For articles submitted on or after 1 June 2022 visit NIHR for articles submitted on or after 1 June 2022.


Main study findings should be published in a journal that makes it available using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license and allows immediate deposit of the final published version in other repositories without restriction on re-use.

For any research papers supported in whole or in part by the NIHR, the accepted version of the manuscript should be deposited in Europe PMC with an embargo of 6 months or less.

NIHR open access policy

Routes to meeting open access requirements

GOLD Publish in a fully open access journal, or gold open access in a hybrid journal (make sure you know whether your funding can cover the fee before selecting the gold option in a hybrid journal). The publisher should send the final version of record of your paper to Europe PMC once it is published. However, it is the responsibility of the funded author to ensure that the paper meets the requirements, so we recommend checking that the deposit has been made, see Depositing in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.


GREEN Publish in a subscription journal and take responsibility for making the author’s accepted manuscript freely available from Europe PMC, see Depositing in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.

Scope of policy


Publications funded in whole or in part by NIHR.

Article types

Peer-reviewed research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers, final reports or executive summaries).

The policy does not cover books, critical editions, volumes and catalogues, or forms of non-peer-reviewed material. However, the NIHR encourages authors of such material to consider making them open access where possible, see Depositing in Spiral.

Paying for GOLD open access

It is expected that award holders will make provision from their funding award to cover the costs of publishing in an open access journal. If necessary, researchers may need to contact the awarding NIHR coordinating centre to discuss covering open access costs.

You can also publish GOLD open access where eligible for a transformative agreement, see Publisher agreements and discounts. To have your paper included, follow the instructions for the relevant agreement. The corresponding author needs to have an Imperial College London affiliation, and other conditions may apply.

If there is no other funding option available, publications in fully open access journals listed in DOAJ may be eligible to have OA fees paid from the Imperial Open Access Fund. To apply for funding via Symplectic see Applying for funding.

No cost is associated with open access via the self-archiving or GREEN route.

Required licence

CC BY licencse required for main study findings, and for other in-scope publications where an open access fee is paid.

See Creative Commons licenses, or The anatomy of a Creative Commons License (SWAY).

Other requirements

A data-sharing statement is required, but it is not required that data be made open. Read more about NIHR’s position on the sharing of research data.

Non-compliant papers

Should a researcher inform the relevant NIHR managing centre of their wish to publish a paper in a journal that is unwilling to agree either to the overarching aims of this policy, or to deposition of the manuscript in Europe PMC within six months of publication, NIHR may, in exceptional and merited circumstance, grant permission for the author to submit the paper for publication in such a journal.