Making your long-form output open access means that the results of publicly funded research are available:
- to everyone for free
- under conditions that enable them to be re-used and built upon
If you are publishing a monograph, book chapter or edited collection on or after 1 January 2024, you must follow the UKRI open access policy.
This applies to publications that need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from:
- the research councils
- Research England
- Innovate UK
Your research organisation may also be able to advise on complying with the policy, funding for open access costs and any local policies and guidance.
There is no requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published before 1 January 2024 to be published open access.
Open access requirements
You must make your long-form output open access within 12 months of publication and use an open licence.
In summary, the core requirements of the policy are:
- your final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
- images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the open access version, where possible
- the open access version of your publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence preferred. An Open Government Licence is also permitted. (This requirement does not apply to third party materials included in your publication)
These requirements and definitions of in-scope and exempt types of publication are further detailed in the UKRI open access policy.
Choosing a publisher
You can choose the publisher most appropriate for your research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met.
When you contact your preferred publisher, you should inform them that your publication is in scope of the UKRI open access policy and check if they can offer a compliant open access publishing option.
Many publishers offer open access of the final Version of Record. They may charge for open access, have an agreement with your research organisation, or offer free open access supported via alternative funding models, such as subscribe to open models, for example.
Some publishers may not offer open access but may permit you to deposit your Author’s Accepted Manuscript (a version of your accepted manuscript agreed between you and the publisher) in an institutional or subject repository.
Depositing your publication
If you plan, with agreement from your publisher, to comply with the policy by depositing a version of your publication in a repository, you can use:
- your institution’s repository, if they have one
- an appropriate subject repository
If you are depositing an Author’s Accepted Manuscript, this should be marked as not the final published version, which you may also choose to link to.
Your research organisation may have a self-archiving policy or arrangement. You should check with your library, research office, or equivalent to find out more.
UKRI recognises there may be rare instances where meeting open access requirements for long-form outputs may not be possible. There are four reasons where the policy recognises an exemption may be applied. After due consideration this may mean you need to apply an exemption to a publication that is in-scope of the UKRI open access policy.
If needed, you may apply one of these four exemptions:
- where a contract was signed with a publisher before 1 January 2024 that prevents compliance with the policy
- where the only appropriate publisher for the publication, after liaison and consideration is unable to offer an open access option
- where the only funding being acknowledged is a UKRI training grant
- where reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative to enable open access publication
There are many benefits to publishing open access, and it is a requirement for monographs, edited collections and book chapters that acknowledge our funding. Therefore, you should seek to publish open access wherever possible prior to using an exemption.
For example, you should consider both routes to open access, either the Version of Record or the Authors Accepted Manuscript and refer to the guidance on applying exemptions for further information on open access options. Guidance on when and how to use an exemption is provided in Annex 3 of the UKRI open access policy.
In considering whether you need to apply an exemption where reuse permissions for third-party materials cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative option to enable open access publication, you should refer to our guidance on good practice including third-party materials in your publication.
There is no requirement to seek UKRI’s approval on the use of exemptions. However, we ask authors or their research organisations to notify us when an exemption is applied using an online form. This form may be completed by authors or their organisations, but only a single submission should be made for each publication.
Training grants exemption
Open access is not required for long-form outputs arising from UKRI training grants, where the training grant is the only UKRI funding source acknowledged. However, open access publication is encouraged.
Where possible, research organisations are expected to support researchers to make their outputs open access. In scope outputs from training grants are also eligible for funding via the UKRI dedicated funding scheme.
Trade books are defined in Annex 1 of the UKRI open access policy. If a trade book is the only output arising from UKRI research funding, then the open access requirements apply. A trade book is otherwise out of scope of the policy.
This means that open access requirements do not apply to your trade book if you publish another open access research output that:
- is in scope of the open access policy. This could be a peer-reviewed research article, monograph, book chapter, or edited collection
- acknowledges the same UKRI funding as the trade book
We ask authors or their research organisations to notify us when a trade book acknowledging UKRI funding is not published open access using an online form. This form may be completed by authors or their organisations, but only a single submission should be made for each publication.
Funding for open access costs
If you want to make your Version of Record open access and your publisher charges for this, you may be eligible for UKRI funding to support these costs.
UKRI’s open access fund for monographs book chapters and edited collections opened for applications on 28 November 2023. Applications need to be submitted by your research organisation. For further information about eligibility and how to apply for funding, please see open access funding and reporting.
Ask a question about the open access policy
Check for an answer to your query in the UKRI open access policy and supplementary frequently asked questions.
For further information about how we are implementing these requirements and how they were decided, please see shaping our open access policy.