UKRI’s policy for peer-reviewed research articles (including reviews and conference papers)
UKRI requires immediate open access for peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022.
Two routes to compliance for articles:
Route 1: Publish the research article open access in a journal or publishing platform which makes the Version of Record immediately open access via its website.
The Version of Record must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI.
Route 2: Publish the research article in a subscription journal and deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (or Version of Record, where the publisher permits) in an institutional or subject repository at the time of final publication.
The deposited version must be free and unrestricted to view and download. It must have a CC BY licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI.
A publisher-requested delay or ‘embargo period’ between publication of the Version of Record and open access of the deposited version is not permitted.
Authors can publish their research article in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met via either open access route.
The new UKRI Policy includes a new requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 to be made open access within 12 months of publication.
Achieving compliance for monographs, book chapters and edited collections
a. the final Version of Record or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
b. the open access version has a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Licence or other licence permitted by UKRI (see ‘licensing requirements’) and allows the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
c. the open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content (see ‘licensing requirements’)
d. where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version.
Changes to licensing requirements for AAMs
For the article to be published under Route 2, submissions must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission:
‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’
Other licences permitted:
MRC & BBSRC funded articles:
For either open access route, biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central, in accordance with MRC’s Additional Terms and Conditions and BBSRC’s Safeguarding Good Research Policy.
Data access statement: UKRI requires in-scope research articles to include a Data Access Statement, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.
UKRI recognises there may be rare instances where meeting open access requirements for long-form publications may not be possible. Therefore, the following exemptions may apply:
a. where the only appropriate publisher, after liaison and consideration, is unable to offer an open access option that complies with UKRI’s policy. Further guidance will be provided in due course, as outlined on our website at Shaping Our Open Access Policy.
b. where a monograph, book chapter or edited collection is the outcome of a UKRI Training Grant. Where possible, UKRI expects Research Organisations to support researchers to make such outputs open access; however, it recognises that publication may occur sometime beyond the lifetime of a training grant
UKRI recognises that there may be some instances where permissions for reuse in an open access book cannot be obtained for all third-party images or other materials. Therefore, an exception to the policy may be applied when:
a. reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative option available to enable open access publication. Further guidance will be provided in due course, as outlined on our website at Shaping Our Open Access Policy.