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Library Research Support

Funder Open Access Requirements

Many research funders now have policies in place to ensure that the results of the research they fund are openly available. All research outputs arising from externally funded research at the University must abide by their funders’ policies. It is therefore important that you are familiar with the terms and conditions of your research grant or contract.

The majority of research funders’ Open Access policies are available via the SHERPA / JULIET database. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you also refer back to the terms and conditions of your grant or contract and to any other project-specific agreements, such as collaboration agreements with project partners.

On this page, you will find the requirements of some of the University’s funders.


For articles submitted before 1 June 2022, the current NIHR Open Access policy applies.

The New NIHR Open Access policy

The NIHR Open Access policy for publications submitted on or after 1 June 2022 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.

When an open access payment is applicable, NIHR will pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication in line with the criteria of the NIHR open access policy.  For more information about the terms and processes for accessing open access publication funding from the NIHR please see their Open Access Publications Funding Guidance.

UKRI - formerly RCUK

The UKRI announced their new Open Access policy on the 6th August 2021.

The policy applies to:

  • peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022.
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

For more details see the Expections of UKRI funded authors section below.  You may also find the UKRI page on publishing your research findings useful.

Expectations of UKRI funded authors

The new UKRI Open Access Policy affects researchers who are publishing work that acknowledges funding from one of the seven UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, STFC) or Innovate UK. The policy requires:

  • open access on publication under the CC BY licence (or, exceptionally, CC BY-ND subject to request and approval) for articles and conference papers submitted on or after 1 April 2022, and accepted for final publication in either a journal, conference proceeding with an International Standards Serial Number (ISSN), or publishing platform. 
  • open access no later than 12 months after publication for monographs, book chapters and edited collections resulting from a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, published on or after 1 January 2024

In practice, there are three ways to comply with the new policy when publishing an article or conference paper:

  1. Publish in a fully open access journal or platform (see the Directory of Open Access Journals), making sure that your paper is published under the CC BY licence.
  2. Publish open access in a hybrid journal (i.e. a journal that offers both subscription content and open access content), making sure that your paper is published under the CC BY licence. 
  3. Publish in a subscription journal, and make the accepted manuscript available in an open access repository such as SHURA, under the CC BY licence, on publication (i.e. without embargo). Not all publishers will allow this.

In the first two methods, the publisher’s Version of Record of your paper is published open access on the publisher’s website (‘gold’ open access).

In the third method, you must deposit the final accepted manuscript of your article or paper into Elements to be made open access in SHURA on or before the day of publication under the CC BY licence (‘green’ open access).

Whether publishing Gold or Green Open Access, if your article or paper is MRC- or BBSRC-funded it must also be deposited in Europe PubMed Central. This is in accordance with the MRC’s additional terms and conditions and the BBSRC’s safeguarding good research policy.

Most journals require an embargo on ‘green’ open access, and do not allow the accepted manuscript to be made open access under the CC BY licence. UKRI and NHIR have provided the text below, which authors must include in the manuscript’s funding acknowledgements section when they submit, and in any cover letter or note accompanying the submission. This allows authors to use the third route.

SHU recommends that from 1 April 2022 all NIHR and UKRI-funded article submissions include this statement.

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

* NHIR and UKRI may exceptionally permit authors to use the Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence. The Open Government Licence is permitted where the article falls under Crown Copyright.

The University is fully committed to Open Research. Your Library supports publishing your work gold open access (options 1 and 2) by paying for your open access fees, and by entering into transformative read-and-publish arrangements with publishers that allow SHU corresponding authors to publish in ‘gold’ open access at no additional cost–these transformative arrangements usually only apply if you are the corresponding author. 

Please get in touch with the Library Research Support team once you have chosen a journal for your paper
and before you submit.

Please do so in order to:

  • ensure funding for Gold Open access is available if you need.
  • ensure you are meeting UKRI requirements.
  • help you navigate the green route to compliance if you wish to publish in a subscription-based journal (option 3).

Your Library can also help you in meeting other UKRI expectations with regards to publishing your work. For example, UKRI have technical requirements for the journals you publish in, outlined in an annexe to their Open Access policy, and they expect you to include a Data Access Statement in your paper, even if you have not collected or produced any new primary research data (see page 10 of the UKRI Open Access Policy).

From 1 April 2022, before submitting to a journal, authors of UKRI-funded papers must establish which of these methods applies to their chosen journal before submitting. You will need to know:

1 -  fully open access journal

Is the journal fully open access (Check the Directory of Open Access Journals)? And can you publish your article with a CC BY licence? There are costs to publishing open access. Make sure you secure funding before submitting

2  - hybrid journal

Is the journal in one of SHU’s transformative (read-and-publish) deals? And can you publish your article with a CC BY licence? There are no additional costs to publishing open access
  Does the journal allow a gold open access option but is not in one of our transformative (read-and-publish) deals? And can you publish your article with a CC BY licence? There are costs to publishing open access. Make sure you secure funding before submitting

3 - subscription only journal

Does the journal allow immediate open access (no embargo) and CC BY for the accepted manuscript? If not, make sure you have added the rights retention language to your submission, which should allow you to make the accepted manuscript available as immediate open access under the CC BY licence. There are no additional costs to publishing open access


Published outputs that arise from Wellcome funding must be open and accessible to everyone.

From 1 January 2021, all original, peer-reviewed research articles that are supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must be:

  • made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official final publication date
  • published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY), unless Wellcome have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC BY-ND licence.

Their policy for monographs and book chapters remains unchanged.

The Wellcome Open Access Policy provides further details.

Wellcome also provide a page with detailed practical guidance on complying with the Wellcome open access policy.

Help with your funder requirements

For help with identifying if a journal is compliant with your funder requirements, please contact the Library Research Support Team
Call: (0114) 225 3852