Policy on access to research publications

Current and future research fundamentally relies on access to the findings and ideas that come out of publicly-funded research. EPSRC fully support the concept of universal access so that everyone can benefit from this knowledge and, with the other UK Research Councils, has adopted a new policy on access to research publications with effect from 01 April 2013.

UK Research and Innovation policy on open access

The full Policy and Guidance are available on the UK Research and Innovation website. The key elements are as follows:

  • The policy applies to peer‐reviewed research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers) and conference proceedings that acknowledge funding from the UK’s Research Councils and are submitted for publication on or after 01 April 2013
  • Such works should be published in academic journals that comply with the policy. A Journal may comply with the policy through two routes:
    • Either it must make the work immediately and freely accessible online under a CC-BY licence. An article processing charge may be payable; this option is often known as the gold route.
    • Or, if it does not offer the gold option, the journal must allow deposit of the full and final text of the work (as accepted for publication including all changes arising from peer review) in a freely accessible online repository and without restriction on non-commercial re-use. For works arising from EPSRC funding this must be permitted no longer than six months from the date of publication. An article processing charge will not be payable; this option is often known as the green route.
  • A Journal may choose to offer both routes; if the gold route is offered but funds are not available to pay the article processing charges then the maximum permitted embargo period for articles arising from EPSRC-funded research is twelve months.
  • The choice of route to Open Access remains with the researchers and their research organisations. Both ‘gold’ and ‘green’ routes to Open Access are acceptable; the policy preference is for immediate Open Access with the maximum opportunity for reuse (in other words gold).
  • UK Research and Innovation is making funding available to support payment of article processing charges through block grants awarded directly to research organisations. Publications costs associated with works covered by the policy are therefore no longer allowable on EPSRC research grants.
  • Works covered by the policy must acknowledge the funding source(s) using the standard format agreed by funders and publishers in 2008. They must also, if applicable, include a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.
  • UK Research and Innovation recognises that the journey to full Open Access is a process and not a single event and we therefore expect compliance to grow over a transition period anticipated to be five years.