Open access publishing

Following the UK government's recommendation in June 2012 for a move towards ‘Gold’ open access publishing, HEFCE and RCUK have implemented open access policies which institutions and researchers are required to follow to remain eligible for REF submission and future funding.

Gold open access publishing is where publishers receive their revenues from authors or their institutions rather than subscribers and so research articles become freely accessible to everyone immediately upon publication. 


The Brunel Open Access (OA) Publishing Fund

The Brunel Open Access (OA) Publishing Fund is provided to meet Gold open access publication fees and is open to all Brunel University London staff, regardless of their source of research funding. The fund is supplemented by a block grant from the Research Councils to ease the transition to Gold open access publication. 

The fund is available to support article processing charges (APCs) for publication in open access journals or hybrid journals, ie traditional journals offering an approved OA option. This allows authors to continue to publish in the most suitable journals for the research, without compromising on impact. It cannot be used to pay page or colour charges in non-OA journals. Additionally, the fund can only be used to pay for open access options which are compatible with HEFCE's open access requirements for the REF and for RCUK-funded authors with OA

Staff must upload the final peer-reviewed versions of journal articles and conference proceedings to BRAD and BURA under Brunel University London's Open Access Mandate designed to meet both RCUK and HEFCE open access requirements. 


How to apply

Please use the application form to request funding to make your article open access as soon as your article is accepted for publication and return the completed form to

Where possible, applications should be submitted before the relevant articles are submitted to the journal or at least upon acceptance. Staff can apply for multiple grants in any one year but where funds are limited priority will be given to staff that are submitting their first application.

Questions about the Brunel OA Publishing Fund should be directed to the Open Access Officer, David Walters: or extension 68014.


Which open access option should I choose?

Authors of articles paid for by the Brunel OA Publishing Fund, should not sign a standard copyright transfer agreement, but must instead choose an option granting the publisher a Licence to Publish. Please contact the Open Access Officer for advice if you are unsure which open access option to choose.

You may also wish to use an alternative licence. Jisc and SURF (the equivalent organisation in the Netherlands) have created a licence to publish that authors can use to retain the copyright in their own works while licensing the journal or book publisher to publish their work. Sample wording for authors or publishers to use to amend a publishing agreement in certain circumstances is also available.

If you are funded by RCUK you should also choose a licence which complies with your funder policy. See Complying with RCUK open access requirements below.


Is my journal OA compliant?

The SHERPA/FACT Funders and Authors Compliance Tool can be used to check whether your publisher or journal and any embargo period imposed, is compliant with your funder's policy on open access and acceptable embargo periods. 

Research Councils will accept a delay of no more than six months between on-line publication and a research paper becoming Open Access, except in the case of research papers arising from research funded by the AHRC and the ESRC where the maximum embargo period is 12 months.

If you are not funded, you should use SHERPA/RoMEO, a tool for checking your publisher's policies on copyright and self-archiving, ie depositing in BURA. To remain REF eligible, you should choose a publisher which allows you to archive the final peer-reviewed text (post-print), with a maximum embargo period of 12 months. If the embargo period is longer than this, please contact the Open Access Officer for advice.


Complying with RCUK open access requirements

If you are RCUK-funded and have published material on or since 1 April 2013, that has not been published via Gold Open Access, please contact us without delay and upload the final peer-reviewed version to BRAD as soon as possible. 

The deadline for compliance with RCUK policy for articles published on or after 1 April 2013 ends on 31 March 2015 and your RCUK funded publications must be open access by this date to avoid affecting your future funding or REF eligibility. 


Open access publishing and research data

There are also open access requirements for the underpinning research data arising from RCUK-funded research. You must include a statement on the publication stating where the underpinning data can be found. See Research data management and Dissemination and impact (internal link). 


HEFCE open access requirements for the REF

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) released its policy on open access for the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) in March 2014.

Articles and conference proceedings which are not deposited in BRAD within three months of acceptance, will no longer be eligible for REF submission under HEFCE's open access policy announced in 2014. HEFCE's policy is effective now, but will be fully implemented in April 2016.

HEFCE supports the RCUK policy on open access and requires that the final peer-reviewed versions of journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN to have been deposited in the institutional repository or equivalent immediately upon acceptance for formal publication, to be eligible for submission to the REF.

This means that Brunel researchers should routinely apply to the Brunel OA Publishing Fund to meet open access publication charges and upload the final peer-reviewed author version of their research articles to BRAD as soon as they are accepted for publication. For further information please contact

Page last updated: Friday 16 January 2015