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Open Access

Funder policies

Many funders require papers to be made open access on or soon after publication. Failure to comply may put future funding at risk. Summaries for some of the most common funder policies are detailed below.

COAF:

Arthritis Research UK, Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinsons UK, and Wellcome Trust

 

What types of publication trigger the COAF open access mandate?

The Charities Open Access Fund (COAF) open access mandate is triggered by original peer-reviewed research articles and non-commissioned review articles that acknowledge direct funding from one or more COAF health charities to King's authors.

COAF charities do not require other kinds of journal publications to be made open access, and so do not allow grant funds to be spent on open access charges incurred by editorials, invited reviews, and so on. Wellcome Trust alone has expectations concerning monographs being made open access, which is detailed on our monographs page.

How do I establish whether a prospective journal will allow me to comply with the COAF open access mandate?

Broadly speaking you can check your funder's requirements against your chosen publication's open access offering using the SHERPA/FACT website. If they appear to offer a paid route to compliance, or failing that, a means of depositing compliantly (i.e. to be made public within six months on EPMC)

Note also that Wellcome Trust/COAF have issued a set of requirements specifying the service that publishers of peer-reviewed journal articles must provide when their funds are used to pay an APC. This document lists the publishers who have undertaken to provide the full service. So before submitting a request for funding for immediate open access, please check that your publisher is on the list. If not, you will likely need to use an alternative route to ensure your article is compliant with the COAF open access policy.

What constitutes 'direct funding' from a COAF charity? Does any mention of a COAF health charity in the funding or acknowledgements section of a paper automatically trigger the COAF open access mandate?

The COAF open access mandate is triggered by direct funding for the research. In this context, direct funding means funding to an individual author, or funding given by the funder expressly to undertake that research. This means that the acknowledgement of a Wellcome Trust-funded centre or project does not in and of itself trigger the COAF open access mandate.

If the COAF or RCUK funding acknowledged in your paper is tied to authors at another institution in receipt of a COAF or RCUK block grant, then it is likely that you will be referred to the other institution for open access funding.

What kinds of publication charge can be paid using the COAF block grant?

The block grant is only intended to pay open access fees. Other publication charges (colour charges, page charges, etc...) cannot be paid from the COAF block grant. Payment for these charges must be found from other funds.

Is it possible to comply with the COAF open access policy without paying an APC?

Only in the unlikely circumstance that a journal offers no compliant paid route, but does permit a compliant form of deposit.

The COAF charities express a clear preference for compliance via the gold route (i.e. paid for open access on the journal's website). When your paper is eligible for COAF funding, the journal offers a compliant gold option - and institutional COAF funds still remain - compliance should always be achieved via a compliant gold route. If, however, either the institutional funds are exhausted or compliance is only possible through deposit and not payment, then making the paper public on EPMC within the time limit will be sufficient.

What kind of Creative Commons license does my paper need?

Where the COAF block grant is used, papers must be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license in order to comply with COAF's requirements. A paper published under another Creative Commons license (e.g. a CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-ND license) is considered to be uncompliant with the COAF open access requirements.

Where use of the COAF block grant isn't necessary to comply with the COAF open access mandate, a CC BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license is sufficient.

When does my paper need to be made public on Europe PMC?

When funds are available, any paper that triggers the COAF open access mandate must be deposited on Europe PMC by the journal. 

Where an open access fee is paid, it must be deposited in Europe PMC by the publisher on publication. If no such fee is paid, it must be made public on EPMC no later than six months after publication. In this latter case self-deposit or deposit by Research Support team staff is also acceptable. 


How to claim funds:

If your paper is of an eligible type and acknowledges such funding, please fill in our eligibility checker form. For fully open access journal (i.e. where an open access payment is mandatory) then fill the form in before submission of the paper. Otherwise, fill it in on acceptance.

Where possible, we will give details of how to ensure compliance. If the paper is eligible for funds we will confirm that the fee can be paid from the COAF block grant. If the journal doesn't have a compliant paid route to open access but offers a compliant green route, we will offer guidance.

For more information see the constituent charities' policy pages: Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and Bloodwise, or the FAQs

 

RCUK:

AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, and STFC.

In addition NC3R have an arrangement with RCUK which means papers acknowledging their funding should be treated as an RCUK-funded paper for open access

 

What types of publication trigger the RCUK open access mandate?

The RCUK policy on open access is triggered by original peer-reviewed research articles and non-commissioned review articles that acknowledge direct funding from one or more RCUK councils to King's authors.

RCUK does not require other publications to be made open access, and so do not allow grant funds to be spent on open access charges incurred by editorials, invited reviews, and so on.

How do I establish whether a prospective journal will allow me to comply with the RCUK open access mandate?

You can check your funder's requirements against your chosen publication's open access offering using the SHERPA/FACT website. If the journal offers a free means of complying (if BBSRC or MRC funded by allowing deposit of the author's accepted manuscript version of the article in EPMC to be made public no more than six months after publication; if funded by one of the other five councils, by allowing deposit of that same version in Pure to be made public no later than twelve months after publication) then we will help you comply via that route. If payment is necessary to comply it is likely we will be able to pay from the RCUK block grant though we must first check all the eligibility criteria.

