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UKRI open access and data policies

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) has open access requirements for research findings arising from funded grants. See Publishing your research findings on the UKRI website.

Funders require scholarly outputs to be made openly accessible and discoverable, and will assess researchers' past outputs compliance with when considering future funding requests. Detailed below are various policies of UKRI funders that make up the largest awards to Brunel.

Some funders have internal mechanisms for funding Gold open access while, others like UKRI provide block grants to support open access based on research volume.  Some inidvidual research councils may require authors to make use of specific repositories. It can get very confusing, but it's worth bearing in mind that policies between funders are very similar but by depositing your paper in the institutional repository on acceptance and following our guidance on publishing open access you will likely be compliant. 

RCUK Funders

This policy applies only to the publication of peer reviewed research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers) and serial conference proceedings that acknowledge funding from the UKRI Research Councils, including Innovaye UK.

Researchers are expected to publish any peer reviewed research papers which acknowledge UKRI funding in journals that are compliant with the UKRI Open Access Policy.  All papers must include details of the funding that supported the research as outlined by UKRI,  and a Data Access Statement with details of how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed. 

The UKRI Open Access Policy supports both ‘Gold’ and ‘Green’ routes to Open Access, though there is a preference for immediate Open Access with the maximum opportunity for reuse with a requirement for both Green and Gold versions to be available under a CC BY licence.   If Gold Open Access is not possible, publisher embargoes for UKRI funded outputs should be as short as possible, typically 6 months or less. 

Please note although compliance through one route is sufficient, some of the research councils have other specific requirements. Authors should check their funders' open access policies and websites for information.  Some of these are detailed below:

Gold open access compliance

UKRI recognises a journal as being compliant with its open access policy through the Gold route if the journal provides, via its own website, immediate and unrestricted access to the final published version of the paper, which should be made available using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, and allows immediate deposit of the final published version in other repositories without restriction on re‐use.   This may involve payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the publisher.

Brunel holds a block grant from UKRI to support the open access costs of this policy, and authors may request funds to publish by contacting Open Access.

You can use the Plan S Journal Checker Tool to check whether your journal offers a compliant publication route, and which route to opt for. See Plan S and publishing your research.

Green open access compliance

UKRI recognises a journal as being compliant with this policy through the Green route if:

The journal consents to deposit of the final Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in any repository, without restriction on non‐commercial re‐use and within a defined period.  No APC will be payable to the publisher.

Previous open access policy allowed for a publication embargo of no more than 6-12 months between online publication and the final Author Accepted Manuscript becoming Open Access for STEM disciplines.  In the case of papers in the arts, humanities and social sciences, the maximum embargo period was 12-24 months.

UKRI Open Access Policy 2021, which came into force on 1 April 2022, requires that there is no embargo between first online publication and availablility of the final Author Accepted Manuscript in an institutional repository. The Author Accepted Manuscript must be available under a CC BY licence. 

To apply a CC BY licence to outputs made available via Green routes, authors must follow the Plan S Rights Retention Strategy. See Plan S and publishing your research for more information and to check whether your journal offers a compliant publication route, and any steps you need to take before submission and on acceptance. 

Individual research councils like MRC, BBSRC and ESRC, may have specific subject repository requirements for outputs acknowledging their funding. Please check your individual funder's requirements on their website. 


Subject repositories & ResearchFish

BBSRC and MRC are expected to deposit publications into the public repository, Europe PMC.

All grant holders must enter any publications that stem from the award into ResearchFish. This can be done easily by entering your ORCID ID. Instructions on how BRAD can help keep your ORCID ID up to date are available on our website.

How does this relate to REF?

Your article should be published in line with any funder and University requirements which will ensure it is eligible for submission to the REF. Articles can comply either the Gold (paid) or the Green (self-archiving) route to open access. By publishing your paper in line with UKRI requirements, your output will also meet expected REF requirements.


UKRI funded research articles must contain a Data Access Statement with details of how the underpinning research data can be accessed. A statement must be included on all research articles, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible. 

The statement should contain a Digital Object Identifer (DOI) link to the supporting materials or metadata description held in the University's research data repository and registry, Brunelfigshare

If the research materials are unavailable in digital format or are closed, the metadata should describe the terms and conditions of access in detail.  Data can include code, software, textual records, manuscripts, images, sounds, objects and numerical scores. 

Researchers can reserve a DOI for the data in advance of submission for publication. 

Please contact for any queries and see the related links for more information about research data requirements and publishing.