Banner for Open Access Week 2021

The largest change you will notice in the UKRI’s new Open Access is that it will eventually apply to monographs, book chapters and edited collections, as well as journal articles.

If you receive funding from the UKRI or any of its funding councils, Research England or Innovate UK, you will need to comply with the updated UKRI Open Access policy which comes into force on 1st April 2022 for peer-reviewed journal articles, and 1st January 2024 for monographs, book chapters and edited collections.

As there can be a long lead up to publication, you will need to consider how you will meet the open access requirement early on in the publication process.

The Policy aims to ensure that findings from research funded by the public through UKRI can be freely accessed, used and built on.  This is why specific Creative Commons licences will normally be required, to allow for wide reuse and dissemination.  Embargoes and tighter restrictions that have previously been requested by publishers will no longer be acceptable.

Peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022 will need to be openly accessible from the point of publication. There are two routes to compliance:

  • Gold route: final published version available openly on the publisher’s website
  • Green route: accepted version available in a repository (WestminsterResearch – add through VREwithout embargo

Points to note for journal articles:

  • The use of UKRI funds for publishing in a ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will not be permitted.  Hybrid journals are those that charge a subscription for the journal, and open access APC charges to make select individual articles openly available.
  • Must be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI, whether gold or green open access.
  • We have ‘Read and Publish’ deals with several publishers allowing you to publish through gold open access routes at no direct charge to you, please see the ‘How to make your research articles open at Westminster‘ post for details of the journal publishers included.
  • Final details for the policy as it applies to journal articles is expected in November 2021.

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024 will need to be openly accessible within 12 months of publication.

  • The final Version of Record or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication.
  • Must be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, or other licence permitted by UKRI, whether gold or green open access.  Exceptions will be possible for use of non-commercial (NC) and no derivatives (ND) in certain circumstances.
  • There will be a possible exemption where the only appropriate publisher, after liaison and consideration, is unable to offer an open access option that complies with UKRI’s policy.
  • The policy will not apply to scholarly editions, textbooks and trade books, unless they are the only output of a funded project.
  • Final details of the policy as it applies to monographs is expected in 2022.

If you are in receipt of, or applying for, UKRI funding please see the full details of the Policy on UKRI’s website.  If you are unsure whether a specific journal will allow you to comply, or require further information, email

Post 2021-REF Open Access Policy

Although not yet announced, the expectation for the next REF (after REF2021) is that it will align closely to that of the UKRI open access policy, and that there will be similar requirements for monographs, book chapters and edited collections.  In the meantime, if you are not in receipt of a grant from an external funder who has specific publishing requirements, then you should continue to comply with the University’s Open Access Policy, which requests deposit of all research outputs into WestminsterResearch. The creator should add details via the VRE. For journal articles and published conference proceedings, a copy of the final accepted manuscript and a date of acceptance must be included. If the output is published openly by the publisher with a Creative Commons licence, you may instead upload this version.  Inline with the REF2021 policy, which we should follow until a new REF OA policy is available, this should be done within 3 months of acceptance for publication.  Adding attachments for all other types of outputs is encouraged.


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