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Open access for RCUK research

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If you are funded by the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC, you must comply with the Research Councils UK (RCUK) open access policy.


The UK Research Councils provide UCL with funds to cover Gold open access for a proportion of research papers. RCUK grant holders who are full members of UCL staff or research students are eligible to use these funds.

Depending on the publisher and Research Council involved, you may also be able to comply with the RCUK policy through Green open access. UCL encourages this option.

If you choose Gold, you still need to deposit your final accepted manuscript in UCL Discovery, to comply with the REF open access policy.

Contact the Open Access Team for help, and to arrange open access.

Policy scope The policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles and conference proceedings - this includes non-invited reviews
Licensing (Gold) The Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence is required for Gold open access
Embargoes (Green)

You can choose Green if the publisher's embargo period is no longer than

  • 6 months: MRC
  • 24 months: AHRC and ESRC
  • 12 months: all other Research Councils
Additional  requirements
Papers must include 
  • an acknowledgement of RCUK funding
  • details of how any underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed - see the policy for more

Failure to comply may affect authors' future funding opportunities.

Other publication charges

If your research is funded by one of the UK Research Councils, we can pay non-open access publication fees, e.g. colour and page charges. See our Funding page for details.

RCUK open access policy links

Page last modified on 08 dec 14 16:09


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