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COAF open access and data policies

Many funders' policies require papers and underpinning research data to be made Open Access and will assess researcher compliance when considering future funding requests. Detailed below are various policies of those funders that make up the largest awards to Brunel.

For publications, Funders often have slightly different emphases on the best 'route' to open access. Some of them have internal mechanisms for funding gold open access. Some require authors to make use of specific subject repositories. It can get very confusing, but it's worth bearing in mind that policies between funders are very similar and often by simply depositing your paper into BURA on acceptance or requesting funds for Gold open access you will be compliant.

Outlined in Brunel's Research Integrity Code, the University expects all research outputs, but especially publications and data, to be made open access where possible.


The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership medical charity funders to enable free and unrestricted access to the published outputs of the research they support.

COAF will provide single combined block grants to 36 UK research institutions to meet open access article processing charges for peer-reviewed research publications resulting from research funded by one or more of the partner charities. Brunel is not currently a recipient of this block grant. If you are funded by any of the organisations listed below you are advised to contact us directly.

COAF's policy applies to original peer-reviewed research articles, non-commissioned review articles and study protocols, subject to the requirements outlined below.

Please note the Wellcome Trust also requires open access for monographs and book chapters. If this applies to you, please contact us directly.

Funds may not be used for any open access costs associated with commissioned reviews or conference proceedings and so fall outside the scope of their policy.

Gold open access compliance

  Where an APC is paid from COAF, the journal must:

(a) deposit, on behalf of the author, the final version of the article - which includes all the changes that arise from the peer-review, copy-editing and proofing processes - in PubMed Central (PMC), where it must be made freely available at the time of publication (a link to the article on the publisher site is not sufficient); and

(b) license the content under a Creative Commons Attribution-only ( CC-BY) licence.

Content deposited in PMC is automatically mirrored to the Europe PMC repository.

You can use the SHERPA/FACT database to check whether your journal offers a compliant publication route, and which route to opt for.

Green open access compliance

 If the journal allows it, you can comply with the open access policies of the partner funders by self-archiving a final author manuscript version of your paper in Europe PMC, as long as it is freely available no longer than six months of the date of publication. If you self-archive, no APC is charged and no call will be made on COAF.

You can use the SHERPA/FACT database to check whether your journal offers a compliant publication route, and which route to opt for.

Europe PMC

All COAF funders are members of the Europe PMC group. All outputs must be deposited in the Europe PMC repository. If taking the Gold route this will be immediate and dealt with by the publisher. If taking the green route this must be done by the author and made available no later than 6 months from publication.

How does this relate to REF 2021?

HEFCE allow compliance through either the Gold or the Green route to open access. By publishing your paper as Gold open access you are also compliant with REF requirements.




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