Open Access and UKRI funded projects

What you need to do to make sure your work meets the UKRI Open Access requirements.

UKRI’s Open Access policy published on March 2022 applies to:

  • journal articles and conference proceedings submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024

If you submit articles for publication before 1 April 2022, you must follow the existing research councils’ policy on open access and supporting guidance.

There is a strong indication that a new Open Access policy for the REF, due to be published in 2022, will mirror this new UKRI policy and will align with Plan S.

Articles and conference proceedings

Articles and conference proceedings submitted on or after 1 April 2022 must be Open Access immediately upon publication.

In addition:

  • you can no longer apply an embargo to your Author Accepted Manuscripts deposited in KAR
  • Add this UKRI statement to your author accepted manuscript (AAM) before submission: 'For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence (where permitted by UKRI, an Open Government Licence or CC BY ND public copyright licence may be used instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising'. This applies to all AAMs and is your ‘safety net’, it ensures that your article will comply
  • the UKRI Open Access block grant that the University receives can't be used to pay for APCs to make individual articles Open Access in hybrid journals
  • you must apply a CC BY licence to your article (with CC BY ND allowed in some exceptional cases)
  • you must create a Data Access Statement, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible
  • MRC and BBSRC biomedical research articles that acknowledge this funding will be archived in Europe PubMed Central
  • articles can include third-party materials (such as images, photographs or maps) that are subject to a more restrictive licence.

What you need to do

  • Can you benefit from our Read and Publish agreements?
  • Will you be able to get funding for an APC?
  • Or will you need to rely on deposit in KAR?

Check before you choose

Follow the workflow recommended in our Check before you choose - how to comply with the UKRI Open Access policy document. This will help you work out the answers to these questions. 

The document is a form which you use to select answers to questions. Your responses will not be monitored and the form is for your use only.

Books, book chapters and edited collections

Books, chapters or edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024 must be Open Access or available in a repository (eg KAR) within 12 months of publication.

In addition:

  • they can be published as an Open Access item or be deposited as an Author Accepted Manuscript in KAR
  • they must use a CC BY licence that allows the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
  • they should include images, illustrations, tables, photographs, diagrams, maps and other supporting content where possible, but it's allowed for these third-party materials to be made available under a more restrictive licence
  • exceptions will be permitted, for example if there are problems related to obtaining permission for re-use of third party material, or if an appropriate publisher is unable to offer an Open Access option that complies with UKRI’s policy
  • text books, scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, trade books and fictional works are excluded.

What you need to do

The UKRI practical guidance about how to meet the policy requirements is still developing, but the policy itself is unlikely to change.

  • You must keep a digital copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript version of your work and deposit it in KAR upon acceptance. Contact and we'll help you assign the 12 month embargo. This provides you with a “safety net” of free Open Access that is sufficient to meet the requirements. See point 16 of the UKRI policy.
  • Until 1 January 2024 you can include funding for Open Access books and chapters in your UKRI grant applications, but you do not have to. From 2024 onwards a central grant will be available. Page 5 of the UKRI policy states: "UKRI will provide an Open Access Block Grant to support compliance with this policy for both research articles and in-scope longform publications"
  • you must apply a CC BY licence to your work (with CC BY ND allowed in some exceptional cases)
  • Be aware of the need to make your work openly available online when dealing with material for which you don't own the copyright. This checklist about use of third party copyright material that we produced for postgraduates may be helpful.  When seeking permission to use third party copyright material, state that it will be available online.
  • Bear in mind that some UKRI block grant funding will be available to publish Open Access online.  Consider the opportunities this may offer to link to inter-active content, images and audio visual material and address this in your dissemination plan. 
  • Use this list of resources to help you choose a quality Open Access publisher and this Open Access books toolkit  which explains more about the process of publishing a book Open Access.

Research support links


Need research support or advice? Email

Frequently asked questions

For further information see UKRI New Open Access Policy: Any Questions? which answers your questions about the UKRI policy changes. 

Find out all the ways you can get in touch.   

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