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. The University has implemented its open access policy in the Research Integrity Code.

Brunel authors required to publish journal articles and conference proceedings (with an ISSN) via Gold open access routes, where publishers charge a fee to make the article immediately accessible to the public, can apply to the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund. Unfortunately, the fund cannot currently be used to pay for publishing monographs (with an ISBN).

The Brunel Open Access (OA) Publishing Fund

The Brunel Open Access (OA) Publishing Fund is provided to meet Gold open access publication fees or article processing charges (APCs) for publication in open access journals or hybrid journals, ie traditional journals offering an approved OA option. This means that authors can continue to publish in the most suitable peer-reviewed journal, without compromising on impact.

It is open to all Brunel University London staff, irrespective of the source of research funding. The fund is supplemented by a block grant from Research Councils UK to meet the costs of transitioning to Gold open access publishing.

The fund 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 and RCUK open access requirements.

All applicants are expected to comply with Brunel's open access policy and upload the final peer-reviewed author version of journal articles and conference proceedings to BRAD upon acceptance for publication.

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.

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 licence 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 a CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) licence or equivalent if available.

If you are funded by RCUK, a CC-BY licence is also recommended. You should also choose a licence which complies with your funder policy. See Complying with RCUK open access requirements below.

To remain REF eligible, as a minimum, a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial) licence or equivalent is recommended.

See also Which licence option should I choose? for more information on selecting an appropriate licence whether you are a staff or student author. Please contact the Open Access Officer for advice if you are unsure which open access option to choose.

Alternative licences

Where no specific licence is mandated, you may also wish to consider an option granting the publisher a Licence to Publish, an alternative licence or amending the publisher agreement.

Jisc and SURF (the equivalent organisation in the Netherlands) have created a model licence for authors to use with publishers which allows authors retain the copyright in their work, while granting the publisher a licence to publish their work.

Sample wording for authors or publishers to use to amend a publishing agreement in certain circumstances is also available.

Is my journal OA compliant?

Complying with REF open access requirements

You can use SHERPA/RoMEO, a tool for checking your publisher's policies on self-archiving (Green OA) and embargo periods.

To remain REF eligible, you should choose a publisher which allows you to archive the final peer-reviewed draft via BRAD upon acceptance for publication, with a maximum embargo period of 12-24 months depending on the discipline. If the embargo period is longer than this, please contact the Open Access Officer for advice.

Complying with RCUK open access requirements

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

If you are funded by Research Councils UK, the full text of any articles published on or since 1 April 2013, must be open access via BRAD, to avoid affecting your eligibility for future funding and that of the University. Maximum embargo periods allowed vary by funder and/or discipline.

Research Councils will accept a delay of no more than six months between online 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.

RCUK open access publishing and research data requirements

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. For suggested text and procedures 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. HEFCE's policy will be fully in force on 1 April 2016.

The final peer-reviewed versions of journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN must 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: Wednesday 25 November 2015