RCUK Open Access to Articles

RCUK Open Access to Articles

Funds to support open access to journal articles and peer reviewed papers in conference proceedings cannot be included in new grant applications submitted to RCUK .  Instead RCUK has allocated the University a block grant to pay for open access to articles associated with grants with start dates after 1st April 2013.

The RCUK funders are:

  • AHRC - Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council
  • MRC - Medical Research Council (MRC Includes The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs))
  • NERC - Natural Environment Research Council
  • STFC - Science and Technology Research Council


If you are a current RCUK grant holder, and applied for Article Processing Charges (APCs) or other article-related  charges such as the costs of illustrations, colour figures or excess pages, etc in your research grant proposal to the Research Councils, you must use these existing funds to pay those costs.  You should not expect to be provided with funds from the RCUK Block Grant.

The University will allocate funds to RCUK-funded researchers (grant holders, researchers employed on RCUK grants and RCUK-supported students at Glasgow) where:

1) An APC must be paid as there is no other method to make the paper open access to comply with funder terms e.g. where publishers place an embargo on making a paper freely available and this embargo is longer than that acceptable to the funder.  Where an APC has been paid, re-use rights must be unrestricted. Typically this involves a CC-BY licence.  For more details on this form of licencing see  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

For Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine disciplines RCUK will accept a 6 month embargo (generally work funded by BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC or STFC)

For Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences RCUK will accept a 12 month embargo (mainly work funded by AHRC or ESRC)

These embargoes are extended to 12 months for Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine and 24 months for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences should our RCUK block grant expire.

2) The journal is an Open Access journal and if the Open Access publishing fee is not paid the article will not be published

3) A special case is made that it is vital your paper be available expediently to readers who do not have access via a subscription to the journal.  These applications should be accompanied by a supporting statement from the author’s head of school or institution.

4) The fund may be used to support the payment of other article charges, such as the costs of illustrations, colour figures or excess pages, for RCUK grants that start after 1 April 2013, where these have NOT already been asked for in your grant proposal to the Research Councils

Where costs for the above categories exist these will be met from the block grant until such times as it is depleted.

Please do not assume all papers will be funded as the funds are finite and sometimes it is not necessary to pay to comply with funders terms. Contact research-openaccess@glasgow.ac.uk when a paper is accepted and we will confirm if payment is necessary and possible.

RCUK policy and frequently accessed questions can be viewed at:

RCUK Open Access Policy