UKRI updates guidance for open access policy

Colourful library bookshelf

From 1 January 2024, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s new open access policy will apply to monographs, book chapters and edited collections

The open access policy applied since April 2022 for peer-reviewed research articles acknowledging UKRI funding.

The policy aims to ensure that findings from research UKRI funds with public money can be accessed and built on by the research and innovation community and wider society.

New guidance

UKRI has published the following information to support UKRI-funded authors and research organisations to follow the new policy:

Open access is less established for books and while open access is preferred there may be instances when open access publication is not feasible. Please refer to the guidance about when and how to apply one of the defined exemptions.

Funding for long-form publications

In autumn 2023, UKRI will open applications for a dedicated £3.5 million fund to support open access costs for monographs, book chapters and edited collections within scope of our policy.

The fund will support a range of open access models, including ‘diamond’ open access models and processing charges.

UKRI-funded researchers will be able to apply to UKRI via their research organisation for funding.

A two-stage process will ensure authors and their research organisations have confirmation that their outputs are in scope of the UKRI fund as they proceed with publishing agreements.

UKRI will then release funds upon notification of publication.

Changes for transformative journals

UKRI open access funds can currently be used for research article publication costs in hybrid journals (those that publish closed and open access articles) that have Jisc-approved transformative journal status.

Transformative journals were intended as a temporary measure to support journals to transition to full open access.

As detailed in our frequently asked questions, in line with other cOAlition S research funders, it will not be possible to use UKRI open access funds for publication in transformative journals after 31 December 2024.

This decision, based on the recommendation of the UK sector through Jisc’s strategic groups, aims to support the transition to full open access and ensures consistency with other funders.

Webinar for research organisations

To support researchers and organisations to be prepared for the start of the policy in January we will engage our research communities and stakeholders, including through activities we are supporting Jisc to undertake, throughout 2023.

As part of this we will host a webinar on 15 June about the new long-form policy for staff at UKRI-funded research organisations who support researchers with open access.

One year on

It has been just over a year since the UKRI open access policy started for research articles and you can read more below about our current activity and how you can get involved.

For a personal reflection on our progress in this area over the last year, read this new blog by UKRI Executive Champion for Open Research, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham.

Improved research information landscape

We are working with MoreBrains Cooperative to develop a roadmap for improvements to the open access research information landscape.

The goal is to set out pragmatic and realistic steps to open access policy compatibility that can guide UKRI’s work and that of repositories, publishers, and service providers.

We want to ensure the roadmap is co-designed with research and publishing sectors and over the coming months will be conducting a series of workshops and roundtable discussions.

We will contact key stakeholder groups soon, but if you are interested in participating you can contact MoreBrains Cooperative at

Monitoring and evaluation framework

We are working with Research Consulting to identify a series of evaluation questions to assess the effectiveness of the policy, approaches to answer these, as well as their feasibility and expected resource intensity.

Research Consulting have published a blog on some of the findings so far, including a shortlist of evaluation questions and key recommendations.

The outcomes of the project will be published in the summer and will inform the development of our final monitoring and evaluation framework.

Spread the word

Whether you are a researcher or work in another part of a UKRI-funded research organisation, we would appreciate it if you used this information to raise awareness of the new long-form policy.

If you have any questions, please contact

Top image:  Credit: olaser, E+ via Getty Images

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