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Open Access & Institutional Repository: Policies

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For help or advice with any Open Access or Institutional Repository queries please email

Applying for Article Processing Charges (APCs) - UKRI & COAF

If you are funded by a UKRI Council or a COAF charity, you can apply for your Open Access charges to be paid out of a block grant. We will not pay for any extra publications charges.  Apply at point of submission please

APC Application Form

Making your work available through our Institutional Repository

What version of my article can I upload to our Institutional repository?

The publisher of your article will specify which version you can upload. This could be:

Pre-print: This is your original draft, prior to peer review and publisher’s corrections. Pre-print versions do not normally meet funder requirements.

Post-print: This is your corrected version of the draft, following the peer review process. Also known as the Accepted Manuscript (AM) or Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM). The content is the same as the Publisher's Version (see below), but the layout will be different.

Publisher’s Version or Published Journal Article or Version of Record (VoR): This is the final published article.

SHERPA/FACT will tell you which version of your article you can upload into our institutional repository.

What is my Funder's Open Access Policy?

RCUK’s Open Access policy came into effect on 1st April 2013.

RCUK includes the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and Science and Technology Facilities Council.

RCUK has produced some FAQs to help researchers and research organisations with their implementation of the policy.

Funder Policies

Funder & policy





UKRI (formerly RCUK)









If paid for (gold) open access, Publisher's version and CC BY licence required.

If uploaded to repository, Author's final version and CC BY-NC licence or equivalent.

Published as an open access article in a journal, or uploaded to a repository

See individual Research Council policies for details of repository requirements

See paragraph 3.6 of RCUK guidance for details

Block grant to universities for APCs


Covers payment of APC but not associated publication costs such as page charges or colour charges.

Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK) See COAF      
Bloodwise See COAF      
British Heart Foundation See COAF      
Cancer Research UK See COAF      
COAF: Charity Open Access Fund (Versus Arthritis, Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson's UK,  Wellcome Trust) Publisher's version and/or Author's final version (CC BY licence required if an APC has been paid and encouraged in other cases) PubMed Central (PMC) or Europe PMC Automatic deposit by the publisher into PubMed Central immediately on publication if an APC has been paid, or author deposit of the author accepted manuscript into Europe PMC within 6 months of publication.

Block grant available for APCs from 1 October 2014 (does not cover commissioned reviews, conference proceedings, book chapters or monographs). Wellcome Trust have a separate fund for monographs and book chapters.

Covers payment of APC but not associated publication costs such as page charges or colour charges.


The accepted manuscript.


Any repository, including ePrints Soton

Within 6 months for Science, Technology and Maths, or 12 months for Humanities and Social Sciences

Open Access costs can be charged against the grant of open projects.

European Research Council

Publisher's version and/or Accepted Manuscript

Discipline-specific repository if available, or institutional or centralised repository 

Within six months of publication. For publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities domain a delay of up to twelve months is acceptable.

Charge open access costs against grant

Gates Foundation (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) Publisher version (CC BY licence required) Published as an open access article in a journal and deposited in a specified repository.

From January 1 2017: immediate open access.


The foundation would pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms.

Horizon 2020

Final peer-reviewed manuscript or publisher version.

Aim to deposit research data, ideally into a valid data repository, although there is no obligation to do so. 

Gold open access or uploaded into an open access repository (see Section 2.1.1)

Section 2.1: Upload immediately on publication into a repository if gold open access, or within six months of publication, 12 months for Social Sciences and Humanities.

APCs are eligible for reimbursement by the European Commission, they are considered eligible cost to Grants. More info here.



Leverhulme Trust 

No open access requirement



Open access costs are a permissible expense, but must be incurred during the period of the award

NIH (National Institutes of Health) Final peer-reviewed manuscript Upload into the NIH PubMed Central system Within 12 months of publication.

Publication costs, including author fees, may be charged to  NIH grants and contracts on three conditions.

NIHR (National Institute for Health Research)

Publisher version (CC BY licence required)

Gold open access and deposit into Europe PMC

Generally immediate open access. Deposit into Europe PMC within 6 months of publication date.

The cost of APCs will be supported either through the original NIHR award or an NIHR Open Access Fund. Researchers will need to contact the awarding NIHR Programme Coordinating Centre to review the correct approach.

Parkinson's UK See COAF     From October 1st 2015.

Wellcome Trust




Current policy applies for all articles submitted for publication before 1st January 2021. After that, the new policy aligned with Plan S will apply.

WHO (World Health Organization)

Publisher's version and/or Author's final version (CC 3.0 intergovernmental organization (IGO) ported licence required if an APC has been paid)

Gold open access or deposit into Europe PMC

Deposit into Europe PMC within 12 months of the official publication date.

Please include open access costs, where appropriate, in grant applications

This list is not comprehensive; for additional policies, please see SHERPA/JULIET or check the funder’s website.