Research funders increasingly require that the outputs of the research they fund are made available open access. Major funders which require open access include UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), European Commission (Horizon 2020), and the medical research organisations which support Europe PubMed Central.
Open access requirements also apply to journal and conference papers to be submitted to the REF. See our guide Open Access and the REF for further information.
Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing developed by an international consortium of research funding organisations known as cOAlition S. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.
What does Plan S mean for me?
Plan S seeks to bring about a significant international shift towards open access publication of research results.
If your research is funded by an organisation that has committed to Plan S then the Plan S Principles are likely to apply (now or in the near future) as conditions of research publication.
If your research is not funded by a Plan S funder then you are still likely to benefit from Plan S through the increased availability of open access publication option.
Plan S funders
Research funders who have committed to the principles of Plan S include UK Research & Innovation, Wellcome, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organisation.
UKRI (from April 2022), Wellcome, the Gates Foundation, and World Health Organization have already implemented Plan S principles through the open access requirements which apply to their funded research.
Plan S principles
Plan S funders have agreed to 10 principles including that:
- Funded publications must be made open access immediately on publication
- Funded publications must be available under an open licence which allows for maximum reuse
- Funders will not support the ‘hybrid’ model of journal publishing, unless as part of a transformative arrangement
Making your publications open access means that the results of publicly funded research are available: to everyone for free; under conditions that enable them to be re-used and built upon.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) expects that any peer-reviewed research articles which result from funding from one or more of the UKRI councils are made open access.
A new UKRI Open Access Policy applies to all journal and conference articles submitted from 1st April 2022, as well as monographs, book chapters and edited collections which will be published from 1st January 2024.
Research articles submitted before 1st April 2022 must meet the requirements of the earlier RCUK Policy on Open Access.
For further information and help with meeting the UKRI requirements contact the Open Research team.
Resources for York researchers
Further information on the policy requirements and routes to meeting them...
To find out routes to meeting the requirements for your journal...
To pay open access article processing fees (for open access and transformative journals)...
All peer-reviewed research articles (including review articles and conference papers) which acknowledge funding from UKRI, or one of its constituent councils, which are submitted for publication on or after 1st April 2022 and then accepted for publication in a journal, a conference proceeding (with an International Standards Serial Number, ISSN), or a publishing platform, must meet the requirements set out in the UKRI Open Access Policy.
Research articles must...
In order to make sure that the first two of these requirements are met, researchers must follow one of the following pathways.
A list of open access journals can be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). A transformative journal is one which the publisher has committed to converting to being fully open access. Jisc maintains a list of approved transformative journals. Reasonable APC costs can be paid through the York Open Access Fund.
Publish in a hybrid journal under a transformative agreement.
Details of transformative agreements available to University of York corresponding authors can be found on our Open access discounts and memberships page
Deposit your article in Pure with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence so that it is publicly available immediately on publication.
For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence [where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence’ may be stated instead] to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising
Long-form publications which arise from UKRI-funded research and which are published from January 2024 must meet the requirements of the UKRI Open Access Policy.
The infrastructure for publishing long-form outputs open access is less established than for research articles, and as such UKRI requirements allow more flexibility for these outputs, as well as allowing a number of exemptions; these include textbooks, trade books, scholarly editions and outputs which are the outcome of a UKRI Training Grant.
Long-form publications must...
Authors of UKRI-funded research articles submitted to a publisher before 1st April 2022 are encouraged to meet the requirements of the new UKRI Open Access Policy but must meet the requirements on the earlier RCUK Policy on Open Access.
Under the RCUK Policy on Open Access articles must be made open access either immediately on the publisher's own platform, or through an open access repository. If articles are made open access through the repository route then an embargo will be acceptable up to a maximum of 6 months (BBSRC, EPSRC, NERC, MRC, STFC) or 12 months (AHRC, ESRC). If funding is not available to pay open access publication charges then these acceptable embargo periods can be doubled, with the exception of MRC funded research for which a 6-month embargo is the maximum accepted.
Where open access through the publisher's platform requires payment of an open access publication fee (APC) this may be payable through the York Open Access Fund.
The overarching aim of our open access (OA) policy is to make sure that knowledge and discoveries resulting from our funding are shared and used in a way that maximises their benefit to health.
Articles which report original, peer reviewed research arising from Wellcome funding and which are submitted for publication from 1st January 2021 must meet the requirements of the new Wellcome Open Access policy. It is important that you understand these requirements, and how you can meet them, before submitting an article for publication.
Research articles which were submitted before the 1st January 2021 must meet the requirements of the previous Wellcome open access policy. A separate policy applies for monographs and book chapters.
Find out whether and how to meet these requirements for a specific journal using the Plan S Journal Checker Tool.
Articles which report original, peer reviewed research funded (in whole or part) by Wellcome must be:
To ensure these principles are met, authors of Wellcome-funded research articles must follow one of three routes:
'This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number xxxxx]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.'
Wellcome-funded articles submitted before 1st January 2021 must still meet the requirements of the previous open access policy.
Where an option exists to make an output available immediately in its final published form, in a way which is compliant with the Wellcome requirements, then Wellcome-funded researchers should use this option. In most cases, this will mean using the ‘gold’ open access option.
As a minimum requirement, all Wellcome-funded research papers submitted before 1st January 2021 and accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal must be made openly available through PubMed Central and Europe PMC as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the journal publisher’s official publication date.
Wellcome Trust encourages — and where an APC has been paid requires — use of a Creative Commons CC-BY licence for funded outputs.
To comply with these requirements, reasonable articles processing charges (APC) can be paid through the York Open Access Fund.
Scholarly monographs and book chapters which arise from Wellcome-funded research must be made openly available through NCBI Bookshelf and Europe PMC as early as possible and within six months of the publisher’s official publication date.
Funding to publish open access monographs or book chapters can be requested directly from Wellcome.
For more information see the Wellcome guidance on complying with their policy.
Europe PMC is funded by major research funders across Europe, primarily focusing on biomedical research.
Europe PMC funders share a minimum expectation of open access for any research they fund.
While this minimum expectation applies to all Europe PMC funders some funders may have further open access requirements, for example Wellcome Trust.
Open Access forms an important component of the NIHR's Publications Policy. The full OA policy is available at:
Outputs arising from research funded through the Horizon 2020 programmes of the European Commission are required to be made Open Access through either the Gold or Green route.
The Open Access mandate consists of two steps:
1. Beneficiaries must deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository. This condition can be met at York by depositing into PURE.
2. After depositing publications and, where possible, underlying data, beneficiaries must ensure open access to the deposited publication via the chosen repository. This can be achieved by following either:
a) Green route - to comply with this route, you will need to check whether your chosen journal offers a compliant embargo period (six months maximum, or twelve months for Social Sciences and Humanities). See Journal policies for more information.
b) Gold route - by paying an APC.
APC costs incurred by beneficiaries during Horizon2020 projects are eligible for reimbursement by the European Commission. APC costs incurred after the end of projects are not.