Update on UKRI open access policy and fund for books

From 1 January 2024, UKRI’s open access policy will apply to monographs, book chapters and edited collections that need to acknowledge UKRI funding.

The policy aims to ensure that findings from the breadth of research UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds with public money can be freely accessed.

This will enable findings to be more easily built on by the research and innovation community and wider society.

The policy also seeks to support wider community development of open access for long-form research publications.

UKRI is providing a £3.5 million dedicated fund to support open access costs for long-form publications within the scope of the policy.

Applications open in November 2023

The new fund will open for stage one applications on 28 November 2023.
Research organisations will be able to register publications for funding and receive confirmation from UKRI that the publications are within the scope of the fund.

Stage two applications, where a research organisation provides confirmation of publication and UKRI will reimburse costs up to our published maximum levels, will open in January 2024.

UKRI will host webinars for library and research support staff in research organisations who support open access on 23 November and 29 November to demonstrate the stage one process.

Funding levels

The maximum levels of funding that can be applied for are:

  • up to £10,000 for a monograph or edited collection, where open access is supported by a book processing charge (BPC)
  • up to £6,000 contribution towards a diamond or non-BPC open access scheme, where one eligible UKRI monograph or edited collection is being published under a scheme, or up to £9,000 if two or more eligible UKRI publications are published under a scheme
  • up to £1,000 book chapter processing charges

In arriving at these levels, UKRI seeks to:

  • support researchers and organisations to publish open access
  • support a diversity of funding models
  • ensure funding is sustainable
  • support value for money

Funding is available to support the immediate publication of the Version of Record with a Creative Commons licence.

Authors and research organisations can comply with the policy by making either the Version of Record or the Authors Accepted Manuscript open access within 12 months of publication.

All guidance about the new open access fund is available at Open access funding and reporting.

Supporting researchers with third-party content and copyright

Third-party content such as images is integral to many long-form research outputs and UKRI recognises there can be some additional considerations when publishing open access.

The policy supports a number of options to help with the management of third-party content when publishing open access.

Our policy requires a Creative Commons licence to be applied to the research output.

Third-party content, however, can be published under more restrictive terms than the main body of the research output.

We have published a new guide on managing third-party copyright for long-form publications, developed by experts and Clare Painter Associates.

We have also supported a new Jisc guide on copyright and Creative Commons licences.

Researchers will continue to be able to include anticipated costs for clearing rights of such content in their research grant applications.

Additionally, it will also be permitted to claim up to £2,000 towards rights clearance from the open access fund, if needed, within the maximum levels of funding.

A policy exemption is also available in exceptional circumstances where securing permissions for third-party materials is not feasible, and this means open access is therefore not an option.

Phased implementation

UKRI expects long-form publications to be made open access from 1 January 2024

However, we recognise that this is a new requirement and there will be a need for a bedding in period for the policy.

Therefore, for the first nine months of the policy, we will be looking at how the policy and processes are working, but we will not be monitoring for compliance.

UKRI’s open access policy and guidance for award holders can be found at Publishing your research findings.

Information and support

UKRI will be writing to research organisations and award holders to remind them about the start of the new policy and to highlight available guidance.

We held an information event on 8 November about the policy. Information from this event is available at Implementing our open access policy.

We have also updated our information slide pack to support research organisations with engaging researchers about the new policy requirements and fund.

Top image:  Credit: mikdam, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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