Library and Learning Services

UKRI open access policies

UKRI has a new set of open access policies that apply to peer-reviewed research articles and conference papers submitted from 1st April 2022, and for monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024. These policies apply across all UKRI's councils (AHRC, NERC etc). Our guidance for open access books is in the second half of this page. This guidance is based on the policy documents and the FAQs on the UKRI website. If you have any questions, please contact

Journal articles and conference outputs

How do I comply with the policy?

First, all research articles acknowledging funding from UKRI must be submitted using the following text in the covering letter and funding acknowledgement section:

"For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising."

There are then 2 routes to comply with the policy:

  1. Publish the article open access in a journal or publishing platform which makes the Version of Record immediately open access via its website with a CC BY or other permitted licence.
  2. Publish the article in a subscription journal and deposit your Author’s Accepted Manuscript in an institutional or subject repository at the time of publication with a CC BY or other permitted licence. A publisher embargo period is not permitted. University of Leicester researchers must deposit via IRIS as soon as possible after article acceptance.

It is important that you do not then sign a contract with the publisher that conflicts with these terms (eg. agreeing to an embargo, or a more restrictive license), as you may then be in breach of publisher terms and conditions when you deposit. If you receive such a contract from a publisher, please contact for advice.

Will UKRI pay for open access charges?

The University of Leicester receives a block grant from UKRI. You will be able to use this if you are:

a) publishing in a fully open access journal or platform, or

b) publishing in a hybrid (subscription) journal which has been designated as a transformative journal or is part of a transitional agreement.

You can find a list of the transitional agreements (log-in required) that the University of Leicester has signed up for. In the majority of cases they allow corresponding authors from the University of Leicester to publish open access at no cost to themselves. Contact if you have any questions about eligible journals.

My chosen journal is not fully open access, and is not part of a transitional agreement

In this case we will not be able to use the block grant to pay for open access charges. You will need to take route 2 (depositing the author accepted manuscript into IRIS).

The journal checker tool

UKRI, and other Plan S funders, have launched the journal checker tool, where authors can easily identify journals or platforms that will enable compliance. The tool is based on information from research funders, institutions and transformative agreements. It tells you if the journal is compliant and how: e.g. it has a transformative agreement in place, or it is eligible for access to the block grant funding, or it allows Rights Retention.

Include a data access statement

You must include a data access statement in your article, even where there is not data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible. This informs readers where the underlying research materials associated with a paper are available, and how the research materials can be accessed. The statement can include links to the dataset, where applicable and appropriate.

For guidance on data access statements, please see our research data pages (log-in required). If you need further advice, please email

Do I need to acknowledge my funding?

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. As detailed in relevant UKRI funding terms and conditions, UKRI requires publications to acknowledge support received from UKRI.

What license should I use?

UKRI requires that the CC BY licence is applied to the open access version of the journal article or conference paper. A CC BY-ND licence is permissible via a case-by-case exception.

How UKRI will make decisions on exceptions

The decision to grant an exception will be dependent on the reasons articulated to UKRI within the context of research and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections

UKRI now requires monographs, book chapters and edited collections published from 1 January 2024 to be made open access within 12 months of publication. Creative writing, scholarly editions, catalogues and textbooks are exempt from this policy. So too are books and chapters by UKRI-funded PhD students. Please email us to discuss your options:

How do I comply with the policy?

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections must be made openly available on a publisher platform with an embargo of 12 months or less. This can either be the Version of Record or Author Accepted Manuscript. The publication should be made available on a publisher's website, online publication platform or via an institutional repository such as Leicester Research Archive (LRA).

If your publisher only offers a self-archiving option, deposit the author accepted manuscript in IRIS and we will make it available on the Leicester Research Archive (LRA).

There are funds available to pay for open access to the Version of Record (i.e. the final, official eBook). The funds are managed by UKRI, but Library Research Services will apply to the fund on your behalf. Applications will be made in two stages: 

Stage 1 - Notify UKRI that you intend to publish an open access monographs, book chapters or edited collections from a funded grant. Do this as soon as you have a commitment from an editor to publish your book or chapter (you don't need to have signed a contract) - this will help UKRI allocate funds for you. Fill in the first form (log-in required).

Stage 2 - When the book is ready to be published, your publisher will send an invoice for an open access fee. Please forward this invoice to us at: We will pay the fee on your behalf. Do not try and pay the fee yourself.

Cost limits

UKRI have set limits on the amount of money they will pay for book processing charges. The maximum limits are:

  • £10,000 (including VAT) for entire monographs and edited collections
  • £1,000 (including VAT) for book chapters
  • £6,000 rebate for a book published via a subscribe to open model.

Please note the University does not have a separate open access fund to make up any difference between these maximum costs and a publisher's quoted price. If you find yourself in this position, please get in contact with us:

What license should I select for my publication?

UKRI requires publications to use a Creative Commons licence. There is a preference for the CC BY license, however, other Creative Commons licenses are also acceptable (eg. CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC-ND). In cases where the publication is subject to Crown Copyright, an Open Government Licence can be used.

Are there any exemptions to the policy?

There are some exemptions:

  • Creative writing, scholarly editions, exhibition catalogues, scholarly illustrated catalogues and textbooks are exempt from this policy.
  • Trade books are exempt, unless they are the only output from UKRI-funded research.
  • If a contract has been signed between author and publisher before 1st January 2024 which prevents adherence to the policy.
  • UKRI-funded PhD students do not have to make monographs or book chapters that result from their funded research open access.
  • If the only appropriate publisher for your work does not provide a compliant open access option. UKRI expects this to be rare, and only after significant consideration of options and liaison with the publisher.
  • If permissions for third-party material cannot be obtained and there is no suitable alternative which enables open access publication.

Third-party materials

UKRI does not want the use of third-party materials to be a barrier to making a book or chapter open access. They have produced a helpful guide on this issue for authors and publishers. UKRI also allows authors to claim up to £2,000 to clear third-party material used in an open access book or chapter.

How long does the policy apply for?

UKRI have announced that authors will need to comply with the policy for seven years after their grant ends.

Back to top