What constitutes 'direct funding' from RCUK? Does any mention of an RCUK council in the funding or acknowledgements section of a paper automatically trigger the RCUK open access mandate?

The RCUK open access mandate is triggered by direct funding for the research. In this context, direct funding means funding to an individual author, or funding given by the funder expressly to undertake that research. This means that the acknowledgement of an MRC-funded centre or project does not trigger the RCUK open access mandate.

If the COAF or RCUK funding acknowledged in your paper is tied to authors at another institution in receipt of a COAF or RCUK block grant, then it is likely that you will be referred to the other institution for open access funding.

What kinds of publication charge can be paid using the RCUK block grant?

The block grant is only intended to pay open access fees. Other publication charges (colour charges, page charges, etc...) can only be paid from the RCUK block grant if specific conditions are met.

Is it possible to comply with the RCUK open access policy without paying an APC?

Yes.

RCUK's minimum requirement for compliance is for the author's accepted manuscript to be deposited in a repository and publically accessible within 12 months of publication (for MRC and BBSRC, it is necessary for the paper to be deposited in Europe PMC and made public no more than six months of publication). This means that you can comply for free, via the green route, provided your journal allows such a deposit.

MRC and BBSRC only: when does my paper need to be made public on Europe PMC?

When funds are available, any paper that triggers the COAF open access mandate must be deposited on Europe PMC by the journal. 

Where an open access fee is paid, it must be deposited in Europe PMC by the publisher on publication. If no such fee is paid, it must be made public on EPMC no later than six months after publication. In this latter case self-deposit or deposit by Research Support team staff is also acceptable.

 

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) policy covers all peer-reviewed research articles, non-commissioned reviews, and conference proceedings that acknowledge their direct funding. All such papers must be made Open Access on publication - or if no fee is paid, no later than six months after publication. Additionally MRC and BBSRC require deposit in Europe PubMed Central.

If your paper acknowledges funding from any of the councils that constitute RCUK, please fill in our eligibility checker form. If the journal is fully open access (i.e. an open access payment is mandatory) then fill the form in before submission. Otherwise, fill it in on acceptance.

We will respond, giving details of how you should proceed to ensure compliance. Often this requires a payment. If the paper meets the eligibility criteria and it is necessary to pay the APC to comply, we will respond confirming that the fee can be paid from the RCUK block grant. Otherwise we will give guidance on how to comply by deposit in an appropriate repository.

  • Where the RCUK block grant is used, papers must be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license in order to comply with RCUK's requirements.
  • The block grant is intended to pay open access fees so other publication charges (colour charges, page charges, etc...) should be paid from another source.

For more information about the RCUK policy please see the policy page and the FAQs

NIHR:

National Institute of Health Research policy


NIHR’s Open Access policy
only applies to authors fully funded by NIHR. It requires that one main, final publication from each grant be made Open Access immediately on the publisher’s website. All other publications should be uploaded to a subject or institutional repository within 6 months of publication.

For the main publication: funds to cover APCs should be included in the initial grant application. If they were not: 

  • NIHR grant programme funded researchers should contact their programme manager to request funds. 
  • Researchers who work in a BRC or other part of the NIHR Infrastructure should contact their BRC manager to request funds.

FP7

The policy for the European Union's Research and Innovation funding programme 2007-2013

Researchers should deposit final articles or manuscripts into the institutional repository of the research institution with which they are affiliated. If this is not possible, they should identify an appropriate subject based/thematic repository. The Commission provides a special repository, Zenodo, for articles that can be stored neither in institutional nor in subject-based/thematic repositories.

In addition, FP7 are running a pilot project which makes funds available for the publishing of peer-reviewed articles in Open Access journals after the end of the project. More details available here.

Horizon2020

The policy for the European Union's current Research and Innovation funding programme

Horizon 2020 regards making work Open Access as a two step process.

1. Deposit an electronic copy of either the published version or the final accepted version (after peer-review) into a repository (such as Pure).

2. Ensure that the output is Open Access within a maximum of six months (twelve months for publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities)

For full details of the policy please see this document.

ERC

The European Research Council

The ERC strongly encourages ERC funded researchers to use discipline specific repositories for their publications. The recommended repository for Life Sciences is Europe PubMed Central; and for Physical Sciences and Engineering arXiv is recommended. The ERC Scientific Council is currently not recommending any specific repository for Social Sciences and Humanities. However, it is reviewing existing practices and open access infrastructures in this domain and may make recommendations in the future. If there is no appropriate discipline specific repository, researchers should make their publications available in institutional repositories or in centralized ones, such as Zenodo.

For full details of the policy please see this ERC document.

Other Funders

The following funders also require open access in some form from their fundees:  

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
CERN
Leverhulme Trust
MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association)
World Health Organisation

If you want to learn more about other funder policies, Sherpa/Juliet provides summaries. If your funder's policy is not included, or if you have any further queries, please contact us

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