Guidance for publishers on what the UKRI open access policy means and compliant routes publishers can offer authors.
Most major research funders now have policies that require research outputs acknowledging their funding to be made open access. Jisc is working with publishers to offer authors compliant routes that meet a range of different funders’ requirements. We are contacting publishers that have published UKRI-funded research over the past four years to ensure that all authors have the option to publish in their journal of choice.
The new UKRI open access policy
The new UKRI open access policy requires that all peer-reviewed research and review articles submitted after 1 April 2022 (that acknowledge funding from UKRI or one of its constituent councils) be published open access immediately, without embargo, under a CC-BY licence. This can be achieved by either:
- Making the final Version of Record (VoR) OA on the journal website (Route 1), or
- Allowing authors to self-archive the VoR or the Author-Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in a repository (Route 2)
UKRI provides funding to eligible research performing organisations to support implementation of the policy in the form of block grants. The policy includes guidance on how block grants can be used.
UKRI open access funding restrictions
Although publishing open access in a hybrid journal is compliant with UKRI’s policy via Route 1, UKRI block grants cannot be used to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) for articles published in hybrid journals unless the article is published under a Jisc-approved transitional agreement (TA) or in a transformative journal that meets the sector’s criteria for transformative journals.
The table below provides a summary of the distinction between UKRI policy and funding eligibility:
|Journal type||Publishing option||Licence ||UKRI policy compliant?||Eligible for UKRI funding?|
|Fully open access||Open access||CC-BY||Yes||Yes|
|Hybrid||Open access||CC-BY||Yes||Yes, if journal is included in a transitional agreement that author's affiliated institution is signed up to|
|Hybrid||Open access||CC-BY||Yes||Yes, if journal is transformative journal according to sector criteria|
|Hybrid||Closed access||CC-BY||Only if VoR or AAM is archived with CC-BY licence, without embargo||No|
|Subscription||Closed access||CC-BY||Only is VoR or AAM is archived with CC-BY licence, without embargo||No|
Compliant OA options for publishers
The routes that publishers can offer to UKRI-funded authors include:
- Green zero embargo with CC-BY: publisher allows authors to deposit the VoR or the AAM in an institutional or subject repository, without applying an embargo (for example articles can be deposited on acceptance and made available to the public on publication), and under CC-BY licence terms
- Green zero embargo with CC-BY by exception: publisher allows only UKRI funded authors to deposit the VoR or AAM in an institutional or subject repository, without applying an embargo (for example articles can be deposited on acceptance and made available to the public immediately on publication), and under CC-BY licence terms
- Gold open access: articles published immediately open access under CC-BY licence terms in a fully open access journal
- Transitional agreement (TA): articles published immediately open access under CC-BY licence terms in a hybrid journal under a transitional agreement. Hybrid journals that are included in a transitional agreement with Jisc are eligible for open access payments from UKRI block grants provided that the author’s affiliated institution has signed up to the Jisc deal
- Transitional journal (TJ): articles published immediately open access under CC-BY licence terms in a journal that has been given transitional journal status according to the sector’s requirements. In this case there is no requirement for the author’s affiliated institution to have signed up the Jisc deal
- Other: publisher makes articles immediately available as open access under CC-BY licence under a different model, such as Subscribe to Open
Read further information on compliant models (.docx) specifically aimed at small and society publishers.
What can publishers do?
As well as deciding which compliant routes to offer to UKRI funded authors, it’s important that publishers make those options clear to authors, alongside any special instructions if required.
We recommend that:
- Current open access options are available on Sherpa Romeo (please note, survey responses will be shared with the Sherpa Romeo team who will update records as required)
- Clear information and instructions for authors are posted on your website
- Clear information and instructions for authors are posted on individual journal website
- Instructions should include information on how authors will be recognised, eg, if authors are automatically notified of funder compliant options once they acknowledge UKRI as funder during the submission stage, or if they need to ‘claim’ compliant routes to publish by notifying someone