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Open access at UCL

Open access means making research publications freely available online. It ensures that research reaches the widest possible audience, and that it can be used and shared easily.

COVID-19 update 

The Open Access Team is currently running a normal service. Please continue to contact us about REF compliance, RPS and Gold open access, and with any other enquiries.

UKRI open access consultation

UKRI, including the UK Research Councils, is consulting on its proposed new open access policy, which will cover research articles, conference papers, monographs, book chapter and edited collections. The consultation has been extended until 29 May 2020 due to COVID-19. Please contact the Open Access Team if you would like to share any comments on the proposed policy.

UCL strongly supports open access. UCL’s research outputs are made open access in our repository, UCL Discovery, and through UCL's fully open access press, UCL Press.

  • UCL authors meet the requirements of the REF open access policy by uploading their manuscripts to UCL’s Research Publications Service; they are checked and made open access in UCL Discovery after any publisher embargo (Green open access).
  • UCL's open access grants from UKRI and the Wellcome Trust fund immediate (Gold) open access in fully open access journals, and some 'hybrid' open access in subscription journals (where a one-off payment unlocks otherwise paywalled content) under a licence allowing unrestricted access and re-use (CC BY).
  • Plan S requires all outputs to be made open access on publication from 2021, under the CC BY (or, in some cases, CC BY-ND) licence. To achieve this, authors are permitted to publish in fully open access journals, subscription journals that allow immediate open access in a repository, and journals that are part of transformative arrangements (where subscription publishers are transitioning to open access). UKRI and the Wellcome Trust are signatories to Plan S. UKRI is currently reviewing its open access policy.

Open access funds

Transformative publisher agreements

All UCL authors can currently publish Gold open access at no extra cost in UCL’s transformative agreements with Wiley, Springer, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics, Sage and a number of smaller publishers, providing the paper is eligible and the corresponding author is at UCL.

The following webpages are regularly updated to reflect funders' policies and available open access funds:

UCL has a limited institutional fund for the academic year 2019/20 to pay the charges for UCL corresponding authors who are full (not honorary or visiting) members of staff or students, publishing research papers in fully open access journals (only), where open access funding is not available from any research funder. For papers to be eligible, invoices must be received on or before 15 July 2020.

Funding for 2020/21 has not yet been announced; authors should ensure the availability of alternative funding before submission. 

See our contact us page for more information.