For articles submitted before 1 June 2022, see NIHR - articles submitted before 1 June 2022.


Deposit published or accepted version in Europe PMC with zero embargo and a CC BY license.

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 NIHR 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 at the time of publication, see Depositing in PubMed Central and Europe PMC. The Rights Assertion Statement ensures you retain the right to do this.

Scope of policy


Publications arising from:

  • NIHR ProgrammesNIHR Personal Awards and NIHR Global Health Research Portfolio: research studies where the research costs are funded in whole or in part by the NIHR. Personal awards that do not fund research are out of scope.
  • For NIHR Infrastructure (including NIHR research units and schools): research studies where the majority of the research costs are funded by the NIHR. For NIHR Imperial BRC infrastructure awards, check with your Theme Contact if unsure whether the majority of costs of research were funded by units at Imperial.

Articles authored by NIHR-funded researchers are only in scope where the article directly results from an NIHR-funded award.

Article types

Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews not commissioned by publishers and conference papers.

Peer-reviewed research articles which are otherwise out of scope e.g. NIHR Infrastructure research studies with minority NIHR funding, but which acknowledge NIHR support or funding must be deposited and made freely accessible through Europe PMC, as soon as possible, but no later than 12 months post the official final publication date.

Requirements of your journal

Where an open access fee is funded by NIHR, it is a condition that the journal has an agreement with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to deposit the Version of Record (final published version) in PMC and allow that content to be shared with Europe PMC at the time of publication.

Paying for GOLD open access

NIHR grant or NIHR open access funding ‘envelope’ allocated at the discretion of the contractor.

For NIHR Infrastructure awards, including NIHR research units and schools, open access costs for in-scope publications should be paid from the award, and therefore should continue to be budgeted and earmarked by applicants at application stage.

From 1 June 2022 all eligible research award contracts issued across NIHR ProgrammesNIHR Personal Awards and NIHR Global Health Research Portfolio will have an open access funding envelope allocated to them, on top of the approved cost of the award, which is ring-fenced for open access costs to support contractors with the implementation of the NIHR open access policy.

If your NIHR award pre-dates 1 June 2022 and you, therefore, do not have a funding envelope, you can use any open access budget already included in your award.

If the funding envelope (or open access funding in an older award) is depleted, you can complete a request for additional open access funding which will be assessed by NIHR on a case-by-case basis.

Where an award or project has ended, any remaining funds will be available to cover eligible open access costs for up to two years after the completion date. To request reimbursement from a closed award during this period, or to extend this period for up to five years, you should complete an NIHR Open Access request form.

For all award types, NIHR funding covers in-scope articles in fully open access journals and hybrid journals where this route is chosen. Submission fees will only be funded if they result in the open access publication of an article.

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. Apply for funding via Symplectic.

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

NIHR open access funds cannot be used to cover:

  • Non-open access charges associated with publication e.g. page and colour charges and non-open access publication fees
  • Open access fees associated with publications outside the scope of the open access policy, such as book chapters, monographs, edited collections or any forms of non-peer-reviewed material
  • any other research associated costs

Rights assertion statement

Designed to support the GREEN (self-archiving) route. Submissions to subscription journals must include the following text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter or note accompanying the submission:

‘For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied [a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence] [an ‘Open Government Licence’] (or where permitted by the NIHR) [a Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’.

Required licence

 CC BY required on all compliance routes.

CC BY ND by requesting an exception from NIHR.

OGL permitted where research article is subject to Crown Copyright.

For information see Creative Commons licenses or The anatomy of a Creative Commons License (SWAY).

Other requirements

In-scope research articles must include a data sharing statement describing how the underpinning research data can be accessed. Where there are reasons to protect access to the data, for example commercial confidentiality or sensitivities around data derived from potentially identifiable human participants, these should be included in the statement. Read more about NIHR’s position on the sharing of research data.

NIHR reserves the right to ensure the deposit of preprints in the context of emergencies.