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Apply for Gold open access publishing funds

Brunel University London currently supports open access publishing and archiving of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers in line with the Open Access Mandate in the University's Research Integrity Code.  For information on open access publishing for monographs, see our guidance.

The Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund supports open access publishing for Brunel staff corresponding authors publishing research articles published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, meeting all eligibility requirements below. Articles must comply with all applicable requirements for the selected publishing route and any funders directly acknowledged as detailed in Plan S and publishing your research

On this page you can find information on:

Before you start, here is some general information about the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.

What is the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund?

 The fund is comprised of the following:

  • A UKRI Block Award to support open access costs for journal articles by Brunel authors directly acknowledging a UKRI grant.

  • A supplementary central fund to support open access costs for journal articles which do not acknowledge any funding, or where the funder does not provide a specific award for publishing costs. Some funders allow publishing costs to be met or claimed back from grants. Where this is the case, the University expects these funds to be used first before applying for central funding.  

  • Other funder block grants, which may vary based on our research award portfolio, e.g. British Heart Foundation.

How are open access publishing costs paid?

Open access publishing costs are mainly paid through the following routes: 

  • direct payment - fees are paid upon receipt of the invoice for articles where Open Access has confirmed in advance that funds for publishing are available.

  • funder pays - some funders have direct mechanisms for making open access payments, Wellcome Trust is one of these - see below.  Other funder programmes, like Horizon Europe, may allow publishing costs to be paid from a research grant. Where this is the case, the University expects these funds to be used first before applying to the central fund. 

  • pre-payment accounts - where credit is lodged with a publisher in advance and is used up as articles are published; these often offer discounted publishing costs compared to pay-as- you-go publishing.

  • transformative agreements - these include Read and Publish subscription deals which offset the costs of publishing and reading for hybrid journals. These are journals which contain both fully open and paywalled content, and charge both Article Processing Charges (APCs) for immediate open access and subscription fees for access to subscription only content. 

    Only Transformative Agreements negotiated for the UK HE sector through Jisc currently meet funder and University open access requirements. See What is a transformative agreement? 

Funders paying open access costs directly

Wellcome Trust

The University does not currently hold publishing funds for Wellcome Trust. Corresponding authors acknowledging Wellcome Trust grants in their article should claim these from the funder directly, following the mechanism advised by the funder.

Wellcome operates a strict open access policy and will not cover APC costs for articles published in hybrid journals which are not compliant with its terms and conditions. Authors acknowledging Wellcome Trust funding are advised to check 
before submission that the chosen publishing route and licence will meet Wellcome's open access policy using the Journal Checker Tool, or contacting Open Access.

Please note that the Open Access Publishing Fund will not ordinarily be able to meet the APC costs for articles acknowledging Wellcome grants as the funder reimburses costs directly to the grant. However, Open Access will provide authors with all the support needed to liaise with the funder and publisher and process the payment on your behalf through the grant. 


How to apply for open access publishing funds

Brunel authors need to request funds using the Article Processing Charges (APC) form prior to submission. This helps ensure that the best Open Access strategy is adopted for each publication. On acceptance, authors should immediately deposit their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in BRAD. 

Before submission

Authors should first complete an APC funding request form for the preferred journal or journals, before submitting a manuscript to the publisher. See our video on how to complete the form: How to fill in the APC funding request form.

  1. Apply for APC funding before manuscript submission using the APC Funding Request Form.

  2. Await confirmation from the Open Access team that your article is eligible to have its open access charges covered.

  3. Once you have confirmation, submit your manuscript. 

    Make sure your manuscript submission includes: 

    • Your unique ORCiD

    • Any required funder acknowledgments, including the official funder grant reference number

    • A Data Access Statement. If you deposit the underpinning research data in Brunel Figshare you will be able to get a unique DOI for the underpinning research data to include in the Data Access Statement. This will allow you to track citations and reuse and help to evidence impact. See our Research data management web page for more information.

See below for steps that must be completed on acceptance. 

On acceptance

Brunel authors should follow the steps below to upload the Author Accepted Manuscript to their BRAD account immediately on acceptance for all journal articles and conference papers.  This is required under the University's Open Access Mandate, and will help to ensure that the article will meet REF and funder open access policy requirements. 

