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UKRI’s new OA policy: Further details

This page provides more detailed information on UKRI's new Open Access policy, including possible compliance routes.

Open Access compliance route: examples 

Manchester corresponding authors can comply with UKRI’s Open Access policy through four possible routes, depending on the journal in which they plan to publish. 

This page explains the steps that authors should take to ensure compliance via each route, with examples of journals frequently used by Manchester authors from each Faculty. 

Based on the top 50 journals in which Manchester authors publish most frequently, it’s possible to comply with UKRI’s Open Access policy via routes 1-3 (Gold Open Access): 

  • in 70% of most-used Faculty of Science and Engineering journals; 
  • in 82% of most-used Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health journals; 
  • and in 92% of most-used Faculty of Humanities journals.  

All UKRI-funded papers must also include a Data Access Statement

Compliance route 1: Publish in a fully open access journal or platform

Author actions:  

  • use the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to identify fully Open Access journals in your discipline; 
  • prior to submission, use the Open Access enquiry form to check that the Library can cover the associated Article Processing Charge (APC), to support Open Access publication and compliance with UKRI’s OA policy. 

Example journals:  

Journals in which Faculty of Humanities authors frequently publish: 

  • International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 
  • PL o S One 
  • Frontiers in Psychology. 

Journals in which Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health authors frequently publish: 

  • BMJ Open 
  • Scientific Reports 
  • Nature Communications. 

Journals in which Faculty of Science and Engineering authors frequently publish:  

  • Nature Communications 
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 
  • Scientific Reports. 

Compliance route 2: Publish in a subscription journal that is covered by a Transformative Agreement

Full details of compliance requirement:

  • Subscription journals in which it’s possible to publish papers immediately Open Access (hybrid OA).
  • Journals which are included in a Transformative Agreement between the University and the publisher, meaning that UKRI-funded Manchester corresponding authors can publish papers immediately OA in this journal for no additional fee, ensuring compliance with UKRI’s policy.

Author actions:

  • check the publisher of the preferred journal;
  • select the publisher on the Library’s Transformative Agreement webpage;
  • read the details of the publisher’s deal to check that your preferred journal is included in the deal, and if so, instructions for accessing the deal;
  • if the preferred journal is not covered by a Transformative Agreement, authors should contact the Library’s Open Access Team to discuss alternative possible compliance routes.

Example journals:

Journals in which Faculty of Humanities authors frequently publish:

  • Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Sociology
  • Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Journals in which Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health frequently publish:

  • Rheumatology
  • British Journal of Dermatology
  • International Journal of Audiology.

Journals in which Faculty of Science and Engineering authors frequently publish:

  • Royal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
  • Acta Materialia
  • AngewandteChemie. International Edition.

Compliance route 3: Publish in a subscription journal which has UKRI ‘Transformative Journal’ status

Full details of compliance requirement:

Some journals have been granted ‘Transformative Journal’ status by UKRI. Please see Jisc’s website for details of the criteria which journals must meet to achieve this status. Please note that UKRI and Plan S have different criteria for determining Transformative Journals.

It is possible to use institutional UKRI Open Access funding to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish a paper Gold (immediate) Open Access in a Transformative Journal in the following circumstances;

  • there is a Jisc-approved Transformative Agreement available with the publisher, but Manchester has not taken this Agreement;

OR

  • there is no Transformative Agreement available, but the publisher allows immediate self-archiving via Pure under CC-BY, and there is a compelling need for Gold Open Access via the journal website (for example, related to publication strategy).

Author actions:

  • authors interested in publishing in a subscription journal should check to see if the journal is covered via a Transformative Agreement – see Compliance route 2 above;
  • if Compliance route 2 is not possible, or authors are unsure, authors should contact the Library’s Open Access Team to discuss alternative possible compliance routes.
  • Prior to launch of a new Journal Checker Tool, currently being developed by Jisc, the Library's Open Access Team can determine if the author’s preferred journal has been granted ‘Transformative Journal’ status by UKRI, and advise authors if it’s therefore possible to cover the APC to publish the author’s paper Gold Open Access in the journal.

Example journals:

  • None of the top 50 most-published-in journals by authors from the Faculties of Humanities or Biology, Medicine and Health require compliance via this route.

Journals in which Faculty of Science and Engineering authors frequently publish:

  • American Chemical Society. Journal

  • ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

  • Chemical Science.

Compliance route 4: Share paper immediately OA via Pure

Full details of compliance requirement:

Publish in a subscription journal that is not covered by a Transformative Agreement, and make the accepted manuscript available in Pure, under the CC BY licence, on publication.

