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Open Access: UKRI's requirements: Long form publications

This guide is intended to provide advice on open access to researchers


UKRI's open access policy applies to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.      


For in-scope 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 

d. where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version.


UKRI requires the open access version of long-form outputs to be published under a Creative Commons licence.

  • A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is preferred to maximise opportunity for sharing and reuse but other Creative Commons licences are permitted.
  • An Open Government Licence is also permitted when authors are subject to Crown Copyright.


UKRI’s licensing requirements do not apply to any materials included within a long-form output that are provided by third-party copyright holders. Academic books published under a CC BY, or other creative commons licence may include third-party materials (such as images, photographs, diagrams or maps) which are subject to a more restrictive licence. UKRI considers this approach compliant with its policy.

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 reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative option available to enable open access publication.


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) If the only appropriate publisher for your work does not provide a compliant open access option. UKRI expects this to be rare, and only after significant consideration of options and liaison with the publisher.

b) If the sole funding acknowledgement is for a UKRI ‘training grant’ (eg PhD stipend).

c) If permissions for third party material cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative which enables open access publication.

d) Trade books are exempt from the policy, except in cases where they are the sole output of UKRI funded research. The classification of a book as a ‘trade book’ will be at the discretion of author and publisher.

e) Scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, scholarly illustrated catalogues, textbooks and all types of fictional work are exempt from the policy.

f) If a contract has been signed between author and publisher before 1 January 2024 which prevents adherence to the policy (however, UKRI strongly encourages authors to think about open access options in advance of the policy start date).

UKRI Copyright guidance

UKRI has produced guidance on managing third-party copyright for research publications; please see the report attached:  Guidance on managing copyright under UKRI open access policy

Glossary of terms

Academic monograph

Defined as a long-form publication that communicates an original contribution to academic scholarship on one topic or theme and is designed for a primarily academic audience. It may be written by one or more authors

Book chapter

Defined as a written scholarly output, formally published for the first time, together with similar outputs from other authors in a single publication, forming a permanently identifiable set of contributions on a common theme, bearing an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This includes chapters in academic books arising from conferences.

Edited collection

Defined as a written scholarly output in which individual chapters or contributions have been written by different authors, and whereby the contributions from each author are intellectually distinct. This includes edited book collections arising from conferences.

Author’s Accepted Manuscript

For long-form outputs: defined as the final author-created version of the manuscript, as agreed with the editor, that has been accepted for publication, prior to typesetting by the publisher.