As not all papers submitted are accepted, this also confirms to Open Access that the paper is being published, and if APC funding has been requested, confirm that any publishing funds held in reserve, will be required. 

For papers with an external corresponding author, Brunel authors must still deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript, in case the corresponding author fails to do so. If this is not possible, authors should contact BRAD at the earliest opportunity for further advice. 

Please note that you will need to have completed the pre-submission steps above before doing so, as your article may not be compliant and may be eligible to have open access fees covered by the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund. 

If you are new to BRAD, you can view an introductory video and the open access roadmap page and BRAD user guide for more information on how to deposit your accepted manuscript. 

    1. Go to the manual record screen of your publication in BRAD.

    2. Answer Yes to the question: Do you want to apply for APC funding?  

    3. Enter details of the corresponding author's institution, if not Brunel University London. Please note we are unable to meet APC costs for corresponding authors outside Brunel.

    4. Link your publication to all relevant grants. 

    5. Enter any additional information relevant to your request in the comments box, e.g. external sources of funding not held by Brunel and any grant/funder information not yet linked. 


    6. Upload your Author Accepted Manuscript to the publication record.


Eligibility for funding

Eligibility for open access funds is determined by a number of criteria:

Author status

The University is able to fund Article Processing Charge (APC) costs for Brunel staff corresponding authors with research responsibility, who are employed by the University at the time of submission. Authors need to demonstrate that that they meet eligibility requirements and must first receive confirmation from Open Access that APC funding can be made available before submitting a manuscript to a publisher. 

There is normally only one corresponding author, who is normally the lead or first author, according to the standard disciplinary practice. Where the corresponding author is based elsewhere, their institution or organisation is expected to meet the APC costs. If an article identifies multiple corresponding authors, for eligibility purposes, it is the submitting author's institution that is expected to meet any publishing costs. 

Staff co-authors 
Staff co-authors who are not the corresponding author, are not eligible to access the fund, including Transformative Agreements. However, where this is appropriate, the staff member may assume corresponding author responsibility and will then be eligible to apply for APC funding, subject to availablity. 

Where it is not appropriate for an eligible Brunel staff co-author to be the corresponding author, and the article acknowledges UKRI or Plan S grant funding, authors are advised to choose an alternative suitable compliant route, or to follow rights retention steps to allow deposit of the peer-reviewed and accepted manuscript under a CC-BY licence on first publication. This will make sure the article complies with the grant terms and conditions.  

Doctoral researchers
Doctoral researchers are not subject to the University's Open Access Mandate and are therefore not normally eligible to access the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.  This also includes Read and Publish Transformative Agreements which are only available to staff corresponding authors under current sector requirements. 

However, some exceptions may apply if you are on a PhD by Published Works programme, or are funded by UKRI or are corresponding author of a paper required to acknowledge a specific research grant, please contact Open Access for advice in the first instance.

In other circumstance, and only where appropriate according to contribution and other discipline standards, an eligible research staff co-author may assume corresponding author responsibility and would then be eligible to apply for APC funding.  

Research funding status

Subject to available funds, the University will pay an APC for a research article by Brunel staff corresponding authors which acknowledge a research grant, where payment is needed to comply with funder requirements for open access and where other funds are not available. 

Some Transformative Agreements may have restrictions on whether they can be used by outputs which do not acknowledge a research grant, or offer more restrictive licence options. 

Authors acknowledging research grants, should check their publication route eligibility and if the route is fully open access, contact Open Access before submission. Authors should also deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript in BRAD immediately on acceptance.

Authors without grant funding can also follow the same steps to request APC funding, where publishing in fully open access journals. 

Research output status

Not all types of research output are eligible for funding. To be considered, your output should be one of the following types:

  • peer reviewed primary research article

  • systematic review

  • conference proceedings with an ISSN

  • non-commissioned / invited review articles* 

  • all review articles acknowledging a UKRI grant.**

*Commissioned/invited reviews are not currently in scope of the fund, and authors may follow traditional publishing routes, and make the article available in the institutional repository, or find alternative sources of funding.

** The UKRI's open access policy covers all review articles including those invited or commissioned papers, where they acknowledge a UKRI grant. These are now eligible to access the UKRI open access funding administered by Brunel. 

