Library Services


Managing third-party materials in UKRI open access long-form outputs

This page summarises key information and steps for managing third-party content when publishing open access, specifically to meet UKRI OA requirements for long-form publications.

The content on this page is taken from UKRI guidance, including its guide on managing copyright for third-party content when publishing an open access monograph, book chapter or edited collection. For assistance with managing third-party content in UKRI long-form outputs, contact UCL's Open Access Team who will liaise with the UCL Library Services Copyright Team as appropriate.

Key information

  • UKRI requires a Creative Commons licence for the main body of the work, but not necessarily for third-party content included in your publication: it can be included subject to the licence permitted by the rightsholder.
  • UKRI advice is to include the cost of clearing permissions for third-party content in your grant application. However, up to £2,000 can be applied for, within the maximum funding limit, for costs of clearing permissions for third-party content in the open access version of a monograph or edited collection.
  • to clear permissions in the open access version, from UKRI's central open access fund for long-form publications. Contact the Open Access Team to discuss making an application.
  • A policy exemption may be available if you are unable to include third-party materials in the open access version, and there is no suitable alternative to including the material. Before considering this exception, authors must discuss copyright with their publisher and assess the strategies and alternatives below.
  • If you are publishing both print and digital open access versions, different licences may be required.
  • Explicit permission is required to include third-party content in your Accepted Manuscript version, if you are self-archiving (complying with UKRI requirements via Green open access).

Steps for managing third-party content 

  1. Discuss copyright with your publisher, and identify third-party content and whether it involves copyright issues, including when publishing open access. Remember to notify your publisher about UKRI's requirements as soon as possible.
  2. Assess whether third party content can be included in a digital open access version. Your publisher may have a process or framework for copyright risk assessment. Strategies for including third-party content include:
    1. Using content that has a Creative Commons licence or other open licence.
    2. Using content in a way that is permitted by one of the copyright exceptions available under UK copyright law.
    3. Obtaining a licence (i.e. permission) from the copyright owner. Note that UKRI will fund the cost of clearing permissions (see above).
  3. If your assessment concludes that third-party content cannot be included in the open access version using the strategies above, consider alternative options:
    1. Replacing the third-party material with other suitable material that does not present copyright issues.
    2. Removing the third-party material altogether from your publication.
    3. Providing a link to an online copy of the third-party material. Linking may sometimes require permission.
    4. Tombstoning the third-party material for the open access version and providing a citation for the material, as appropriate.
  4. If these options are unsuitable because i) excluding third-party material severely compromises the presentation of the arguments or discussions, or ii) excluding third-party material means that the remaining content would not make sense to the reader, then contact the Open Access Team to discuss the relevant policy exception.