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Research Publishing (Open Access)

Open access compliance and REF 2021

Overview of Funders' Requirements

Researchers need to mediate negotiations between funders, publishers and home institutions. Relationships within the publication process can be complex: funders make grants to researchers, who in turn make submissions to publishers; article processing charges may be paid to publishers by researchers or institutions, both of which may claim reimbursement from funders. 

Funders requirements are likely to relate to depositing, licensing and invoicing.

It is very important that researchers check the fine details of their publishing contract. It remains the responsibility of individual researchers to ensure that funders and publishers are in accord.

UKRI and the Funding Councils

UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) brings together seven funding councils.

Research Councils:

Note: Council web content is being transitioned to the UKRI website

The UKRI also publishes an Open Access Policy Information Pack to help researchers.


UKRI published their new policy on April 1st 2022.

The policy requires immediate open access (OA) for peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022 and that the final version or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript of in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024 must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication.

Open access policy update: December 2022

New Policy announced by UKRI - News August 2021

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) new policy will increase opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. Following extensive consultation with the sector, UKRI has published a single Open Access Policy for research publications that acknowledge funding from its councils.

Points to note:

  • UKRI’s updated policy requires immediate open access for peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication from 1 April 2022.
  • It also includes a new requirement for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 to be made open access within 12 months of publication.

Update on UKRI new policy - News October 2021

The update covers: OA transitional agreements including the role of JISC in supporting implementation; Policy exceptions for research articles; Monographs; Metadate guidance; Communications and engagement.

Individual Funding Bodies

In addition to the overarching stipulation of funding councils, individual funding bodies may impose additional requirements. These are likely to relate to depositing, licensing and invoicing.  Please also note that it remains the responsibility of individual researchers to ensure that funders and publishers are in accord.

NIHR Open Access Policy

For articles submitted before 1 June 2022, please refer to the current NIHR Open Access Policy.


The new policy applies to all peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews not commissioned by publishers and conference papers, submitted for publication on or after 1 June 2022 arising from:

Research costs, as defined by the AcoRD system for attributing the costs of health and social care research, are the costs of the R&D itself that end when the research ends. They relate to activities that are being undertaken to answer the research questions. (For the Global Health Research portfolio researchers should also consider the Global Health Research Finance Guidance).

Peer-reviewed research articles which are otherwise out of scope (e.g. NIHR Infrastructure research studies with minority NIHR funding), but which acknowledge NIHR support/funding must be deposited and made freely accessible through Europe PMC, as soon as possible, but no later than 12 months post the official final publication date.

Monographs (with the exception of NIHR Journals Library publications), book chapters, edited collections, or forms of non-peer-reviewed material, such as pre-prints, are considered out of scope of this policy. However NIHR reserves the right to ensure the use of preprints in the context of emergencies.

Guidance on open access funding eligibility and process will be published by March 2022.

Source: National Institute for Health Research website (published 8/10/2021)

The Wellcome Trust - Open Access Policy

Checking Funder Requirements

The SHERPA/JULIET site provides a very useful one stop shop for checking funder requirements.

The SHERPA/ROMEO service summarises publishers' copyright transfer agreements as they relate to archiving.

The SHERPA/FACT tool  allows researchers to check if a particular journal complies with a funder's open access requirements.

As well as embargo periods, stipulations may relate to licensing arrangements.

Wiley Author Compliance Tool

Wiley have produced an Author Compliance Tool where you can use a drop down menu to select Funder, Institution or Journal  to check and compare open access compliance policies. University of the Highlands and Islands is listed under institution.

Wiley also have special agreements with some funders which are available to look at from their website.