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Open access and the UK Research Councils


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

The UK Research Councils provide UCL with funds to cover Gold open access for research papers. Papers funded by Research Council grants held at UCL are eligible to use these funds. UCL has prepayment schemes with certain publishers; we pay others by invoice.

Depending on the publisher and Research Council involved, you may be able to comply with the policy through Green open access.

For more information, or to request funding for Gold open access, complete this form and we'll reply with a summary of your options.

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)

The publisher's Green option complies with the Councils' policy if the journal embargo period is no longer than

  • 6 months: MRC
  • 24 months: AHRC and ESRC
  • 12 months: all other Research Councils

If your publisher does not offer a Gold option, or you prefer Greenupload your manuscript to UCL's Research Publications Service (RPS). To make sure that you comply with the REF open access policy, you should ideally upload at acceptance, but no later than 3 months after first online publication.

Additional  requirements
Papers must include 
  • an acknowledgement of Research Council 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 may in certain circumstances be able to pay mandatory non-open access publication fees, e.g. page charges. We cannot pay colour charges. Contact the Open Access Team for more information.

Policy links