Funder open access requirements

A test tube filled with green liquid

To encourage researchers to make their work openly available, many research funders now require that publications that acknowledge their funding should be open access. It’s also an integral part of REF2021.

REF2021 Open Access Policy

The University of Salford Open Access Policy has been designed so that, if you follow the University of Salford Policy you will automatically comply with the REF Open Access Policy.

The REF Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all research outputs (peer-reviewed conference papers and journal articles) accepted for publication to be:

  • deposited in a repository (such as USIR)
  • discoverable on the internet, and
  • accessible (i.e. the full text available for download)

It sets maximum timescales for each of these things to happen within, starting from the date of acceptance for publication (or for papers accepted from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, starting from the date of publication) with full text having to be accessible within either 12 months or 24 months depending on discipline.

If you deposit your author’s accepted manuscript into USIR with accurate and complete descriptive information, as soon as it has been accepted for publication, the Library Open Access Team will make sure that it is made discoverable and accessible within the required timescales. If for any reason we can’t do this (e.g. due to publisher restrictions) we will contact you to let you know and to offer further advice. Research output that does not meet the requirements of the REF Open Access Policy may not be eligible for submission to the REF 2021.

Read the REF 2021 Open Access Policy

Research Councils UK (RCUK) Open Access Policy

The RCUK Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all research outputs (peer-reviewed conference papers and journal articles) from research partly or wholly funded by the UK’s Research Councils, to:

  • include proper acknowledgement of the funders
  • include a statement of how to access the underlying research data
  • be made open access (full text available to read free of charge) within specific timescales after publication (6 months or 12 months depending on discipline)

The RCUK Open Access Policy includes a preference for immediate open access, and is linked to funding that is available to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs). Where this funding is used to pay an APC, the research output must be published under a CC BY License.

If research outputs from RCUK-funded research does not meet the requirements of the RCUK Open Access Policy this may jeopardise future RCUK funding applications.

Read the RCUK Open Access Policy and guidance information.

The European Research Council (ERC) Open Access Policy

The RCUK Open Access Policy sets out requirements for all research partly or wholly funded by the European Research Councils:

  • research outputs (research papers and monographs) must be made publicly available as soon as possible, and no more than six months, after publication
  • primary data and data-related products (e.g. computer code) must be deposited in relevant databases as soon as possible, and no more than six months, after publication of the research output

The policy also specifies preferred subject repositories for some disciplines and highlights that Article Processing Charges (APCs) may be charged against ERC grants.

Additional open access requirements may be specified in grant agreements (e.g. for FP7 and HORIZON 2020 projects).

Read the ERC Open Access Policy

Medical Research Charities

Six medical research charities are working together to advance open access. Each charity has its own policy, but they are jointly funding payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) through block awards to some research intensive organisations. The University of Salford is not in receipt of a block award so researchers working on research funded by any of these charities should refer to that charity’s policy and guidance. Some of these (for example, the Wellcome Trust) may require publication under a CC-BY licence.