Research Councils UK (RCUK) have an Open Access policy and makes funds available to pay Open Access publication charges
Claiming Open Access Publication Fees
Please read the SGUL process workflow chart below to find out how to claim open access publication fees.
1. What is the RCUK Open Access Policy and what types of publications does it apply to?
The RCUK Open Access Policy aims to achieve immediate, unrestricted, on-line access to peer-reviewed and published research papers, free of any access charge.
The policy applies to the publication of peer‐reviewed research articles (including review
articles not commissioned by publishers) and conference proceedings that acknowledge funding from the UK’s Research Councils.
2. What is required by the policy, and does it make a difference when an article was submitted for publication?
The policy to make papers available on open access applies to papers that were submitted for publication (but not necessarily accepted) after 1st April 2013. Both the funder and the grant should be acknowledged.
During the transition period (5 years from 2013) RCUK will allow the block grant to be used for reimbursement of article processing charges for papers submitted for publication before the 1st April 2013, but only where costs for the charges were not included in the grant. See RCUK FAQs 3.3 (opens pdf).
Where an article processing change is paid to make an article Open Access, RCUK expects the article upon publication to be: Available immediately and with unrestricted access on the publisher website, and to be made available with a CC-BY licence, allowing immediate deposit in other repositories without restrictions on re-use
Where no article processing change is paid, RCUK expects that: The journal consents to the deposit of the Author Accepted Manuscript in any repository without restriction on non‐commercial re‐use and within a defined period see point 3.
In addition, if the research is funded by MRC or BBSRC, in order to be compliant, the paper must be archived in Europe PubMed Central. This may be done automatically by the publishers if an article processing change is paid, but can also be done by the author via Europe PMC Plus
3. Can I go via the Green route rather than Gold for papers arising from RCUK funding?
RCUK has a preference for immediate, unrestricted open access (Gold) (see RCUK FAQs 2.1) and has an expectation that the majority of the OA block grant funding it provides will be used to support the payment of article processing changes for Gold open access. Articles must be licenced under the CC-BY licence
4. How long an embargo is acceptable?
In STEM disciplines, RCUK will accept a delay of no more than six months between on‐line publication and the final authors accepted version of the manuscript becoming Open Access. In the case of papers in the arts, humanities and social sciences (which will mainly be funded by the AHRC and the ESRC), the maximum embargo period will be twelve months.
Where funding for article processing changes is unavailable to an author, during the transition period, longer embargo periods will be allowable (see RCUK FAQs 2.2).
12 months for STEM
24 months for AHRC and the ESRC
All research papers in biomedicine must be published OA immediately, OR with an embargo of no longer than 6 months (as has been the MRC policy since 2006).
In circumstances where research is funded by more than one funder, including multiple Research Councils, the shortest embargo period will apply (see RCUK FAQs 5).
5. Where can I get help regarding the RCUK requirements?
Guides and information can be found at:
Frequently Asked Questions can be found at:
RCUK contact information is at:
6. If the published article does not meet the RCUK open access requirements, will any sanctions apply?
RCUK is monitoring compliance. The RCUK policy describes a ‘journey’ to full Open Access. There is a transition period anticipated to be 5 years (from 2013)
The sanctions set out in the FAQs are that non-compliant research papers will not count towards the institution’s compliance target for Open Access RCUK FAQs 2.2 & 2.3
7. What funds are available to pay for Open Access Article Processing Charges?
RCUK has made available to St George’s an annual block grant in order to pay for Open Access APC’s for research papers arising from research they have funded.
8. Who can ask for payment of Open Access Article Processing Charges from the SGUL RCUK block grant?
The author requesting reimbursement of the open access fee is to demonstrate that they are either the Principal Investigator or the corresponding author, and supply the grant reference number.
If the research grant was awarded before 1st April 2013 and funds were specified in the grant to cover publication costs, this should be used before using the RCUK block grant.
The open access block funding provided to St George’s is to cover access publishing costs for RCUK funded research from 1st April 2013.
9. How do I ask for payment of Open Access Article Processing Charges from the SGUL RCUK block grant?
These funds can be accessed by researchers at St George's. The specific conditions of the funder with regards to open access publication need to be met in order for St George's to use these funds to reimburse the APC.
10. What if the research is funded by more than one funder?
If the article has arisen from research funded by more than one funder, where the block grant is available the cost of making the paper available on open access should be split proportionally.
11. Does the RCUK Block Grant cover page charges and colour plate charges?
Yes, SGUL will allow page charges and colour charges to be paid from the block grant.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2017 16:23