Publication status

It is not usually possible to pay an APC retrospectively for a paper that has previously been published.  

Funds also will not be released for outputs that do not comply with the University's open access policy, any relevant funder's open access policy and Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy on open access. 

When selecting a potential publisher, authors can check whether the chosen journal and publisher meets funder and REF open access requirements using the Jisc 
SHERPA tools and the Journal Checker Tool.  Please contact Open Access for guidance.


What happens to your request?

After authors make a request, Open Access will notify you of the outcome within 5 working days. If accepted, you will receive further information and instructions relevant to you.  

Please note that if you have not followed the pre-submission requirements and have not secured confirmation of funds before submitting your manuscript, the University will be unable to meet the open access publishing costs.  

If your request is declined, this may be because the publisher does not offer a suitable licence, or may not meet publishing or academic standards. For more information see Choosing a genuine publisher and Plan S and publishing your research

If your request for funding is approved

If your request for Gold open access funding is approved,  you should:

  1. Check whether a prepayment account, discount or deal applies below. APC costs may be charged to pre-paid accounts with selected publishers. See Publisher prepayments, membership deals and discounts.  

  2. Arrange Gold Open Access under a CC BY Licence. The only exception is where a more restrictive licence is explicitly allowed as part of a Jisc-approved Transformative Agreement.

  3. Check that there are no supplementary page and colour charges associated with your article, as the Open Access fund is unable to meet these costs and you will need to find alternative sources of funding. 

Raising an invoice to pay for Article Processing Charges

If you need to follow a pay on receipt of invoice route, a requisition for a Brunel Purchase Order will need to be raised on your behalf by Open Access.  You must first have applied to us for an APC and have email confirmation from the Open Access team that the APC will be funded before submitting your manuscript.

Authors should request an invoice as follows:

  • Set the billing address with the eligible Brunel corresponding author's name and department. This will help avoid delays to payment processing. 

  • You may need to supply the University's VAT number. We are not exempt from paying VAT on open access charges. 

  • Contact Open Access to request a Purchase Order for payment from the University's central Open Access Publishing funds, forwarding the publisher's invoice.

If you are asked to make payment through one of our prepaid publisher accounts, please check the list of publishers in the below for full details on access.

Page and colour charges

The University is not able to pay supplementary costs from the central open access publishing funds, such as page / overlength or colour charges.  These charges are also not eligible costs to be paid from UKRI open access grants. These are administrative costs and not open access charges, and therefore must be invoiced and funded separately.  

Many public funders and institutions see these additional costs as disingenuous and a hangover from the paper age.  Where authors are unable to have the charges waived or removed, we advise authors in the first instance to check whether funding support is available within their own department.   


Transformative Agreements for hybrid journals 

Open access costs are increasingly included as part of transformative agreements for hybrid journals.  These include read and publish packages, transformative journals and others. See What is a Transformative Agreement?

Brunel subscribes to a number of agreements with major publishers where available and cost effective.  Those agreements to which our authors have access to at Brunel are listed in Publisher prepayments, membership deals and discounts below. 

What are hybrid journals and do they comply with open access requirements?

Hybrid journals charge both Article Processing Charges (APCs) for open access publishing and subscription fees to access subscription only content. 

Many UK and international public funders, including UKRI, Wellcome Trust and the European Commission, no longer support publication in hybrid journals unless they are published under a funder-approved transformative arrangement.  These agreements offset the costs of reading and publishing and implement the cOAlition S Plan S principles designed to accelerate the transition to full open access and remove delays and barriers encountered by those who fund, carry out or use publicly funded research.

To meet open access requirements, corresponding authors should check their publishing venue before submission using the Journal Checker Tool on Plan S and publishing your research.  

What do I do if my preferred journal is not compliant with open access requirements?

If the journal does not offer a compliant route or supports rights retention, authors are advised to choose an alternative route. Where other available journals are not suitable,  please get in touch with the team and we will work with you to look into all options available to help you publish using the best available route. 

Grant funded corresponding authors: If your article acknowledges grant funding from UKRI, Wellcome Trust and other Plan S funders, you will need to choose an alternative route to remain compliant with the grant's terms and conditions and avoid incurring any funder applied sanctions.  You will also not be able to access any open access publishing funds held for non-compliant routes. 

