LibraryResearch funder policies

This section provides an overview of the various research funder policies with regard to Open Access. Some funders have requirements for Open Access availability of research outputs stemming from their funded projects, and some also make available specific funding to universities for paying for Open Access publishing fees. The list below is however not comprehensive, so please get in contact with the Strathclyde Open Access team at for any queries on funders’ OA policies that may not be shown below.

REF Open Access policy

At present the applicable REF OA policy is the one that was issued for REF2021. Since there are changes already in the way research funders are addressing Open Access requirements, the expectation is that an updated REF policy for the post-2021 REF exercise will be made available sometime in the winter 2021/2022. The current policy applies to journal articles and conference papers and requires the deposit of the full-text accepted manuscript or AAM (author accepted manuscript) in an institutional system (Pure at Strathclyde) no longer than three months since manuscript acceptance. This AAM must be added to a newly created Pure record that should also include the date of manuscript acceptance (DOA) so that it’s possible to easily confirm that the deposit of the AAM has taken place within the established three months.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)

The UKRI comprises the following nine research councils:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Innovate UK (IUK)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Research England (RE)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

UKRI Open Access Policy

The UKRI have released an updated Open Access policy that applies to UKRI-funded manuscripts submitted on or after 1 April 2022 and to UKRI-funded monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024. This updated OA policy includes the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS), a free, Green OA-based route to Open Access.

For Gold Open Access, i.e. making the paper OA on the journal website, the Library administers the annual block grant that UKRI have allocated the University of Strathclyde and is able to fund the Open Access publishing fees or APCs under certain circumstances (see the Funding Open Access webpage for more information).

Funding from the UKRI block grant will only cover articles that have a CC BY license and that have previously been deposited in Pure.

The recommended format for acknowledging a UKRI-funded project is "This work was supported by the xxxxx Research Council grant no. xxxxx". In order to access Gold OA funding please contact the open access team at who will be able to further advise.

For UKRI-funded outputs, a data statement should also be included on how the underlying research materials (such as datasets or software) can be accessed. Please contact the research data management (RDM) team at for more information.

Policy Scope

The Open Access requirements apply to all UKRI-funded manuscripts, from grants as well as PhD studentships, submitted from 01 April 2022 to be published as peer-reviewed research articles (including reviews) or conference papers in a journal, proceeding (with an International Standards Serial Number, ISSN), or publishing platform.

The policy will also cover monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 01 Jan 2024.

What do I need to do?

If your manuscript acknowledges one or more UKRI-funded projects (inc. Innovate UK) you should consider the way Open Access will be achieved. This is best done as early in the research process as possible, and the Open Access team may be able to assist with your choice of title to submit to – we have long-standing experience of advising on OA, and Read & Publish agreements specifically.

There are two main compliant routes with the UKRI Open Access policy. Please note that “Gold OA” via a Read & Publish deal is the route of first preference for Strathclyde corresponding authors:

1. “Gold OA”

Immediate open access publication of the article on the publisher/journal website, with the licensing (CC-BY) and technical requirements satisfied by the publisher.

“Gold OA” compliance is achieved by either paying a standalone Article Processing Charge (APC) directly to an eligible journal or by publishing – at no cost – in a journal covered by one of the Library’s Read & Publish deals. The ‘Funding Open Access’ webpage lists the journal titles included in our Read & Publish deals but you are encouraged to send us a list of titles under consideration and we will confirm which ones qualify. The Library also manages the UKRI block grant to cover APC payments and is keen to receive Gold OA funding requests prior to manuscript submission. Note that APCs for “hybrid” journals (those that charge full subscription fees and also an additional fee to make individual articles Open Access) will no longer be an eligible cost on the open access UKRI block grant.

2. “Green OA”

Immediate and unrestricted deposit of the accepted author manuscript (AAM) in a technically compliant digital repository under a CC-BY licence.

“Green OA” compliance is achieved by depositing the accepted author manuscript (AAM) in PURE, which is then transferred to the Strathprints repository to meet the technical requirements. In order for this route to be feasible, a specific wording suggested by the UKRI needs to be included in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript (right after the reference to the UKRI-funded project):

For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

This is the so-called Rights Retention Strategy (RRS), and it may in some cases be the sole route to comply with the UKRI policy, so authors are strongly recommended to include this clause in all their UKRI-funded work. An RRS webpage is available and questions about it are welcome. Dissemination sessions tailored by research field or UKRI-funded project are also being offered upon request.