Author actions:

  • if an author’s preferred journal is not covered by a Transformative Agreement (route 2), and has not been granted UKRI ‘Transformative Journal’ status (route 3), papers will need to comply with UKRI’s policy via route 4. Authors can contact the Library’s Open Access team if unsure which compliance route/s are possible for preferred journals;
  • to comply with UKRI’s policy via route 4, prior to submission, authors must ensure that their manuscript includes a licence statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission, to ensure that the paper can comply with UKRI’s OA policy. Authors can obtain the licence statement via the Library’s webpages;
  • once the paper is accepted for publication, authors should deposit their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) via the Library’s Open Access Gateway. The Library’s Open Access team will ensure that the paper meets funder and REF OA requirements by verifying the manuscript version, checking applicable journal and funder policies and ensuring immediate Open Access upon publication under the CC BY licence where possible.

Example journals:

Journals in which Faculty of Humanities authors frequently publish:

  • Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
  • Employee Relations
  • Water Alternatives.

Journals in which Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health authors frequently publish:

  • The European Respiratory Journal
  • BJC
  • Nature Genetics.

Journals in which Faculty of Science and Engineering authors frequently publish:

  • The Astrophysical Journal
  • Physical Review D: Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
  • Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Why has UKRI changed its policy?​

Research funders such as UKRI are seeking to stop funded research being locked behind subscription-based paywalls.​

UKRI is a signatory of Plan S, a coalition of funders launched in 2018 with the aim of accelerating the transition to Open Access. The funder’s new policy is intended to progress this aim. Read more via cOAlition S’ website.​

UKRI’s new policy matches that of The Wellcome Trust, which introduced a new Plan-S aligned open access policy in January 2021 requiring open access on publication under the CC BY licence (or, exceptionally, CC BY-ND) for articles and conference papers. Other research funders, such as NIHR, are also preparing to introduce Plan S-aligned OA policies.​

The introduction of this new Open Access policy is one step in UKRI’s long-term aims to change publication models and publisher behaviour to stop restricting access to articles by placing them behind expensive paywalls, and instead to support immediate Open Access publication for research.​

Who will be impacted by this?​

The new policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings which acknowledge UKRI funding and are submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022.​

Roughly one third of the University's total annual journal and conference article output acknowledges funding from either one or more of the research councils, Innovate UK, or the Wellcome Trust, and so will need to ensure outputs meet new Open Access requirements (see the Library’s Understanding Open Access webpage for more information on other funder policies).

Funded authors can comply with the new policy via four routes. Based on the University’s publishing profile we would expect ~75% of funded papers to achieve compliance through publication in a fully Gold OA journal (route 1), or through publication in a journal covered by a Transformative agreement (route 2). Aside from ensuring inclusion of a Data Access Statement, authors of these papers will not need to take additional action as a result of this new policy, as it will be possible to publish papers immediately 'Gold' Open Access as before.​ 

Authors of the remaining 25% of funded papers published in subscription journals not covered by a transformative agreement, will either need to explore route 3: compliance through publication in a Transformative Journal; or to make accepted manuscripts available in Pure, under the CC BY licence, immediately on publication (route 4). 

Diagram: Breakdown of anticipated compliance routes for UKRI-funded papers with Manchester CA: Fully OA (~17%), Transformative agreement (~59%), Transformative journals/share paper via Pure (~24%)
Diagram: Breakdown of anticipated compliance routes for UKRI-funded papers with Manchester CA: Fully OA (~17%), Transformative agreement (~59%), Transformative journals/share paper via Pure (~24%)

 

Authors can select the compliance route sections above to see examples of possible compliance routes for journals frequently used within each University Faculty. 

What will happen if authors don't comply with UKRI’s Open Access policy?​

UKRI will monitor the implementation of this policy to assess compliance of research​ organisations and to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the policy and progress​ towards open access.​

The funder has not yet specified how compliance with the policy will be monitored, or the implications for non-compliance.​ At this point it is unclear how publishers will respond to the new policy, especially regarding the inclusion of licence statements in submitted manuscripts.

What about other research funders?​

A number of other research funders have, or will soon introduce, Open Access policies closely aligned with Plan S, and therefore containing similar requirements to that of UKRI. These include The Wellcome Trust and NIHR.​

Authors can find out more, including how to ensure that outputs meet the requirements of different funders’ Open Access policies, via the ‘Policies’ section of the Library’s Understanding Open Access webpage.​

If an output acknowledges funding from more than one organisation, authors must ensure that the requirements of all funders are met. The Library’s Open Access team can provide bespoke advice and guidance based on specific funding requirements.

What about monographs?​

The policy will also apply to UKRI-funded monographs, book chapters and edited collections, but only those published on or after 1 January 2024.​

The Library is undertaking scoping work to prepare dedicated support for longform outputs ahead of this policy change.​