Accessibility statement

York Open Access Fund

The York Open Access Fund supports the transition to open access for research publications through publisher agreements, payment of APCs (article processing charges), and support for open infrastructure.

Open Access publisher agreements

Our open access publisher agreements allow University of York researchers to publish their journal articles as open access at no additional cost. These agreements are usually open to all authors affiliated to York, and cover all faculties and disciplines.

Find out more about our open access agreements

Paying open access publication costs

The Library administers funds from UK Research & Innovation and Wellcome to pay open access publication costs (APCs) for the research they fund.

Request payment of open access APCs

UKRI Open Access Funding 2021/22

From April 2021 we’re changing the way that UKRI open access funding is allocated. If your research was funded by one of the UKRI research councils and you wish to publish in a ‘hybrid’ journal (i.e. a journal that is not fully open access) then APCs will only be paid following approval from your department. You should still request payment through our online request form. APCs for publication in a compliant open access journal will not require department-level approval.


Eligibility criteria and further information

Which articles can be published open access at no extra cost through a publisher agreement?

The eligibility criteria for agreements vary.

In most cases publisher open access agreements can be used by any staff or students directly affiliated with the University of York. (Honorary, visiting and NHS researchers without an employment contract with the University may not be eligible for some deals unless funded by UKRI, Wellcome Trust or one of the former COAF group of medical charities). All agreements will include original research and review articles and some will include other article types. 

The description of each agreement will include a link to a list of journals included in that agreement, details of the criteria for that agreement, and information on how to ensure that your article is identified for inclusion. 

Publisher agreements sometimes include article number caps which are negotiated and applied at a national level for all UK Universities. To manage these caps it may sometimes be necessary for the UK consortia to prioritise access to publisher agreements based on which organisation funded the research. The restrictions are usually, but not always, temporary. If any restrictions are in place, this will be indicated in the details for that agreement.

Are publisher open access agreements the same as ‘transformative agreements’ or ‘transformative arrangements’?

Most of our publisher open access agreements are ‘transformative’ as defined by Plan S.

‘Transformative arrangements’ include a range of commitments from publishers to transition to an open access publishing model. ‘Transformative agreements’ are the most common type of transformative arrangement and most of our publisher agreements fall under this definition. To be considered ‘transformative’, agreements must be agreed with the Jisc consortium and listed in the ESAC registry.

The details for each of our agreements will include information on whether or not the agreement is considered ‘transformative’.

If I want my article to be made open access under a publisher agreement, do I need to submit a request to the Library?

If the journal that you are submitting to is included in a publisher agreement then open access can be requested through the journal’s own systems and there is no need to submit a request to the Library.

In some cases publishers will automatically include your article based on your affiliation to University of York. For some journals you may have to select the appropriate option in the publisher’s system. Information on how to ensure that your article is included can be found in the details for each agreement.

Who is eligible to request payment of open access fees?

APC payments can be made on behalf of staff or students directly affiliated with the University of York and who acknowledge funding from one of the UKRI research councils and/or Wellcome. The author making the request should usually be a member of the University at the time that the output is submitted for publication.

Authors should acknowledge their affiliation with University of York as set out in the University Policy on the Publication of Research.

Which outputs are eligible for open access funding?

APCs for UKRI or Wellcome funded research can be paid for output types which fall under the scope of the specific funder’s open access policy. This will include journal articles which report original research. Articles which acknowledge UKRI funding and which are published in conference proceedings are also eligible. It will not usually be possible to pay APCs for review articles which are commissioned by the publisher.

Articles funded by UKRI or Wellcome should acknowledge the funding in the recommended format, including grant numbers.

"This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number xxxx]."

"This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa]."

Which journals are eligible for open access funding?

The eligibility of journals for payment of APCs will depend on the funder of the research.


Wellcome have implemented the principles of Plan S in their open access policy.

