What to look out for

  • What is the policy start date?
  • What publication types (outputs) are included?
  • Do you need a specific publishing licence?
  • Do you need to deposit in a named repository?
  • Is there an embargo period for deposit in a repository?
  • Will the publisher deposit in a repository for you?

Research funders have different open access policies.

You must publish any research papers arising from your research award in such a way that they fully meet your funder's requirements. The policy will be available on your funder's website and should be highlighted in the start-up documents supplied with your research award.

Funder policies will specify 2 separate sets of requirements - depositing in a repository and paying an open access fee or article processing charge (APC) to your publisher. You need to meet only one of these requirements.

Example: if your research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the journal you want to publish in must either:

  • permit you  to deposit a copy of the accepted version of your article to PubMed Central within 6 months of publication, free of charge

Or

  • in exchange for paying an APC, the publisher must make the published version of your article free to read on their website immediately on publication, using a Creative Commons Attribution licence and deposit a copy of the published article to PubMed Central

Click on the tabs to see the policies and sources of open access funding of major UK funders and the European Commission.

Common funders

OA funds

To help you comply with their open access policy, your research funder may provide funding directly to you for open access fees in their award, or they may provide the College with a central source of funding to which you can apply. The funds available at Imperial are:

  • Research Councils UK (RCUK) open access fund
  • The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) – for authors with funding from the Wellcome Trust, Versus Arthritis (a merger of Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK), the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise or Parkinson’s UK
  • Imperial Open Access Fund -  for authors who do not have eligible open access funding in their research award or whose work is not externally funded. Please note: it will pay for the open access publication costs for articles in fully open access journals only.

To find out if your chosen journal is compliant with the RCUK and COAF open access policies, use the SHERPA Funders & Authors Compliance Tool. Use the Library's guide to SHERPA/FACT to help you interpret the search results display. If your funder is not listed use SHERPA JULIET which provides a central source of funder open access policy information.

For further assistance, please contact the Library’s open access team.

RCUK

Research Councils UK (RCUK)

Eligibility: available to academic staff with funding from any of the Research Councils: AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC, and RCUK-funded (fellowship) PhD students

The UK Space agency and Innovate UK are not part of RCUK, so unless the research is also funded by one of the research councils, open access fees are ineligible for payment. See RCUK Policy on Open Access Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) Updated May 2019

Author criteria: member of staff should be employed by Imperial College London and an RCUK funded corresponding OR co-author. RCUK grant held at Imperial should be acknowledged (in the paper) Acknowledgement of funders in journal articles (pdf) guidance. 

Doctoral students as authors of papers are also eligible – further details: UKRI funded students

Publication types: peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers

APC licence: Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) only

RCUK deposit requirements:
FunderRepositoryMaximum permitted embargo
 MRC  PubMed Central*  6 months
 BBSRC  Any, but PubMed Central encouraged, see annex 2  12 months
 EPSRC  Any  12 months
 NERC  Any  12 months
 STFC  Any  12 months
 ESRC  ESRC Catalogue  24 months
RCUK deposit requirements

*If you are required to deposit in PubMed Central, the publisher should do this on your behalf if you are paying for gold Open Access. However, it has been reported that some are failing to do this and you may need to self-deposit.

Restrictions:

Since 1 April 2019 the Vice Provost Advisory Group for Research has restricted the fund to only pay APCs where:

  1. the APC is charged by a fully open access title that appears in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or
  2. the publication title does not provide a compliant green (self-archiving) open access route

We continue to support the following:

  • Fully open access journals e.g. PLoS, etc.
  • ‘Hybrid’ open access when a compliant publisher self-archiving policy is not available or exceeds the acceptable RCUK embargo.

If you are in receipt of funding from research councils, you can comply by simply self-archiving rather than paying for open access, provided that the publisher’s required embargo does not exceed the maximum permitted in the table. The vast majority of publications are compliant via the self-archiving route.

Imperial deposit requirements: APC application should be made alongside upload of accepted manuscript (AM) via Symplectic. This will be checked and made live in a repository (Spiral) with appropriate publisher embargo periods are applied (if required).

Source of APC funding: Grant holders should apply for open access funds via Symplectic

Full policy:  Imperial RCUK Fund Management Policy (pdf) and RCUK Policy on Open Access (pdf)

To apply: Log in to Symplectic and click on Deposit your work

COAF

Charity Open Access Fund


New Wellcome Trust open access policy from 1 January 2020


Eligibility: available to researchers with funding from Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise or Parkinson’s UK

Author criteria: member of staff is at Imperial College London and meets one of the following:

1) Research has been funded in whole or in part through a Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise or Parkinson’s UK grant (either during the award, or after the funding period has ended).

