Shaping our open access policy


Implementing our open access policy

To implement our open access policy, we are committed to working collaboratively to support the policy in practice, with:

  • research-performing organisations
  • researchers
  • publishers
  • other relevant stakeholders

We’ve set out current implementation activities and dates when further information will be made available. This will continue to be updated as work progresses.

Read Professor Sir Duncan Wingham’s blog about progress implementing the policy.

Open access funding

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is providing up to £46.7 million per year to support the overall implementation of the policy.

Most of this funding is directly allocated to research organisations via a block grant to support open access research articles.

On 28 November 2023, UKRI launched a new ring-fenced £3.5 million fund, dedicated to supporting open access costs for monographs, book chapters and edited collections within the scope of our new policy.

The fund is centrally held by UKRI, and research organisations apply to UKRI to access it. The fund aims to:

  • support immediate open access for the version of record of longform outputs that are in scope of the UKRI open access policy
  • seek affordability and support sustainability to achieve open access
  • support a diverse range of research organisations

Information about the block grant and new fund for long-form publications can be found at Open access funding and reporting.

We hosted 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. Watch the webinar recording on YouTube.

We are hosting further webinars for library and research support staff in research organisations who support open access to demonstrate the stage two process. Recordings of the webinars will be made available afterwards.

Register for the 11 January webinar (Zoom)

Register for the 17 January webinar (Zoom)

Engagement and guidance for monographs, book chapters and edited collections

UKRI has published supporting guidance for authors about our open access requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections.

We have also published guidance on when and how to use exemptions at annex 3 of the UKRI open access policy.

While authors will not need to seek approval from UKRI to use one of these exemptions, we ask authors or their research organisations to notify us. This is via a simple online form which will be available from 1 January 2024.

We recently published a good practice guide for researchers about managing copyright for third-party materials in open access publications and supported the publication of a Jisc guide on copyright and creative commons licences.

We are also working with Jisc to provide tools for authors and research organisations to check whether their preferred publisher supports compliance with our requirements for longform outputs, including enhancements to Jisc SherpaFind more information on the Jisc website.

We continue to engage stakeholders to raise awareness of the long-form outputs policy and to support researchers and research organisations to prepare.

On 8 November 2023, we held an information event about the new open access policy and fund for long-form publications. Information from the event is available at UKRI open access policy information and good practice sharing events slides.

We have updated our UKRI open access policy information slide pack, which research organisations can use to engage their research communities about our policy for long-form outputs.

In November 2023, we contacted grant holders and research organisations with information about the new policy and fund.

We are also engaging with stakeholders via our stakeholder forum and dedicated meetings to discuss and inform implementation activities.

Read Christopher Smith’s (AHRC Executive Chair) blog about unlocking arts and humanities research through open access.

Read articles about implementing open access for monographs on the Jisc Research blog.

Monitoring and evaluation

UKRI is developing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for the policy. This will help UKRI and the sector assess open access progress, levels of compliance with our policy and its effectiveness. The M&E framework will also seek to establish insights into open access publication trends across the UK and, where possible, their impact on academic practices and society.

The M&E framework will employ a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures. We will also be considering information sources and datasets that will yield useful insights while minimising bureaucracy.

UKRI commissioned Research Consulting to support the development of its M&E framework.

The outcomes of the project are available on monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of UKRI’s open access policy, and we are considering them in developing our final M&E framework which we will publish in spring 2024. We are currently working with Research Consulting to analyse publication patterns for UKRI research articles to provide a baseline that can underpin our monitoring and evaluation.

Monitoring policy compliance

Compliance of research organisations with the policy will form part of our monitoring activity. Research organisations no longer need to submit an annual open access compliance form.

While the policy for monographs, book chapters and edited collections commenced from 1 January 2024, we will not start to monitor compliance until September 2024 onwards. This is to provide a bedding-in period to allow research organisations and award holders to establish practice and mechanisms for UKRI’s new policy and funding approach.

The details of our approach to monitoring compliance are being further developed as part of our wider M&E framework. However, work undertaken so far suggests that we will be able to use existing data sources and there will not be a reporting requirement on research organisations.

For more information on monitoring and compliance, see the UKRI open access policy and supplementary frequently asked questions (FAQs).

For information about open access block grant monitoring and funding assurance, see open access funding and reporting.

Technical requirements for research articles

Our policy sets out technical requirements for research article venues. We commissioned MoreBrains Cooperative to conduct an analysis of the metadata landscape, which shows that currently it does not fully support implementation of the requirements set out in the open access policy. The Metadata to support the UKRI open access policy report makes several recommendations towards full adoption.

A phased approach to full adoption is necessary. Working with MoreBrains Cooperative, we are developing a roadmap for improvements to the open access research information landscape. This will build on the recommendations of their report by setting out practical pathways 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 the research community and publishing sector. We have established a project group to support its development and will be engaging more widely with other stakeholders.

Further information on the project can be found at roadmap for open access research information and landscape.

Stakeholder forum

UKRI has established a stakeholder forum to support the implementation of the policy and wider adoption of open access. The forum’s membership and summaries of its meetings can be found at UKRI Open Access Policy Stakeholder Forum.

Working with Jisc

UKRI has funded Jisc to undertake activities to support the implementation of the policy. These include:

  • scaling up sustainable, affordable open access agreements to provide UKRI-funded researchers and their publishers with opportunity to access compliant routes to publish
  • gathering and analysing data to monitor and evaluate the performance of transitional arrangements to enable Jisc members, funders and publishers to understand the progress and impact of these arrangements in the context of the UK’s ambition to achieve 100% open access
  • working with a range of stakeholders, including publishers and research organisations, to:
    • develop an understanding of the challenges around open access
    • share and develop best practice
    • deliver support
  • preparing and equipping research organisations with tools, guidance and publishing options in readiness for the commencement of the open access monographs policy.

Read more about this work on Jisc’s website about:

Information and good practice events

UKRI, in partnership with Association of Research Managers and Administrators, Jisc, Society of College, National and University Libraries and Research Libraries UK, held information and good practice sharing events for research organisations.

See the outputs from these events:

Ask a question about the UKRI open access policy

Check for an existing answer in the UKRI open access policy and supplementary FAQs.


Last updated: 16 January 2024

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