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Library Research Support: Open Research: University & Funder Policies

This guide is intended to provide advice and support on open access research, including guidance around Durham Research Online (DRO), open access publishing, research data management and related topics.

Researchers are expected to comply with an increasing number of open access policies.

Some of these are detailed below.  If you are acknowledging funding you can find out details about their open access policy on the Sherpa Juliet website.

  • Depositing your final accepted manuscript in DRO as soon as possible after its acceptance will help to enable you to comply with these policies. 
  • It is important to note that the Wellcome Trust requires deposit in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC. The Medical Research Council (MRC) requires deposit in Europe PMC.

Applies to journal articles and conference papers published since January 2013. Applies to academic staff and Postgraduate Research students, if they publish in scholarly peer-reviewed publications.

  • Authors must provide their final accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts for deposit in DRO within 3 months of acceptance for publication
  • Authors are also required - where possible - to deposit other output formats, eg book chapters and reports

View the full Durham University Open Access policy.

Scope of the policy

The RCUK Open Access Policy came into force on April 1st 2013. This policy applies to any peer-reviewed journal articles or conference proceedings that:

  • Acknowledge funding from one of the seven UK Research Councils: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); Medical Research Council (MRC); Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); and, Science and Technology Research Council (STFC). The policy is not applicable for research papers acknowledging funding from Innovate UK or Research England, which means that open access costs cannot be met for these funders from the block grant. 
  • Is submitted for publication on or after 1st April 2013.

The applicable research paper must:

  • Include a statement providing details of funding supporting the research (this should include the external grant code).
  • Include a statement, if appropriate, on how the underpinning research data can be accessed.
  • Be published in a journal that is compliant with RCUK’s Open Access Policy.


Compliant journals

These are either:

  • Fully open access journals that offer a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence
  • Subscription journals that offer gold open access with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence
  • Subscription journals which allow deposit in a repository, such as DRO, with maximum embargo periods for the Accepted Manuscript of:
    • 6 months (MRC)
    • 12 months (BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC, STFC)
    • 24 months (AHRC, ESRC)
  • Sherpa Romeo can be used to check the open access policy for your journal.  If further clarification is needed you can either check the publisher's website directly or contact for assistance.
Funding for gold open access

Further guidance is available on how to apply for funding from the Block Grant to pay for open access costs.

Applies to journal articles arising from grants awarded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding programmes.

  • Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript (or published article) in an open access repository
  • Maximum embargo of 6 months (STEM) or 12 months (H&SS) after which the deposited manuscript is available Open access

Making other publication formats available open access is strongly recommended.

View the Horizon 2020 Open access policy.

Wellcome Trust open access policy and funding

Wellcome has two open access policies - one which is applicable to book chapters and monographs and a second which is applicable to journal articles.  

Both of these policies apply to publications that include original research that is funded in whole, or in part, by Wellcome.


Journal articles 

Wellcome’s new open access policy applies to articles submitted for publication from 1st January 2021.

All original, peer-reviewed research articles that are supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must be:

Where there are multiple partners involved, all research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must be compliant with this policy.


Key information at a glance

To help to ensure compliance:

  1. Check the Journal Checker Tool prior to submission.  This should tell you whether, and how, you can comply in your chosen journal. Please also get in touch for guidance. It may be useful to know that;
    • Not all fully open access journal are compliant with the policy
    • You may be able to comply by publishing gold in a hybrid journal
    • You can still comply with the open access policy via the green route 
  2. Familiarise yourself with the Rights Retention Statement and and the requirement to add it to all manuscripts at the point of submission.
  3. For the payment of "fair and reasonable" Article Processing Charges please note that we are now in receipt of a small grant from Wellcome.  This can be used to cover fees for eligible authors in eligible journals. It cannot be used for any additional charges such as page charges.  Find out more about what is covered and how to apply.  The grant does not cover book chapters and monographs and Wellcome will still need to be contacted directly to apply for funds for this purpose.
  4. If you have no other means of paying an invoice it is important that you do not request gold open access/raise an invoice until you have approval to do so from the Open Access team. 


Routes to compliance (for journal articles)

Route 1: Publish in a fully OA journal or platform.

Route 2: Publish in a subscription journal and take responsibility for making the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication.

Route 3: Publish in a subscription journal through a transformative arrangement that is available to you via your organisation.

Detailed guidance on each of these routes can be found here.


Wellcome webpages

Wellcome's own webpages provide a great deal of information on their open access policy and the different routes to compliance. If you read through these and have any questions please get in touch with us or with Wellcome directly. 


Rights Retention

The Rights Retention statement must be added to your submitted manuscript even if you are publishing in a fully gold open access journal. 

'This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number xxxxx]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.'

Further information on Rights Retention can be found on the Plan S Website.


The Journal Tracker Tool

The Sway guide below explains what the Journal Tracker Tool is and how to use it to check the compliance of a journal.




Other policies

Details of other research funders' open access policies can be found in SHERPA Juliet or OpenDOAR. You can also ask the DRO Team to check the OA options for a specific journal or publication.