use the following to check this:

Fully open access journals and platforms Search the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). An Article Processing Charge (APC) is payable.
Gold open access in subscription journals in City's transformative agreements Refer to the guide on open access transformative agreements. You can use this guide to help check which journals are included, and how to use the agreement.
Gold open access in a JISC approved transformative journal

The Plan S Journal Checker Tool may be used to identify transformative journals (For help using the tool see the Plan S Journal Checker Tool guide).  JISC also provide a list of Transformative Journals on the Sherpa Romeo website. An Article Processing Charge (APC) is payable.

If you need assistance, please contact the publications team at

Route 2

You can comply by publishing:

  • In a subscription journal and depositing the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or final published version, where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository at the time of publication, making it immediately available with a CC BY licence.
  • The accepted manuscript must be deposited in City Research Online (CRO) on or before first online publication.
    • Submissions to these journals must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission: 'For the purpose of open access, the author 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.'
  • All accepted manuscripts deposited in CRO with the above statement will be made immediately available with a CC BY licence

How to identify a compliant journal

Before submitting your article you can check which publishers will allow immediate open access of the accepted manuscript in repositories with a CC BY licence by the following:

Publisher websites You can find permissions for the use of accepted manuscripts in repositories in publishers' 'self archiving' or 'green open access' pages.
Sherpa Romeo open access policy search tool

Search for the journal title, then select 'Accepted Manuscript' in the publisher policy section.

Green open access in a JISC approved transformative journal JISC approved transformative journals allow the deposit of the author accepted manuscript in a repository with a CC BY licence. No APC is required for this route.
Contact the Publications Team The publications team will be able to help you with information on permitted use of the accepted manuscript.

If the publisher policy does not permit immediate open access with a CC BY for the accepted manuscript, you should contact the journal before submitting to find out if they will accept it. If they reject it, you may have to consider submitting elsewhere.

It is recommended that all UKRI funded outputs using both Route 1 and Route 2 are submitted using the above submission statement.

Further requirements

Biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding must be deposited in Europe PubMed Central.

Licensing requirements

A Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence must be applied:

  • to the final published version when publishing open access in a journal, or
  • to the Author Accepted Manuscript when depositing in an institutional or subject repository.

Licensing exceptions

The following exceptions may be allowed:

Licensing requirements do not apply to third party copyright materials included in research articles published with the above licences.


Applying for a CC-BY-ND exception

If you are looking to use a licence exception to the policy, an exception application form for a CC-BY-ND licence must be submitted to UKRI by email.

Any exception requests should be sought prior to publication and should contain the following information

  • Author names
  • email address
  • UKRI grant number,
  • title of publication
  • name of journal or publishing platform
  • why you are applying for this exception.

Acknowledgment of funding

All in-scope research articles must include acknowledgment of UKRI funding.

Data access statement

All in-scope research articles must include a Data Access Statement, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.

Refer to UKRI guidance on Making your research data open for your funders data requirements.

UKRI block grant funding

UKRI block grant funding is available for payment of gold open access in eligible journals that:

This funding may not be used for subscription journals that do not meet the above, colour charges or page fees.

You can apply for open access funding using the Requesting UKRI block grant funding form.

Any enquiries regarding this should be directed to Research Support Services