Reasonable APCs can be paid to fully open access journals provided they meet the criteria of the Wellcome Open Access Policy and the Plan S Technical Guidance and Requirements. Fully Open Access Journals will be indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Reasonable APCs can also be paid to journals registered as ‘transformative’ with Plan S, provided they meet the criteria of the Wellcome Open Access Policy and the Plan S Technical Guidance and Requirements. Plan S maintain a Page listing Plan S compliant Transformative Journals.

To check compliant publication routes for your journal of choice you can use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool.


Reasonable APCs will be paid to fully open access journals (indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals), provided that they meet the criteria of the UKRI Open Access Policy.

Reasonable APCs can also be paid to journals registered as ‘transformative’ with Jisc. A full list of these journals can be found at the Jisc-Approved Transformative Journal List.

To check compliant publication routes for your journal of choice you can use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool.

For articles submitted before 1st April 2022 it may be possible to pay APCs for publication in subscription journals. The payments will require approval by Department Research Committees before funds can be released.

What type of open access licence should I select to publish under?

Creative Commons licences work alongside existing copyright to enable other researchers to openly read and reuse your work. Open access publishers will often give authors a choice of licence under which to publish their work.

If your work is funded by UKRI or Wellcome then it is a condition of the funding that a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence be used. Variants such as CC BY-NC or CC BY-ND will not meet this requirement. Other research funders may have similar conditions on the licence which must be used.

UKRI-funded authors can request an exception to publish under a 'no-derivatives' (CC BY-ND) licence. Authors wishing to do this must complete UKRI's No-derivatives licence exception for each article to which they want the exception to appy. 

Where no funder requirement is in place, you are encouraged to use the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence. Other Creative Commons licences place restrictions on how openly your work can be used and this will not usually be necessary.

For more information on licencing your work see our Copyright practical guide. 

What types of publication cost can be covered by the open access fund?

The fund can only be usedto pay open access publication costs for authors and articles meeting the othe criteria given on this page. Other publication costs such as standard (non-open-access) publication fees, page charges, colour charges, copyright permissions etc. cannot be paid through the fund. This applies to both publisher open access agreements and the APC payments.

Some open access journals are piloting new funding models where an editorial or submission fee is charged for all submissions, with a further publication fee charged for those that go on to be accepted for publication. It will only be possible to pay such fees from the fund if an open access publication results from the submission.

When should I request payment of publication fees?

To avoid delays in publication you should check the availability of funds as early as possible in the publication process. The availability of funds will be dependent on the journal in which the article will be published, so it will not be possible to indicate the availability of funds until you know which journal you are submitting to. Sometimes the journal of choice might change during the review process, but please be aware that changes in journal might impact the availability of funds.

If my publication was not funded by UKRI or Wellcome how can I pay open access publication fees?

Many other research funders will provide funding for open access publication costs, but these are not administered through the York Open Access Fund. In most cases, these costs would be reimbursed from the original award.

It may be possible for open access publication fees to be paid from Departmental funds.

In the first instance you should check availability of funds with your funder or department research administration.

Why are the criteria for payment of APCs in place and how were they decided?

There are a number of factors that have been taken into account in deciding these criteria.

External funders such as UKRI and Wellcome have conditions around the use of their open access funding which the University must adhere to. Open access partnerships and membership are often agreed through a national consortium (Jisc) and the conditions for use of those agreements are set at national level.

Local York policy on allocation of funds is intended to support our commitment to the principles of Open Research while maximising the use of limited funds in the fairest way possible. Approaches to allocation have been agreed in discussion between the Library, Faculty Research Groups and Open Research Strategy Group, with oversight from University Research Committee.

York Open Access Fund is intended to serve the needs of the York research community. If you have any feedback on the criteria or approaches taken please contact us.

What is considered a reasonable APC cost?

There are no clear-cut rules about what is a reasonable APC and different publishers and platforms can offer a different range of services. It is often the case that more ‘prestigious’ journals charge higher APCs, but there is little evidence to explain why this should be the case. As a guide, the average cost for an APC at the University of York for 2020-2021 was £2,145.85; the most expensive was £8,314.14, and the cheapest £392.47.

Contact us

If you need any further information on the York Open Access Fund please contact us at