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.

Plan S

Plan S is an initiative for Open Access supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations. The Plan S principles inform the open access policies of the cOAlition S funders, for example UKRI and the Wellcome Trust, to realise the ambition of immediate open access for publicly funded research.

REF 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.

If you deposit your author's accepted manuscript into USIR within three months of acceptance of publication, the Library Open Access Team will make sure that it meets the requirements of the REF 2021 Open Access Policy. 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 outputs that do not meet the requirements of the REF Open Access Policy may not be eligible for submission to the REF.

The REF 2021 publication period closed on 31 December 2020 but researchers should continue to comply with the requirements of the REF 2021 OA policy. Research England will launch a consultation on the future REF OA policy following the outcome of the UKRI OA review. The Research England Open Research page includes the following statement:

"The UK HE funding bodies recognise that due notice will be needed prior to implementation of the OA policy for the REF-after-REF 2021, which will be consulted on after UKRI's OA policy is announced. The OA policy for the REF-after-REF 2021 will not come into effect on 1 January 2021 (that is, at the beginning of the publication period for the REF-after-REF 2021 exercise). The REF 2021 OA policy should be followed until further notice."

More information on the REF is available at REF 2021.

UKRI Open Access Policy

The UKRI Open Access Policy applies to peer-reviewed research articles, and monographs, book chapters and edited collections that acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils - AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, Innovate UK (IUK), MRC, NERC, Research England (RE), STFC.

For peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022, the key requirements include:

  • immediate open access with a CC BY licence (CC BY ND by exception) for research articles, either via the published version (gold open access) or the deposit of the authors accepted manuscript in a repository like USIR (green open access)
  • a requirement to notify the publisher of licensing at the point of submission for compliance with green open access, by including the following statement

'For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (where permitted by UKRI, 'Open Government Licence' or 'Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising'

For monographs published on or after 1 January 2024, the key requirements include:

  • the final published version or accepted manuscript to be open access via a publisher's website, platform, or repository, within a maximum of 12 months of publication
  • CC BY licence is preferred, but NC and ND licences are permitted.
  • Authors will be able to apply to UKRI for monograph open access funding.
  • Some long-form output types are out of scope, for example textbooks and creative works.

Authors must establish how they will meet the open access requirements when they choose a publisher and before submission. Please get in touch via to discuss how you can ensure you are compliant if:

  • you submit an article after 1 April 2022 which acknowledges UKRI funding
  • you are, or will be working, on a monograph which will be published from 1 January 2024 and acknowledges UKRI funding
  • you require UKRI to approve a licence exception.

Other funder Open Access Policies

If your research is funded by the following funders, you must ensure any resulting publications and associated data meet your funder open access requirements.

Data Access Statements

Data access statements are used in research publications to explain where supporting data can be found and under what conditions they can be accessed. Data access statements are required for all publications which are publicly funded. They often appear as a statement in the article and many journals will have data availability statement templates. But not all journals do, so you may have to include equivalent text elsewhere in the article. Further information and example wording for data access statements can be found on the open research website.