Quick guide

Publishing in transformative journals to make your research openly available

Last updated:

How researchers can publish their research open access in a transformative journal to meet funding requirements.

The issue

All peer-reviewed research articles (including reviews and conference papers) submitted after 1 April 2022 acknowledging funding from UKRI or one of its constituent councils must be published open access immediately, without embargo, under a CC-BY licence (or other licence permitted by UKRI). This can be achieved by making the final version of record open access on the publisher’s website or by depositing the author’s accepted manuscript in an institutional or subject repository.

Similar policies have also been adopted by Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health and Care Research and other cOAlition S funders. Please visit their websites for further detail.

How we can help

Transformative journals are a key route to open access. Jisc is negotiating with publishers on behalf of the sector to ensure that their journals are funder compliant. This guide will show researchers how they can publish their research open access in a transformative journal in order to meet funding requirements.  

What are transformative journals?

Transformative journals are subscription/hybrid journals that commit to transitioning to fully open access journals under certain conditions and to an agreed timescale, as per cOAlition S’ requirements. To become a Jisc-approved transformative journal, a journal must first register with cOAlition S and then meet one of two further Jisc requirements, namely:

  • The journal must be included in a Jisc-approved transitional agreement, or
  • Enable authors to deposit their author’s accepted manuscript in repositories under the CC BY licence without embargo.

What you can do

Find out more about your chosen journal

Jisc-approved transformative journals are listed on Sherpa. You can either browse the full list or search for an individual title to check its status. More information on how to do this is available on Sherpa. You may also find these resources useful:

  • Use the Journal Checker Tool to find out whether a title is a transformative journal or compliant via another route. Remember that if you’re funded by UKRI and intend to use UKRI open access funds for an article processing charge in a transformative journal, you’ll need to ensure that the journal is listed as Jisc-approved on Sherpa.
  • Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers to identify trusted journals.
  • Sherpa lists funder policies from over 150 funders around the world.

If you cannot find a compliant journal, you may wish to consider an alternative venue and/or alternative paths to open access. For example, those offered by native open access publishers or the green route, namely, the deposit of the author’s accepted manuscript (or the version of record) in an institutional or subject repository under a CC BY licence for release no later than the time of final publication. For further details on this, consult the UKRI policy or contact your library and/or research office for advice.

Find out more about funding 

UKRI provides eligible research organisations with open access block grants to support compliance with the policy. If your institution has a block grant or other UKRI funding for open access, it is permitted to use these funds for the payment of Article Processing Charges in a Jisc-approved transformative journal, though you should always contact your library and/or research office prior to submission to confirm local arrangements with regards to open access block grants funding. 

Looking ahead 

Please note, cOAlition S are withdrawing financial support for Transformative Journals (TJs) from 31 December 2024. In preparation for this, cOAlition S stopped registration of new TJs on 30 June 2023. This means that you are no longer able to apply to become a TJ, and existing TJs will cease to be eligible for UKRI open access funding after 31 December 2024.

We continue to engage with publishers to increase the number of compliant options for publicly funded research output.

This guide is made available under Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND).