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Open Access: UKRI (formerly RCUK) Policy

UKRI policy summary

The UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC, and STFC) issued an open access policy in April 2013, which came into immediate effect.  In summary, this states:

  • All journal articles that originate from research funded by the Research Councils must be made available on open access.
  • Gold open access should be used wherever possible.  Green open access is acceptable if no viable Gold open access is available.
  • Articles must be released with licences that are compliant with the RCUK policy.
  • Publication should be in a journal that is compliant with the policy.  Journals compliant with the RCUK policy are listed through the Sherpa FACT service –

An annual audit of compliance with the policy is carried out in September each year. 

Full details of the UKRI policy and an FAQ are available at

UKRI Gold Open Access funding

UKRI has made available some funding to the University of Hull to support use of Gold Open Access.  To apply for this funding, please use the form within the Library Services channel of sharepoint.

UKRI and HEFCE have advocated the use of quality-related research (QR) funding to support Gold Open Access APC payments.  There is no current institutional policy on financial support for Gold Open Access, and decisions on making use of this option sit at a Faculty/Departmental/individual level as appropriate.

UKRI policy guidance

The attached document provides full guidance on open access and how to comply with the UKRI policy.  This current version dates from February 2015 and replaces all; previous versions.

UKRI and licensing

The UKRI Open Access policy requires use of the following licenses when publishing on open access:

  • Gold Open Access – articles must be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY)
  • Green Open Access – articles should be licensed to facilitate non-commercial re-use.  The Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license (CC-BY-NC) meets this requirement, though other licenses that facilitate the same goal can also be used.

CC License