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UKRI Open Access Policy: Funding now available for open access costs for monographs, chapters and edited collections

On 28 November 2023, UKRI launched a new £3.5 million fund dedicated to supporting open access costs for monographs, book chapters and edited collections for UKRI funded authors who publish within the scope of their Open Access Policy.

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 fund is opened to applications on 28 November 2023.

If you are planning to publish a publication in-scope of UKRI’s open access policy (books, chapters, edited collections and journal articles) and expect to pay for open access, you should contact the Repository & Open Access Manager repository@westminster.ac.uk as early as possible. If you plan to apply for UKRI funding you need to consider the £10,000 (incl. VAT) limit for book processing charges (BPCs), and £1000 per chapter. Also a reminder that not all journals are eligible for funding – if publishing a journal article, you should check that you can comply with the open access requirement prior to submission.

Requirements and Definitions

The requirements and definitions of in-scope and exempt types of publication are further detailed in the UKRI open access policy. In summary:

  • 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. This requirement does not apply to third party materials included in your publication, although images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the open access version, where possible.
  • 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.
  • Guidance and resources to support researchers to publish monographs and book chapters open access in accordance with the UKRI policy includes:

This applies to publications that need to acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its councils. This includes funding from:

  • the research councils
  • Research England
  • Innovate UK

Funding limits

UKRI will support a range of open access models via this fund, including subscriptions to open agreements (also known as ‘diamond’ or collective models), book processing charges and book chapter processing charges.

UKRI will contribute up to the following maximums:

  • £10,000 for book processing charges
  • £1,000 for chapter processing charges
  • £6,000 for participation in an alternative open access model (not exceeding the total cost of participation). UKRI will fund up to another £3,000 where there are two or more eligible outputs

These amounts are inclusive of VAT, where applicable.

Up to £2,000, within the funding maximum for an output, can be applied for to support costs associated with clearing permissions for third-party content to be included in the open access version of the publication. However, these costs should be accounted for in grant applications, where possible.

Checking Publisher Open Access Options

Publishers will each have their own policies and open access options and you should check directly as to whether you will be able to comply with the UKRI OA policy. Two resources have been set up to assist you in checking, or making your initial decision in who to publish with:

Jisc ‘OA for books’ Tool

The new Jisc tool, ‘OA for books’ will help authors and research organisations make informed and confident decisions in open access publishing and compliance, and will enable everyone involved in the research publication process – including authors, librarians and repository administrators – to seamlessly check whether a publisher supports compliance with UK Research and Innovation’s open access policy requirements for longform outputs. The pilot launch at the end of January 2024 has a select number of publishers, and more publishers will be added during the following six months.

Open Books Environment (OBE) Dashboard

Holly Limbert (University of Derby) and Dan DeSanto, (University of Vermont) have created the Open Books Environment (OBE) Dashboard, which provides information on open access book publishers. They aim to create a set of common criteria for an author to be able to evaluate publishing options for long form outputs and Open Access.

Trade book exemption

Trade books are defined in Annex 1 of the UKRI open access policy and, unless the only output arising from UKRI research funding, are not covered by the policy and we cannot apply for funding. A trade book is defined as an academic monograph or edited collection rooted in original scholarship that has a broad public audience.

How to apply for open access funding

The fund has a two-stage application process. The open access fund for monographs, book chapters and edited collections is expected to launch for stage 1 applications from research organisations on 28 November 2023. Stage 2 applications for funding will open in January 2024.

Stage 1

The research organisation registers the output(s) with UKRI for funding via an online form. A publishing contract does not need to have been signed at this stage.

UKRI will review the application and confirm if the output(s) will be eligible for funding. Successful applications will need to demonstrate a substantial link between the publication and UKRI research funding, as well as between the author and UKRI research funding.

Information requested at stage 1 will include:

  • name of research organisation
  • UKRI funding reference
  • author name(s)
  • title of publication
  • name of publisher
  • estimated cost (if known)

Stage 2

The research organisation provides confirmation of publication to UKRI to enable the release of the funds.

Information requested at stage 2 will include:

  • date of publication
  • confirmation of open access publication, for example a uniform resource locator or digital object identifier
  • financial information and related invoices
  • any changes to the information provided at stage 1

Seven year time limit

In-scope outputs published seven or more years after the formal end of a UKRI-funded project, will not be eligible for UKRI open access funding. UKRI will not expect such outputs to be made open access. This threshold recognises that long-form outputs can be published many years after the end of a UKRI-funded project and over time the link between them will likely become less substantial. Outputs published after 7 years are not eligible for open access funding.

Further information and applications

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 require further support, or wish to make an application, please email repository@westminster.ac.uk, as all applications must come from the researcher’s organisation and researchers cannot apply directly.

Requirements for publishing your findings will depend on the type of grant you were awarded and which council provided the funding. Always check your specific terms and conditions, and any guidance provided by the council funding your research.

UKRI open access policy: frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Reminder on Journal Articles

The UKRI Open Access Policy already applies to research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022. Please see the RKEO’s previous UKRI Open Access Policy blog for details relating to publishing journal articles openly, as we are in receipt of block grant to pay for these charges.

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