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Previous NIHR open access policy and funding

Papers funded in whole or in part by NIHR must meet the NIHR open access requirements. Find out how to comply, and what funding is available.

The new NIHR policy applies to papers submitted from 1 June 2022. Learn more →

The guidance on this page applies to journal articles and proceedings papers submitted BEFORE 1 June 2022. The previous NIHR open access policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles, including review articles not commissioned by publishers, final reports and executive summaries, supported in whole or in part by NIHR funding. 

NIHR-funded researchers must publish their main study findings in a peer-reviewed, fully open access journal under the CC BY licence (see Gold open access, below).

All outputs must be made open access in PubMed Central within six months of the official date of publication.

The policy does not apply to editorials, letters, commissioned reviews, scholarly monographs, conference proceedings or book chapters.

Complying with the policy

Green open access

With the exception of your main study findings, if you are publishing in a subscription journal, provided that the journal's embargo on Green open access is no longer than 6 months you can comply by uploading your final accepted manuscript to Europe PubMed Central, using Europe PMC plus. Papers should also be uploaded to RPS.

Gold open access

If you are publishing in a subscription journal with a Gold open access option (known as a hybrid journal), or you are publishing in a fully open access journal, you can comply through Gold open access.

Open access funding

The previous NIHR open access policy includes advice on open access funding:

NIHR expects grantholders to make provision from their funding award to cover the costs of open access publishing in an open access journal. If necessary, researchers may need to contact the awarding NIHR coordinating centre to discuss covering open access costs.

UCL can pay open access charges for peer-reviewed research articles and uncommissioned reviews funded by NIHR where:

  1. the paper has a UCL corresponding author and the journal is included in UCL's transformative agreements; or
  2. the paper is eligible for funding from UCL's Wellcome TrustUK Research Council (UKRI), CRUK and/or BHF funds.

If the budgeted open access funds are depleted, grantholders can apply to NIHR for additional funding.