Newly-founded online resources like the Journal Checker Tool or the Transitional Agreement Look-Up Tool aim to provide automated mechanisms to allow UKRI-funded researchers to easily find out what compliant routes there may be available for a given candidate title for submission. While these do get fully updated (new Read & Publish deals are being signed every month, with a large Elsevier one announced on 23 Mar 2022), checking with the Open Access team may be the simplest option.

Please contact  with any questions.

Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)

The COAF was a partnership of six health research charities (Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer UK, Bloodwise, Parkinson’s UK) that teamed up to implement their fully aligned Open Access policies under the same framework. This included the allocation of a COAF block grant to universities to pay for Gold OA publishing costs for publications stemming from their funded projects.

COAF was disbanded as of 30 Sep 2020 due to the various OA policies by these charities no longer being aligned. Following the discontinuation of the COAF block grant, individual charities formerly included in the partnership released a table with their specific instructions for their funded authors to follow in order to receive Gold Open Access funding (pdf).

As with UKRI-funded manuscripts, Gold OA funding advice can be provided by the Open Access Team for accepted manuscripts that acknowledge funded projects from any of these charities. These must include the full grant number. Please contact us at for more information.

The Open Access policy for these charities allows for Green or Gold Open Access. In the latter case, Gold OA funding is available for journal articles accepted for publication after 1 October 2014. A version of the publication must be deposited in PubMed Central (PMC): in case of Gold OA, this will be the final published version, usually deposited by publishers themselves, while for Green OA papers it will be the full-text accepted manuscript or AAM. The Open Access Team is able to assist with the deposit of these AAMs where necessary.

Wellcome Trust

At the start of 2021 the Wellcome Trust released their updated Open Access Policy (pdf) applicable to any article that includes original, peer-reviewed research and is submitted for publication from 1 January 2021. This updated OA policy involves the allocation of a Wellcome block grant for institutions to cover Gold OA publishing costs and also includes the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) for Green Open Access compliance. This RRS is a Plan S-promoted strategy that requires the deposit of full-text accepted manuscripts in Pure under no embargo and under a Creative Commons licence.

As per this policy, all original research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome-funded projects must be:

  • made freely available on PubMed Central (PMC) and EuropePMC by the official final publication date
  • published under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY), unless there is an agreed exception to allow publication under a CC BY-ND licence
  • all Wellcome-funded research articles must include a statement explaining how other researchers can access any data, original software or materials underpinning the research
  • researchers and organisations that do not comply with the OA policy will be subject to appropriate sanctions including Wellcome not accepting new grant applications and/or suspending funding to organisations in extreme cases

Chief Scientist Office (CSO)

The CSO offers up to £6,000 funding to cover the APC fees for accepted manuscripts that acknowledge any of their funded projects. In order to be eligible, manuscripts must be accepted for publication within 18 months of the completion of the project. This APC funding is provided as a reimbursement, i.e. the APC gets paid upfront by the project (or the library) following which an application gets submitted to the research funder.

If you are the Principal Investigator for one of these projects, you may directly request the funding to the CSO using their Form 6a (Word doc). In case you preferred the Open Access Team to deal with this process on your behalf, please send us a message at and we will provide support.

Leverhulme Trust

While the research grant is running, the Leverhulme Trust allows APC fees to be included either within the 25% associated costs allowable on research project grants and research programme grants or within the research expenses category for fellowships.

EU-funded projects

APC fees for Gold Open Access publishing of results stemming from H2020-funded projects may be charged to the project grant (see article 29 on Dissemination of results — Open Access — Visibility of EU funding on the H2020 programme multi-beneficiary general model grant agreement (pdf)).

Until Feb 2018, publications arising from finished FP7 projects were eligible for APC funding under the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot. There were five Strathclyde Funded FP7 papers under this scheme, which is now finished.

Version 1.0 of June 1st, 2021 EC General Model Grant Agreement (pdf) for funded projects under the Horizon Europe framework programme states that Open Access publishing fees will only be covered for peer-reviewed papers published in fully Open Access venues. The policy also includes the Rights Retention Strategy under "Open science: open access to scientific publications" on page 108.