2) Researcher is a Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise or Parkinson’s UK Investigator Award holder/ Wellcome Fellow or any other individual in receipt of salary support from one of the charities appears as a co-author during the period of their award (this applies even where the specific research project is not COAF-funded).

3) Research has been carried out from Wellcome Trust Centres/Africa & Asia Programmes which has been supported through the Core Award, even if the research has been primarily supported by grants from one or more other funders.

Publication types: peer-reviewed journal articles and non-commissioned reviews

APC licence: Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) only

COAF deposit requirements: must be deposited in PubMed Central with a maximum acceptable embargo of six months. The publisher should do this on your behalf. However, it has been reported that some are failing to do this. It is therefore the responsibility of the funded author to ensure that the paper meets the requirements of COAF by depositing into PMC.

Imperial deposit requirements: the accepted manuscript should be uploaded to Symplectic at time of APC application. This will be made live in Sprial once repository staff have checked the publisher’s policies and applied the appropriate embargo period (if required).

Where a journal does not meet the rules of the Charity Open Access Fund but meets the policy of your funder, you should speak to the charity direct about APC funding.

Source of APC funding: APCs are not eligible costs on research grants from these funders. Grant holders should apply for open access funds via the Library.

Full policy: Charity Open Access Fund policy

To apply: Log in to Symplectic and click on Deposit your work

Non- compliant papers: the Wellcome Trust will withhold the final 10% of the ‘total transferable funds’ budget on a grant where non-compliant publications are identified in an end of grant report, see Complying with our open access policy. Sanctions apply to Wellcome funded research papers published since 1 October 2009.

The publishers of your paid open access paper should send it to PubMed Central (PMC) once it is published. However, it has been reported that some are failing to do this. It is therefore the responsibility of the funded author to ensure that the paper meets the requirements of COAF by depositing into PMC.

Imperial OA fund

Eligibility: The Imperial Open Access Fund is available to academic, postdoctoral staff and PhD students at Imperial College London who do not have eligible open access funding in a research award or whose work is not externally funded.

It will pay for the open access publication costs for articles in fully open access journals only which is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

It must be established that co-authors do not have OA funding available before accessing Imperial fund.

 Author Criteria:

Type of staffEligibility
 Member of Imperial staff  Yes
 Member of Imperial staff   with honorary contracts  Yes
 NHS Trust staff  No
Author Criteria

At least one of the authors was at Imperial when the paper was submitted. There should be an Imperial affiliation and/or acknowledgement, where possible – “Imperial College London Open Access Fund”

Publication types: peer-reviewed journal articles and other publication types on request

APC licence: Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) preferred, but other CC licences are acceptable

Repository: Spiral or suitable subject repository

Acceptable embargo period: not applicable

Who can deposit: author or publisher

Imperial rules: the accepted manuscript should be uploaded to Symplectic at time of APC application

Source of funding: Imperial Open Access Fund (for fully open access journals only)

Full policy: Imperial's open access policy

To apply: Log in to Symplectic and click on Deposit your work

FP7 and Horizon2020

FP7 and Horizon2020

Publication types: peer-reviewed journal articles

APC licence: Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) preferred, but other CC licences are acceptable

Repository: Spiral or suitable subject repository

Acceptable embargo period: STM: 6 months HMM: 12 months

Who can deposit: author or publisher

Imperial rules: use award funding before applying to the Imperial Open Access Fund (for fully open access journals only)

Source of APC funding: active research award or once closed, Imperial College Open Access Fund (for fully open access journals)

Full policy: Open Access in FP7 and  Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020 (pdf)

Further advice on open access and EU funding can be obtained from the Research Office with contacts in each Faculty

NIHR

National Institute for Health Research

Publication types: publication of peer-reviewed research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers) and conference proceedings

APC licence: Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) only

Repository: Spiral or PubMed Central

Acceptable embargo period: not specified

Who can deposit: author or publisher

Imperial rules: the accepted manuscript should be uploaded to Symplectic at time of APC application

Source of funding: an NIHR Open Access Fund is to be established but is not yet available.

Full policy: NIHR Policy on Open Access for its funded research

To apply: Log in to Symplectic and click on Deposit your work