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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.

Applies to all original, peer-reviewed research publications that have been supported - in whole or in part - by Wellcome, including book chapters and monographs.  This policy will be applicable for articles submitted for publication up to 31 December.  From 1st January there will be a new policy.

Journal articles

Green open access

  • Deposit final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript in Europe PMC
  • Deposited file to be made open access within 6 months of publication

Gold open access

  • Publisher must make the final published Version of Record (VoR) available in PMC and Europe PMC
  • VoR must be published under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) which allows others to re-use the output for commercial purposes
  • Wellcome will pay the open access costs

Book chapters & monographs

Green open access

  • Deposit final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC Bookshelf and Europe PMC via the deposit form
  • Deposited file to be made open access within 6 months of publication

Gold open access

  • Publisher must make the final published chapter/monograph available in PMC Bookshelf and Europe PMC
  • Final Version of Record (VoR) must be published under a Creative Commons licence - CC-BY strongly preferred but Wellcome will accept CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND
  • Wellcome will pay the open access costs

View the Wellcome Open access policy.

Wellcome Trust policy from 1st January 2021


Applies to journal articles that report original, peer-reviewed research supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome funding.  It will require all research articles to be:
  • made freely available at the time of publication
  • openly licenced

There will be 3 routes to compliance:

Route 1 Route 2 Route 3
Publish in a fully Open Access journal or on an Open Access platform (gold open access). Publish in a subscription journal and make your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) open available in an OA repository (green open access).  Publish Open Access in a subscription journal which forms part of a transformative agreement  (gold open access).
Wellcome WILL fund Wellcome WILL NOT fund.  Wellcome will CONTRIBUTE at the institutional level. 

Wellcome's preferrred routes are 1 or 3 which ensures the final published version is OA at time of publication. Please see their webpage for detailed information on the routes. 

There will be a journal checker tool available soon (coming Autumn 2020) which Wellcome require you to use to check your preferred journal complies with the policy. 

A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) public copyright licence must be applied to all journal articles or author accepted manuscript or you must complete an exception form to publish under a Creative Commons No-derivatives licence (CC BY-ND). More information about this is on the Wellcome webpages

Book chapters and monograph policy will not be changed (see above). 

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.