As a higher education provider with Research England funding, we expect you to publish your research as open access.
This means unrestricted, online access to published research findings. It aims to make the findings of academic research available:
- without charge
- free from most copyright or licensing restrictions.
Open access policy in future research assessment exercises
The four UK funding bodies – Research England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland – introduced a policy requirement on open access in Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.
As the shape of a future research assessment exercise is yet to be determined, it is not feasible at this stage to define the specifics of a future open access policy. The funding bodies will make a decision about this policy through the Future Research Assessment Programme, based on:
- consultation with the sector
- an evaluation of open access in REF 2021.
You should follow the REF 2021 open access policy and guidance until further notice.
UKRI’s open access policy and Research England
UKRI is introducing a single open access policy for all nine councils, including Research England.
Most Research England funding is used by higher education providers at their discretion and is not intended to lead to specified outputs. UKRI recognises that these outputs cannot be attributed directly to Research England funding, and no acknowledgement of our funding is expected or necessary. As such they are out of scope of the open access policy.
Where we award funding for a particular purpose, and where that funding leads directly to particular research outputs, those outputs will be subject to the UKRI open access policy.
Read how UKRI’s open access policies are changing.