New UKRI Open Access Policy

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UKRI will implement a new open access policy in 2022 that will allow more opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. There are some significant changes so it is important that you are aware of this. The new policy will apply to peer reviewed research and review articles and conference papers submitted for publication from 1st April 2022 to publications with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and will be extended to include monographs from 1st January 2024. UKRI will provide increased funding to support compliance with this policy for both research articles and in-scope longform publications with further information on the block grant due in December 2021.

Authors can publish their output in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met via one of two open access routes.

Gold Open Access – the final published article is published immediately open access on the publisher website, free to read, download and reuse under licence, usually requires payment to publish.

  • publish in an open access publication or platform where the version of record (VoR) is made immediately open access on publication
  • apply a CC BY licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder
  • may require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC); see here for information on the block grant
  • the University has signed up to a number of transitional open access publisher agreements where you can publish your research gold open access at no cost to you
  • use of the block grant for publishing in an ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will no longer be permitted

Green Open Access – a version of the article, usually the unformatted manuscript as accepted for publication after peer-review, is deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Free to publish but requires a subscription to read the VoR.

  • deposit the author accepted manuscript (AAM) in a subject or institutional repository immediately on first online publication. The AAM is the author’s final draft including corrections resulting from peer review but before the publisher formatting has been applied
  • apply a CC BY Creative Commons licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder (UKRI will outline process in November 2021)
  • embargoes on making the manuscript publicly available are no longer permitted
  • submissions taking the green route must include a statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission stating that a specific licence (e.g. CC BY,  OGL, CC BY ND) will apply to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising

For either open access route, biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central, in accordance with MRC’s Additional Terms and Conditions and BBSRC’s Safeguarding Good Research Policy.

Published outputs must include a statement to specify how the underlying research data can be accessed.

From 1st January 2024 the open access policy will apply to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections. See the UKRI open access policy for further information on whether your output is in-scope.

  • the VoR or AAM must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository no later than 12 months after publication
  • a Creative Commons licence must be applied, a CC BY licence is preferred but other Creative Commons licences will be permitted (or OGL where required) which allow the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
  • the open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content but where copyright for these is held by a third party and require a more restrictive licence the policy does not apply
  • where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version

The Scholarly Communications Team in the Library are here to help you ensure that your research outputs comply with the UKRI open access policy. We will provide communications to our researchers as more information is made available by UKRI. Key resources for community engagement are to be made available by UKRI in January 2021.

You should continue to send details of newly accepted papers to paperaccepted@abdn.ac.uk to ensure deposit in Pure/AURA in compliance with funder and current REF policy. See our webpages or contact us for more information.

The University Librarian would be also pleased to attend relevant School meetings to listen to views and answer questions.



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