UKRI Open Access Policy 2021

On 6th August UKRI released its much-anticipated Open Access Policy. Applicable to research publications that acknowledge funding from any of the UKRI councils, the policy aims to ensure that publicly funded research is freely accessible and licensed in such a way that it can be re-used and built upon.

LLC Research Services are engaging with similarly placed teams across the UK to identify how the new policy affects the communities we support. We’d welcome comments from colleagues here at Dundee which could help us adapt and integrate any required changes into our services.

Broadly speaking, the policy covers:

  • Peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews and conference papers, submitted for publication on or after 1st April 2022.
  • Monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1st January 2024

For research articles, authors have two options to ensure they meet the open access requirements:

Route 1: The research article must be published open access, with the Version of Record (final version) being immediately free to view and download with a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY).

Route 2: The research article may be published behind a paywall, in a subscription journal, but the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or Version of Record (only if allowed by the publisher) must be deposited in an institutional repository (Discovery), or subject repository, at the point of final publication.

For long-form outputs such as monographs, book chapters and edited collections:

The Version of Record or the AAM must be free to view and download via an online platform, publisher’s website, or repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication. Exceptions will be permitted but further guidance is yet to be released on how these will be identified and processed. A Creative Commons Licence is required, preferably a CC-BY attribution licence.

Generally speaking the UKRI Open Access Policy aligns with PlanS and with the Wellcome Trust stance on open access. There is also an indication from UKRI in the Explanation of Policy Changes documentation that UK Higher Education funding bodies will consider “a UKRI open access compliant publication to meet any future national research assessment open access policy without additional action from the author and/or institution” though they also acknowledge that the scope of a national research assessment exercise is much broader.

There is a lot of further detail for us to work through that will impact on the way we support you but we’ll aim to keep you updated through this blog post and other communications over the coming months. If you have any feedback or queries, please contact us at



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