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Open Access (OA) means that research outputs are made available online, in a digital format, at no charge to the reader and with limited restrictions on re-use.
There are two main routes to Open Access:
Green OA is when you publish in a subscription based journal and make the author accepted manuscript (AAM) available in a repository, with any required embargo period applied.Sherpa Romeo provides details of journals that support Green Open Access.
Plan S is an initiative to support Open Access Publishing. A new set of tools published by cOAlition S and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) aims to help smaller independent publishers, libraries, and consortia enter into Open Access agreements. Further information can be found on the Plan S website.
The next REF
The REF 2021 Open Access Policy continues for the next REF, until another policy is announced.
The Future Research Assessment Programme consultation is underway, reviewing REF 2021 and exploring possible approaches to future assessments. It is due to report findings in Autumn 2022. The policy for the next REF may be influenced by both Plan S and the new UKRI policy.
New UKRI Policy
From 1 April 2022, all research articles funded by UKRI grants must comply with the following Open Access policy requirements:
Research articles, including reviews and conference proceedings with an ISSN, submitted on or after 1 April 2022 must be published immediately Open Access with no embargoes.
Researchers can publish via the Gold route in an Open Access journal, including 'hybrid' journals if they are part of a JISC transitional agreement. See our APC page for the agreements we have signed up to or contact us to check for you.
Publishing via the Green route in an institutional repository is only permissible if there is no journal embargo.
Articles must be published under a CC BY or CC BY ND (by exception) licence. Publishers must be notified of this requirement at time of submission.
Articles must include a Data Access Statement, regardless of the subject area or whether the data is available Open Access.
From 1 January 2024, monographs, book chapters and edited collections funded by UKRI grants must comply with the following Open Access policy requirements:
Must be available Open Access within a maximum of 12 months after publication.
Either, the final version of record should be available Open Access from the publisher's website, or the accepted manuscript should be available via a subject or institutional repository.
These long-form publications should be available under a CC BY licence, although NC and ND licences are also permitted.
Whilst images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should also be CC BY wherever possible, UKRI recognises that third-party permissions may be unobtainable or require more restrictive licencing.