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Open access funding

UCL has central funds to make certain publications open access on the publisher's website under a Creative Commons licence. Find out whether Gold funds are available for your publication.

If your publication acknowledges funding from a research funder, you will need to meet the requirements of the funder's open access policy. These requirements, along with where you choose to publish, will determine whether Gold open access charges need to be paid, and whether funding is available for them, or whether you should instead make your paper Green open access.

UCL's Open Access Team administers several central open access funds. Funding may be available to cover Gold open access fees if your publication is:

  • being submitted to a journal that is included in UCL's transformative agreements
  • funded by the Wellcome Trust
  • funded by one of the UK Research Councils (UKRI): AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC
  • funded by Cancer Research UK
  • funded by the British Heart Foundation
  • being submitted to a fully open access journal

Funding is not normally available for papers in subscription (hybrid) journals except where the journal is included in UCL's transformative agreements.

Before requesting funding from UCL's Open Access Team, follow the steps below to find out whether your publication may be eligible. Make sure that you obtain confirmation from UCL's Open Access Team before placing any order for open access or submitting to a fully open access journal. Payments for open access cannot be made after publication.

Non-open access publication (page and colour) charges

UCL's UK Research Councils (UKRI) open access fund can in some circumstances cover non-open access mandatory page charges where open access charges are not being paid as well. No other central funding for non-open access charges is available. Contact UCL's Open Access Team to find out whether funding is available.

Colour charges cannot be funded under any circumstances: researchers are advised to opt for free online colour only.

If your mandatory publication charges cannot be funded, it is recommended that you ask your publisher for a waiver on the grounds that no funds are available.

Is open access funding available?

Follow the steps below to find out whether open access funding is available through UCL's Open Access Team.

Step 1: Check for a transformative agreement

See whether UCL has a transformative agreement with your publisher. These agreements cover most papers with Wiley, Springer, Sage, IOP, RSC and a number of smaller society publishers. Check the relevant publisher terms and instructions carefully to find out whether your paper is eligible and how to take advantage of the agreement. If UCL does NOT have a transformative agreement, go to step 2.

Step 2: Check whether funding is available for Gold open access

Wellcome-funded papers

UCL has central funding to pay open access charges for research articles in fully open access and hybrid (subscription) journals funded by a UCL-held Wellcome Trust grant. For information about which journals and papers are eligible, and how to request funding, go to our Wellcome Trust page.

UK Research Council (UKRI)-funded papers

UCL has central funding to pay open access charges for research articles, uncommissioned reviews and conference proceedings in fully open access journals, and in hybrid (subscription) journals that cannot comply with the UKRI policy through Green open access, funded by a UCL-held grant from AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC or STFC. For information about which journals and papers are eligible, and how to request funding, go to our UKRI page.

Cancer Research UK-funded papers

UCL has central funding to pay open access charges for research articles in fully open access journals, and in hybrid (subscription) journals that cannot comply with the CRUK policy through Green open access, funded by a CRUK grant held at UCL. For information about which journals and papers are eligible, and how to request funding, go to our CRUK page.

British Heart Foundation-funded papers
UCL has central funding to pay open access charges for research articles in fully open access journals, and in hybrid (subscription) journals that cannot comply with the BHF policy through Green open access, funded by a BHF grant held at UCL. For information about which journals and papers are eligible, and how to request funding, go to our BHF page.
Other funders

Some funders provide open access funding directly to researchers on application to the funder (e.g. Versus Arthritis) or as part of research grants (e.g. Blood Cancer UK, ERC, Horizon 2020, NIHR and Parkinson's UK). Follow the links to your funder below. If your funder is not listed, you can check your funder's policy in Sherpa Juliet, and funding arrangements in your grant conditions.

If your funder does not provide open access funding, UCL is only able to pay your open access charges if the paper:

  1. has a UCL corresponding author and the journal is included in UCL's transformative agreements,
  2. is eligible for funding from UCL's Wellcome TrustUK Research Council (UKRI), CRUK and/or BHF funds, or
  3. is eligible for funding from UCL's institutional open access fund (see below).
UCL's institutional open access fund

If your funder does not provide open access funding, or your paper is unfunded, UCL's institutional open access fund may be able to cover your open access charges once your paper is accepted if:

  1. you are submitting a research article to a fully open access journal that charges a mandatory fee to publish, and
  2. the corresponding author is a full (not honorary or visiting) member of staff or student

Funding is also available for non-journal outputs in some cases. Funds are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. If you think that your paper is eligible for funding, complete this form before submission (for fully open access journals) or on acceptance (for subscription journals). The Open Access Team will reply with a summary of your options and, if your paper is eligible for funding, details of payment procedures. If you cannot complete the form, submit your request to the Open Access Team by email.

Step 3: If funding is not available, choose Green open access

  • If you are publishing in a subscription journal, choose the standard publication route rather than Gold open access. Upload your final accepted manuscript to RPS (and to Europe PubMed Central if your funder requires it). It will be made (Green) open access in UCL Discovery after the journal's embargo period.
  • If you are submitting to a fully open access journal, there will be no Green open access option. You will need to arrange funding from an alternative source or request a waiver when you submit.