UKRI (EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, ESRC, AHRC, Innovate UK) for articles submitted on or after 1 April 2022

For articles submitted before 1 April 2022, see UKRI for articles submitted before 1 April 2022.


Publish in a journal or publishing platform that makes the published version immediately available with a CC BY license via its website


publish in a subscription journal and make the accepted manuscript (or published version where permitted) open access on publication with a CC BY license in a repository.

UKRI open access policy (1 April 2022)

Routes to meeting open access requirements

Route 1 GOLD Publish in a fully open access journal, or gold open access in a hybrid journal, see “paying for gold open access” as UKRI will not usually pay for this option in hybrid journals. Please refer to the section below regarding "mirror journals”.


Route 2 GREEN Publish in a subscription journal and deposit the author’s accepted manuscript (or published version where permitted by publisher) in a repository to be made available on publication. The Rights Assertion Statement ensures you retain the right to do this.

Spiral, the College’s digital repository, is an appropriate repository for route 2.

Biomedical articles acknowledging MRC or BBSRC must also be deposited in Europe PMC, whichever route is taken.

Check your options using the Journal Checker Tool.

Scope of policy


Authors required to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils, see UKRI’s guidance on acknowledging your funding.

Article types

Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, that are accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standards Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform.

Examples of review articles include evidence syntheses, systematic reviews, systematic-literature reviews, analyses, meta-analyses and metasyntheses. The policy does not apply to book reviews or narrative reviews, although open access is encouraged. The policy applies to in-scope reviews that are commissioned or invited.

Conference abstracts are out of scope.

A policy for monographs, book chapters and edited collections will be in place from 1 January 2024 – further details have been released and will be updated here.

Paying for GOLD open access

UKRI block grant held centrally in the Library. Funded author should apply for funding via Symplectic if the relevant grant is held at Imperial. For grants held elsewhere make an application to the grant-holding institution.

Covers in-scope articles in fully open access journals and Jisc transformative journals (which have met requirements set by Jisc demonstrating their commitment to transition to fully open access).

You can also publish via route 1 GOLD 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.

UKRI funds cannot be used for hybrid journals that are not transformative journals or part of a transformative agreement.

No cost is associated with open access via route 2 (GREEN).

We cannot pay page, colour, or submission charges on any route.

Rights assertion statement

For articles to be published under route 2 (GREEN) submissions 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(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence’ may be stated instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’.

We recommend this text is included in all submissions. If the article cannot be included in a transformative agreement or otherwise paid for as expected, or is not published in the journal you submitted to, the statement means you should be able to use route 2 regardless of where you end up being published.

Required licence

 CC BY required on all compliance routes.

CC BY ND by requesting an exception from UKRI.

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

Data access statement required, see how to write a data access statement.

Preprints are not in scope, but depositing preprints is encouraged. UKRI reserves the right to ensure their use in the context of emergencies.

Mirror journals

Mirror journals are open access versions of subscription journals.

These journals have similar aims, scope, peer review processes, and policies, with at least 50% of the board members being the same. They may be listed in DOAJ and have their own ISSN. Examples include journal titles with an X in the suffix (refer to the 2022 Jülich list for specific titles, although it may be incomplete). However, for open access funding purposes, these journals are considered 'hybrid', and open access charges cannot be paid for from the Imperial Fund, the Wellcome Trust, see Wellcome Open Access Policy 2021 FAQ (pdf) or UKRI (updated in September/October 2023). If you have submitted or been accepted in one, please contact the Library’s Open Access team.