UK Research and Innovation Open Access Policy and Funding

A new policy is coming in from April 2022.  See bottom of page for more information.

The UKRI policy and frequently asked questions can be viewed at: UK Research and Innovation Open Access Policy. 

Current UKRI Policy

***As noted below 2021-22 budget is currently restricted to papers that can only comply with UKRI policy by payment of mandatory costs such as fully open access journals that offer a CC-BY licence. ***

The University holds a block grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to cover open access costs.

The fund can only be used where it is necessary to pay the publisher to comply with funder requirements and where the publisher offers a compliant method to do so. A proportion of the funding is usually retained each year to ensure that costs can be paid for papers that require a payment to be published. In these cases, costs will only be paid where the publisher offers a CC-BY licence. 

Some publishers have mandatory charges such as page charges.  These can be covered by the fund where the publisher will also offer a CC-BY licence.  The fund is not used to pay optional costs such as cover or print costs. 

It should not be assumed that all costs for papers acknowledging UKRI funders can be covered. 

Contact at acceptance, and we can confirm if the article processing charge will be covered by the block grant or discuss alternative routes to open access that can be used to comply with UKRI terms. If you have arranged a waiver or a third party is paying the fee, please let us know. 

UKRI Funders

The UKRI funders are: 

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


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

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

These embargoes are sometimes extended to 12 months for Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine and 24 months for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences where the UKRI block grant is depleted. 


The University will allocate funds to pay article processing charges (APCs) for papers acknowledging UKRI awards held at the University of Glasgow where: 

  1. There is sufficient funding in the central budget and 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 acceptable to the funder.  Where an APC has been paid, re-use rights must be unrestricted. Typically, this is indicated by a CC-BY licence 
  2. The article is accepted to a fully open access journal and if the publication fee is not paid the article will not be published. 
  3. The fund may be used to support the payment of other mandatory article charges, such as page charges where we are paying the open access fee.  

Do not assume that all costs will be funded. The funds are finite and sometimes it is not necessary to pay to comply with funders’ requirements. Contact when a paper is accepted, and we will confirm if payment is necessary and possible. 

UKRI Policy: April 2022

A new policy is coming in from April 2022. There will be wide communication of the policy and support available from the University in advance of April 2022.  

Immediate open access will be required for peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers in journals or conference proceedings with an ISSN. This applies to articles submitted from 1st April 2022. A CC-BY licence will be required. 

This can be achieved in two ways: 

  1. A version of record being free and unrestricted to view and download on the publisher site. 
  2. An accepted version (or the published version, also known as the Version of Record, if permitted) being deposited on a repository at the time of final publication. The text must be free and unrestricted to view and download. For this route submissions must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and cover letter/note accompanying the submission:  

‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (where permitted by UKRI ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’  

Biomedical articles funded by MRC and BBSRC must continue to be deposited in Europe Pubmed Central. Publishers often do this on behalf of authors but sometimes authors need to arrange this themselves.  

UKRI require publicly funded research data to be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible.  In-scope research articles must include a Data Access Statement, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible. 

Full details of the policy including definitions and exceptions: UKRI Open Access Policy 2022 

Any questions?  Contact 


UKRI licensing requirements do not apply to any materials included within a research article that are provided by third-party copyright holders. Articles published CC-BY or CC-BY-ND can include third-party materials (e.g., images, photographs, maps) that are subject to a more restrictive licence.  

Open access costs for hybrid journals will not be an allowable cost against future UKRI OA grants unless the journal is covered by a ‘transitional’ agreement. Authors can of course choose to pay open access fees for hybrid journals from other sources or to deposit in a repository with no embargo.  

Pre-prints are out of scope of the policy, but UKRI encourages use of pre-prints and reserves the right to ensure use of pre-prints in the context of emergencies.  

Long-form Publications Open Access Policy from 2024

Final accepted version or published version must be free to view and download via publisher site or repository within 12 months of publication. CC-BY preferred. NC and ND permitted 

An Open Government Licence (OGL) is allowable when a research article is subject to Crown Copyright.  

Self-archiving of an accepted version requires a link to the Version of Record. It should be made clear that the accepted version is not the final version.