UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) provides funding to support its open access policy.
Open access publication costs for research articles in-scope of the policy are supported via an open access block grant to research organisations.
Open access publications costs for monographs, book chapters and edited collections (long-form publications) in-scope of the policy are supported by a dedicated open access fund that research organisations can apply to.
Guidance on these two funding mechanisms is provided below.
You cannot usually claim these costs from your research grant, but see some exceptions below for long-form publications.
If you are a researcher funded by UKRI and expect to pay any costs to publish a research article, monograph, book chapter or edited collection, you should speak to your research organisation as early as possible. They will give advice on open access funding available to you and the process to access this.
Open access fund for monographs, book chapters and edited collections
If you will be publishing a monograph, book chapter or edited collection on or after 1 January 2024 it will need to be made open access. See our guidance on making your research publications open access.
UKRI is introducing a dedicated £3.5 million fund to support open access costs for long-form publications within scope of this new policy.
Funding can be used to support costs to make Version of Record immediately open access with a Creative Commons licence.
Funding is not available for delayed open access of the Version of Record or self-archiving of the Author’s Accepted Manuscript, but you can still comply with our open access policy via these routes if the publication is made open access within 12 months of publication. See our open access policy guidance.
If you are planning to publish a publication in-scope of UKRI’s open access policy and expect to pay for open access, you should contact the team responsible for open access in your organisation as early as possible.
Your research organisation will need to apply to the fund on your behalf for each in-scope publication.
Your research organisation may also have an open access publishing arrangement with some publishers.
In exceptional circumstances, such as if you are no longer employed by a research organisation, you may be able to directly apply to the fund. You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance before applying.
From 31 October 2023, it is no longer permitted to include publication costs for long-form publications in-scope of the open access policy in research funding applications.
An exception to this is anticipated costs for clearing rights for third-party materials such as images that will be needed to publish your research. These should continue to be included in research funding applications. As detailed below, some additional funding for these costs may also be available via the open access fund.
If you have included open access costs in your grant application already, you must use this funding for open access publications instead of applying to the dedicated fund.
If you are publishing a monograph, book chapter or edited collection before 1 January 2024, there is no requirement to publish open access.
How to apply for funding
The open access fund for monographs, book chapters and edited collections is open for Stage 1 applications from research organisations from 28 November 2023.
Stage 2 applications for funding will open in January 2024. The application form, which will be via UKRI’s Funding Service, and final guidance for Stage 2 applications will be published here by mid-January 2024.
Outline guidance for research organisations is provided below.
The fund has a two-stage application process:
Stage 1: the research organisation registers the output(s) with UKRI for funding via an online form hosted by Citizen Space. A publishing contract does not need to have been signed at this stage. UKRI will review the application and confirm if the output(s) will be eligible for funding.
Stage 2: the research organisation provides confirmation of publication to UKRI to enable the release the funds. This stage will be completed via UKRI’s Funding Service.
In-scope outputs published seven or more years after the formal end of a UKRI-funded project will not be eligible for UKRI open access funding. UKRI will not expect such outputs to be made open access. This threshold recognises that longform outputs can be published many years after the end of a UKRI-funded project, and over time the link between will likely become less substantial.
Information requested at Stage 1 will include:
- name of research organisation
- UKRI funding reference
- author name(s)
- title of publication
- name of publisher
- estimated cost, if known
Information requested at Stage 2 will include:
- date of publication
- confirmation of open access publication, for example a URL or DOI
- financial information, and related invoices
- any changes to the information provided at stage 1
We will support a range of open access models via this fund, including subscribe to open agreements, also known as ‘diamond’ or collective models, book processing charges and book chapter processing charges.
UKRI will contribute up to the following maximums:
- £10,000 for book processing charges
- £1,000 for chapter processing charges
- £6,000 for participation in an alternative open access model (not exceeding the total cost of participation), UKRI will fund up to another £3,000 where there are two or more eligible outputs
These amounts are inclusive of VAT, where applicable.
Up to £2,000 within the funding maximum for an output can be applied for to support costs associated with clearing permissions for third-party content to be included in the open access version of the publication. However, these costs should be accounted for in grant applications, where possible.
Open access block grants for research articles
Open access block grants are given to eligible UK-based research organisations that receive UKRI funding. They can be used to cover costs relating to research articles that enable research organisations to meet the aims of UKRI’s open access policy.
The amount an organisation receives is calculated using an algorithm that uses directly incurred and directly allocated staff costs on UKRI awards as a proxy for research volume. For administrative reasons, only organisations eligible to receive a block grant of £5,000 or more are offered awards. Block grants awarded from 2022 onwards can be found on Gateway to Research.
Research organisations can use the funding for a wide variety of activities that enable them to comply with the policy.
Further details about what the block grant can and cannot be used for are provided in the open access block grant terms and conditions and UKRI open access policy and supplementary frequently asked questions (FAQs).
2023 to 2024 block grants for research articles
The 2023 to 2024 block grants for research articles were issued to eligible research organisations in April 2023, with a start date of 1 April 2023.
2022 to 2023 block grants for research articles
Final Expenditure Statements for 2022 to 2023 block grants were issued to research organisations on 31 March 2023, with a latest return date of 30 June 2023.
Funding assurance for block grants
Research organisations no longer need to submit a block grant spend returns form.
To seek assurance that the block grant has been spent in line with eligible costs, research organisations will be required to provide high-level information about their spend against the block grant through their Final Expenditure Statement, as is standard for grants, and the block grants will be part of Funding Assurance Reviews.
Research organisations will need to demonstrate they have the appropriate process in place to ensure the funding is used for its intended purpose. For example, this could include appropriate governance, as well as effective financial and risk management systems. Additional guidance can be found in the UKRI open access policy and supplementary FAQs.
We are carrying out a small pilot with a range of research organisations to better understand how an organisation can demonstrate that it has the appropriate processes in place and their spend is compliant with the terms and conditions of the open access block grant. The pilot will help inform how the open access block grant will be integrated into UKRI’s existing funding assurance programme.
We are developing the details of the funding assurance process as part of our wider work on monitoring and evaluation of the policy. See implementing our open access policy.
Ask a question about UKRI open access funding
Check for an existing answer in the UKRI open access policy and supplementary FAQs.
If you can’t find an answer to your question in the FAQs, contact us at email email@example.com.