Making your long-form output open access means that the results of publicly funded research are available:
- to everyone for free
- under conditions that enable them to be re-used and built upon
If you are publishing a monograph, book chapter or edited collection on or after 1 January 2024, you must follow the UKRI open access policy.
This applies to publications that need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from:
- the research councils
- Research England
- Innovate UK
Your research organisation may also be able to advise on complying with the policy, funding for open access costs and any local policies and guidance.
There is no requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published before 1 January 2024 to be published open access.
Open access requirements
You must make your long-form output open access within 12 months of publication and use an open licence.
In summary, the core requirements of the policy are:
- your final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
- images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the open access version, where possible
- the open access version of your publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence preferred. An Open Government Licence is also permitted. (This requirement does not apply to third party materials included in your publication)
These requirements and definitions of in-scope and exempt types of publication are further detailed in the UKRI open access policy.
Choosing a publisher
You can choose the publisher most appropriate for your research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met.
When you contact your preferred publisher, you should inform them that your publication is in scope of the UKRI open access policy and check if they can offer a compliant open access publishing option.
Many publishers offer open access of the final Version of Record. They may charge for open access, have an agreement with your research organisation, or offer free open access supported via alternative funding models, such as subscribe to open models, for example.
Some publishers may not offer open access but may permit you to deposit your Author’s Accepted Manuscript (a version of your accepted manuscript agreed between you and the publisher) in an institutional or subject repository.
Depositing your publication
If you plan, with agreement from your publisher, to comply with the policy by depositing a version of your publication in a repository, you can use:
- your institution’s repository, if they have one
- an appropriate subject repository
Find available repositories using OpenDOAR.
If you are depositing an Author’s Accepted Manuscript, this should be marked as not the final published version, which you may also choose to link to.
Your research organisation may have a self-archiving policy or arrangement. You should check with your library, research office, or equivalent to find out more.
Research council deposit requirements
Some research councils require you to publish your long-form output in a specific repository.
Natural Environment Research Council: NERC Open Research Archive
NERC Open Research Archive (NORA) is the joint repository of outputs produced by researchers at:
- British Antarctic Survey
- British Geological Survey
- UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
- National Oceanography Centre
Whether publishing open access via a publisher or repository, researchers based at these institutions should deposit a copy of their publication in NORA.
UKRI recognises there may be rare instances where meeting open access requirements for long-form outputs may not be possible. If needed, you may be eligible for one of these exemptions:
- you have signed a contract with a publisher before 1 January 2024, which doesn’t enable open access in compliance with UKRI’s policy
- where the only appropriate publisher is unable to offer an open access option that complies with UKRI’s policy
- where a monograph, book chapter or edited collection is the outcome of a UKRI training grant (open access is encouraged but not required)
- reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative to enable open access publication
However, open access is a requirement for monographs, edited collections and book chapters that acknowledge our funding, therefore you should seek to publish open access wherever possible, prior to using an exemption.
Guidance on when and how to use an exemption is provided in Annex 3 of the UKRI open access policy.
UKRI will publish some best practice guidance on including third-party materials in your publication in Autumn 2023.
Training grants exemption
Open access is not required for long-form outputs arising from UKRI training grants, where the training grant is the only UKRI funding source acknowledged. However, open access publication is encouraged. Where possible, research organisations are expected to support researchers to make their outputs open access.
Funding for open access costs
If you want to make your Version of Record open access and your publisher charges for this, you may be eligible for UKRI funding to support these costs.
UKRI’s open access fund for monographs book chapters and edited collections will open for applications by the end of 2023. For further information see open access funding and reporting
Your research organisation may have an open access publishing arrangement with some publishers. You should contact your library, research office, university press, or equivalent to find out more.
Ask a question about the open access policy
Check for an answer to your query in the UKRI open access policy and supplementary FAQs.
UKRI will organise a webinar for researchers about the new open access requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections in Autumn 2023. Details will be published in due course.
For further information about how we are implementing these requirements and how they were decided, please see shaping our open access policy.