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The Library: Open Access

Open Access

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.

The main routes to Open Access are:

  • Green OA, 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.
  • Gold OA, when you publish in a hybrid or OA journal and the published version of record is made immediately and permanently available at the point of publication at no charge to the reader. Article Processing Charges (APCs) may apply. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists Gold Open Access only journals.
  • Diamond OA, where neither the reader nor the author pays. Diamond OA is rare in traditional journals however is growing amongst the non-commercial and community-driven OA publishing. COAlition S have published an Action Plan for Diamond OA


Research funder Open Access policies

If you are applying for or have been awarded research funding, it is important to check if there is an Open Access policy you need to comply with when publishing outputs or generating research data related to that funding. This page provides Open Access policy guidance for the main research funders. It also provides information about how to apply for Open Access funding if you are funded by UKRI.

If you are unsure whether you need to comply with a policy, or whether you are eligible for UKRI OA funding, please email: 

The British Academy does not have an Open Access policy, but some funding calls require non-confidential research data to be deposited in an 'accessible repository.'  Grants cannot be used to pay publication charges. 

Under Horizon 2020, each beneficiary must ensure Open Access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. This is typically journal articles, but beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to provide Open Access to:

  • Monographs
  • Books
  • Conference proceedings
  • Grey literature e.g. reports

The Author Accepted Manuscript or Published version (if the publisher allows) of the manuscript must be deposited in an institutional repository as soon as possible and on the date of publication at the latest.

The bibliographic metadata must be made immediately available in Symplectic using this standard format:

  • Terms ["European Union (EU)" & "Horizon 2020"]["Euratom" & Euratom research & training programme 2014-2018"]
  • Name of the action, acronym and grant number
  • Publication date 
  • The length of the embargo period (if applicable)
  • A persistent identifier 

Beneficiaries can choose to use Green (allowing for a 6 or 12 month embargo period dependent on subject) or Gold Open Access. Gold OA charges can be reimbursed during the project, but not after the project ends. 

The Leverhulme Trust does not have an Open Access policy for outputs, but some funding calls require non-confidential research data to be deposited in an 'accessible repository.' 

Open Access costs must be budgeted into grants and can only be used during the period of the Leverhulme award. For further details, see the Leverhulme research expenses webpage

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Research should be published in journals that allow publication under a CC-BY licence.

Upon acceptance, a copy of the final manuscript should be deposited with Europe PMC and made freely available as soon as possible and in any event, within six months of the journal's final date of publication. 

Full NIHR pre-1 June 2022 policy.

The most up-to-date Version of Record or Author Accepted Manuscript must be made freely available in PubMed Central (PMC) or Europe PMC by the first official date of publication, with no embargo and using a CC-BY licence.  

The NIHR will pay for APC costs for in-scope articles. Please see their Open Access publications funding guidance for how to request. 

Full NIHR guidance


All recipients of an award from The Royal Society are encouraged to publish peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings in Open Access journals. Their preference is for the Version of Record to be freely accessible and reusable on publication, but as a minimum expect the author accepted manuscript to be deposited in an institutional or subject repository with no embargo. 

Award holders can use grant money to pay for "fair and reasonable" Article Processing Charges (APCs) for articles published in journals or platforms with immediate Open Access under the CC-BY licence. 

See the Royal Society's grants policies and positions webpage for full details. 

This policy applies to publications which acknowledge funding from UKRI including:

  • All research councils - AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC
  • Research England
  • Innovate UK

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. 
  • Articles must be published under a CC BY licence (or CC BY-ND by exception). 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.
  • Biomedical articles acknowledging funding from BBSRC or MRC must also be archived in Europe PMC.

You can comply with the policy using one of two routes:

  • Route 1: Researchers can publish in a fully Open Access journal or platform, or in a hybrid journal if they are on the JISC-approved Transformational Journal List or part of a JISC transitional agreement. See our APC webpage for the JISC transitional agreements we have signed up to or contact us to check for you. 
  • Route 2: Publishing in an institutional repository such as the Leeds Beckett Repository by depositing your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in Symplectic upon acceptance. This is only permissible if there is no embargo period and if you tell your publisher you are applying a CC BY licence (or CC BY-ND by exception) to your AAM and they agree to this. 

To apply for UKRI Open Access funding for articles, please see the UKRI Open Access Fund at the bottom of the page.


From 1 January 2024, monographs, book chapters and edited collections funded by UKRI grants must comply with the following Open Access policy requirements:

This applies to pre-existing and closed awards if the monograph, book chapter or edited collection is published on or after 1 January 2024 and within seven years of the formal end of the award. 

  • Must be available Open Access within a maximum of 12 months after publication. Applications for funding will only be considered where the Version of Record is made available immediately on publication. 
  • Monographs will be considered compliant when either a) the final Version of Record is available Open Access from the publisher's website, or b) the accepted manuscript is available via a subject or institutional repository. 
  • UKRI requires the open access version of long-form outputs to be published under a Creative Commons licence. Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence is preferred but other Creative Commons licences are permitted. An Open Government Licence is also permitted when authors are subject to Crown Copyright.
  • 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. Where rights are needed to be cleared to incorporate third-party copyright materials UKRI may make funding available, this can be identified at Stage 2. 