Non-funded corresponding authors:  It is recommended that you choose a UKRI compliant publishing route or rights retention wherever possible. This will also support national negotiations for UK transformative agreements. However,   your article will continue to comply with current REF open access policy until it is revised at a later date.  It is expected that future REF policy will be the same or similar to the UKRI open access policy requirements from 1 April 2022.

If you are not acknowledging a specific research grant and are unable to make your research immediately open on publication through paid open access publishing or rights retention, contact Open Access for advice. 

Is there a list of journal titles covered by Transformative Agreements for Brunel authors?

We are currently working on producing an indicative list of titles which are included in our current deals, in response to feedback from authors that they would find it helpful to identify target journals where publishing costs are likely to be included in the subscription agreements. As soon as this is available, a link will be posted here.

In the meantime, authors acknowledging grant funding can continue to check individual titles for any grant funders being acknowledged, using the Journal Checker Tool.  The tool can currently only provide results based on funder acknowledgement, and while authors not acknowledging grant funding do not need to choose funder compliant titles, they can use the tool as a guide only, to see whether a Transformative Agreement is in place at Brunel or a title might be fully open access and whether the corresponding author needs to apply for APC funding. To so, simply choose UKRI as the funder, as this will show any Transformative Agreements which are available at Brunel. 

Work is underway to develop a lookup tool for the UK HE sector, which is able to display this information reliably and which will be able to update information in line with changes which can affect a journal's Transformative status, including journal ownership, publisher opt outs, institution's current subscription status, or title flips from hybrid to fully open access. 


Publisher prepayments, transformative agreements, membership deals and discounts

Brunel has arranged deals with the following publishers to reduce the cost of APC payments and to support other open access initatives.  We are adding new deals all the time as they are negotiated, so please contact us if a publisher you expect to see is not on the list or it is listed as non-compliant in the Journal Checker Tool. In some cases, open access publishing may be capped or restricted by funder to certain titles only.  

Deals which meet the UK Jisc Transformative Agreement criteria, in line with Plan S principles are clearly marked as such.  Even where a publisher is on this list, authors must check publishing route compliance using the Journal Checker Tool before submission. Please note that Transformative Agreements are only accessible to Brunel authors meeting the eligibility criteria above. 

BioMed Central

APC discount = 20%

The prepayment account discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article. See request process above. Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.


Transformative Agreement.  No fee when certain funders are acknowledged (e.g. UKRI, Wellcome Trust) otherwise 20% discount if paid from the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.

APC discount =20%. Applies to articles not eligible under the transformative agreement.

BMJ Publish and Read Pilot Agreement 2021:

There will be no direct charge to authors or Brunel for open access if an eligible corresponding author is at Brunel; the paper acknowledges UKRI or selects UK health charities as funders; the articles are original articles reporting on primary research; the article will appear in a journal covered by the deal. 

Otherwise, an APC is payable.  A 20% prepayment account discount may apply but only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article. See the request process above. Once approved, eligible authors should be able to choose to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

Cambridge University Press 

Transformative Agreement. for all eligible papers

Cambridge University Press Jisc Read & Publish deal:
Brunel authors are eligible for an effective waiver of open access costs under the Cambridge University Press Jisc Read and Publish agreement. The corresponding author will need to be at an eligible institution.

The paper will have to be original research of an eligible type: research articles, review articles and rapid communications, brief reports and case reports. The journal must be listed as one of those covered by the agreement.


Transformative Agreement for all eligible papers - some titles are excluded from the agreement.

Eligible Brunel authors can publish eligible types of article in the Elsevier journals included in the arrangement without further cost. Not all Elsevier titles are included and some fully open access titles incur charges. Authors must check whether a fee applies before submission, and apply to Open Access for APC funding. Authors must wait for confirmation before submitting the manuscript.

You can read more about the arrangement here.


Not yet Transformative. A UK agreement is expected to be in place in 2024. Authors acknowledging grants will need to verify that the output will comply with their funder's policy and that they can access any publishing funds.

Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE) prepayment account:
The University must first agree to meet the cost of the article, otherwise authors will be invoiced directly (see request process above). Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

Please note, it is not usually possible to pay additional overlength / page charges from the Open Access Publishing Fund, so authors must be careful to keep length of works within author guidelines or secure funds from the department to cover additional charges incurred.  

Institute of Physics (IOP)

Transformative Agreement for all eligible papers

IOP Open Access for the UK (2020-):
Corresponding authors affiliated with Brunel are currently eligible to publish research articles and reviews (letters, papers, reviews and special issue articles) open access in IOP List A and List B journals at no additional cost as these are covered by the read and publish agreement.

For details see: Open Access for the UK (2020-) - IOPscience - Publishing Support

Open Library of the Humanities membership

The Open Library of Humanities (OLH) is a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). They are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future.

The OLH publishing platform supports academic journals from across the humanities disciplines, as well as hosting its own multidisciplinary journal. Launched as an international network of scholars, librarians, programmers and publishers in January 2013, the OLH received two substantial grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and has since built a sustainable business model with its partner libraries.

We commit to the OLHUMs model each year.

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Transformative Agreement for all eligible papers

OUP - Read and Publish deal for 2021-2023:
There will be no direct charge for open access if the corresponding author is at Brunel, where publishing a research or review article which is submitted on or after 1 January 2021. The article will appear in a journal covered by the deal

You can read more details here: UK Institutions (Jisc affiliated) | Journals | Oxford Academic (

Public Library of Science (PLoS) prepayment account

Fully Open Access publisher

APC discount = 10%

A prepayment discount applies only when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article  (see the request process above). Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

Royal Society membership

APC discount = 25%

We pay an annual membership. All Brunel authors are entitled to a 25% discount on the cost of APCs by the Royal Society.


Transformative Agreement for eligible papers

APC discount =20%  This applies to articles which are not included in the Transformative Agreement.

SAGE UK Jisc Agreement:
Papers accepted in 'Sage Choice' titles (subscription journals) with Brunel corresponding authors are entitled to be made immediately open access on the journal website without direct charge. Papers appearing in fully open access Sage journals are entitled to a 20% discount.

Please ensure you choose a CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution) license when taking advantage of this arrangement. The scheme is outlined in more detail here:  United Kingdom | SAGE Publications Ltd

Springer Nature

"Springer Compact" APC = Transformative Agreement for all eligible papers
"Springer Open" APC = Same conditions as BioMed Central

Springer Compact Jisc Consortium Read and Publish Transformative Agreement:
Applies to Springer 'Open Choice' titles (i.e. the majority of Springer's subscription journals). A Read and Publish agreement is in place which means that papers with Brunel corresponding authors can be published open access articles in Springer Compact titles without charge. Be aware that your affiliation is checked.

Springer Open:
Due to the merger between BMC and Springer Nature, Springer Open titles (i.e. fully open access Springer journals) are processed through the BMC deal described above. 

Taylor and Francis

Transformative Agreement for all eligible papers

Taylor and Francis Jisc Consortium Transformative deal:
Corresponding authors affiliated with Brunel are currently eligible to publish original research articles open access in Taylor & Francis and Routledge Open Select (subscription) journals at no cost to themselves.

For more details see the Taylor and Francis website: Open access publishing for researchers in the UK - Author Services 

Wiley & Hindawi

Transformative Agreement for all eligible outputs.  An APC is payable via Prepayment Account for outputs above publisher quota.  

APC discount = 25%. This applies to articles that are not included in the Transformative Agreement.  This is a capped agreement and access under the Transformative Agreement may be limited to funded research only. Articles over the cap are routed through the Wiley  prepayment account. 

Wiley Jisc Read & Publish Open Access Agreement:
There will be no direct charge to authors or Brunel for open access if an eligible corresponding author is at Brunel; the paper acknowledges UKRI or select UK health charities as funders; the articles are original articles reporting on primary research; the article will appear in a journal covered by the deal. For more details on the Jisc Read & Publish Open Access Agreement, including relevant funders and other eligibility criteria see the Wiley website: Open Access for Authors in the UK 

Wiley prepayment account:
For articles outside the cap, a 25% prepayment account discount applies when the University agrees to meet the cost of the article. Once approved, eligible authors should be able to select to charge costs to Brunel during the payment process.

See Wiley Open Access for UK authors.