How to claim funding for Open Access UKRI monographs, book chapters and edited collections:

Authors cannot apply themselves. Please get in touch with Research Services, who will apply on your behalf. Ordinarily, funding can only be provided where publication occurs within 7 years of the formal end date of the UKRI research funding. 

There is a two-stage process for institutions to access funding on an author's behalf:

Stage 1Application should be made ahead of submission of manuscript. UKRI will consider the application and provide confirmation if the publication(s) registered will be eligible for funding, subject to meeting eligibility requirements on publication. 

Stage 2: After publication, UKRI will consider an application for reimbursement. As this will be retrospective, funds from your DoR should be available to pay in the first instance. 

2024 funding levels : Chapters may receive a maximum of £1,000 and full monographs a maximum of £10,000 (incl. VAT). 

For full details please read the UKRI Open Access policy and their publishing research findings webpage


UKRI Research Data Policies 

UKRI expects "research data arising from its funding to be made as open as possible and as restricted as necessary." Researchers should utilise the Data Management Plan they created as part of their funding application and follow the funding council's policy. Please email for support.  

The policy applies to:

1. articles or chapters that are authored or co-authored by WHO staff or by individuals or institutions funded in whole or in part by WHO and published by external publishers

2. publications published by WHO.

From 1 January 2021, all WHO-authored and WHO-funded articles that are submitted for publication in peer-review journals must be published in an open-access journal or on an open-access platform.

Such journals should be indexed by the Directory of open access journals and have an agreement with the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) to deposit the version of record in PubMed Central (PMC) and to allow that content to be shared with Europe PMC.

WHO will only support the costs of hybrid open access publishing in subscription journals or publication in subscription journals with an embargo period in the following cases:

  • Subscription journals that have committed to transitioning to full open access by 2024 (For example a hybrid journal if they are on the JISC-approved Transformational Journal List)
  • Subscription journals that allow authors to deposit their accepted manuscript immediately in a public repository under the terms of the CC BY 3.0 IGO or CC BY 4.0 licence.

All articles (version of record or the author-accepted manuscript) must be deposited in Europe PMC or PMC by the official date of publication and published under one of the following licences:

  • CC BY 4.0 licence (for WHO-funded articles).
  • Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Intergovernmental Organization (CC BY 3.0 IGO) licence (for WHO-authored articles); or
  • Chapters in scientific books must be made available in a public repository under a CC BY 3.0 IGO or CC Attribution NonCommercial 3.0 IGO (BY-NC 3.0 IGO) licence as soon as possible after publication, and not more than 12 months after publication.

Cost of open access publication

Where applicable, reasonable article processing charges (APCs) will be covered by WHO for articles published in open access journals or on open access platforms that are compatible with the above-mentioned requirements.

WHO invites external entities applying for project support from WHO to include such costs, where appropriate, in their applications. Applicants should not include the costs for APCs for hybrid journals in their grant applications unless the journals concerned meet the above-mentioned requirements, and holders of grants from WHO should not use their grants to pay for these costs. Applicants should also register for and provide their ORCID identifier in their applications and link their published research outputs to their ORCID identifier.

WHO will include the open-access publication fees, where appropriate, in its applications to donors for project support.

Research data and related materials

All research articles that are funded in whole, or in part, by WHO, must include a data availability statement with links to underlying data or extended data and any relevant materials necessary to understand, assess, and replicate the research. In cases where data cannot be made publicly available for ethical and confidentiality reasons, the statement should indicate the restrictions, the process for applying for access to the data and the conditions that will apply. Data sets should be deposited in an appropriate open data repository, with a persistent identifier, such as a DOI and under an open licence.

For more details, please visit the WHO Policy on Open Access website.

UKRI Open Access fund

Our UKRI open access fund supports open access publishing for eligible articles which acknowledge UKRI funding and are being published under a CC-BY licence

Subject to available funds, the UKRI open access fund will pay up to the full cost of the APC plus any applicable VAT on your behalf. Please apply for funding before article submission to ensure funding is available.

Author eligibility:

In order to be eligible for funding, at least one of the authors must be an employee or current student of Leeds Beckett University, and funded by UKRI.

Journal eligibility:

Please use the Jisc Journal Checker Tool to check the journal meets your funder's eligibility criteria. This tool can also check if Leeds Beckett already has a publisher deal in place which waives/discounts an APC, meaning you may not need to apply for funding. 

Eligible publication types:

Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standards Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform. 

How to apply for funding:

  1. Please check eligibility before applying or contact Research Services if you are unsure.
  2. Complete a UKRI Open Access funding request
  3. Research Services will review your request and email you with a response and next steps as soon as possible.


Open Research Policy

Leeds Beckett University's Open Research Policy sets out our commitment to making the products of our research (both outputs and research data) publicly available. It also contains our statement on Rights Retention

Developments in Open Access

The next REF

The next Research Excellence Framework will be REF 2029. Initial decisions have been published and consultations on People, Culture and Environment and Open Access are ongoing. Results from the consultations are expected before the end of 2024 and full guidance is expected to be published in 2025. (REF timetable)


Search for Open Access articles

You can search for Open Access articles by entering the DOI in the search box below. A link to the full text will appear if the article is Open Access.
Don't have a DOI? Search Core for the article title.

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