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Open Access at Aston: Funder OA compliance

Past RCUK Funding Reports

Funder Open Access compliance requirements

The majority of research funders now have their own open access policies that grant holders must agree to as part of their contract with the funder. Remember that it is your responsibility as the grant holder to ensure that your publications meet your funder's open access and open data requirements. Some funders may withhold grant payments if grant holders to not meet their open access obligations.  


1. UKRI / UK Research Councils*:

Research Council Green OA Embargo Limit Gold OA Licence Europe PMC Deposit Data Access Statement
AHRC 24 months CC BY No Expected
BBSRC 12 months CC BY Suggested Expected
EPSRC 12 months CC BY No Required
ESRC 24 months CC BY No Expected
MRC 6 months CC BY Required Expected
NERC 12 months CC BY No Expected
STFC 12 months CC BY No Expected

*Note that the UKRI's Open Access policy will be changing in line with the principles of Plan S. For further details on this change, please see the UKRI website here.


  • Aston has funds from the RCUK Open Access Block Grant to cover APCs for Aston authors who hold RCUK funding. We will not cover colour and page charges. Grants should be current or no more than one year after the funding end date.

2. European Commission: 

Horizon 2020, Seventh Research Framework Programme - FP7, and European Research Council - ERC grant holders must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed publications resulting from funded research - researchers can comply with the Horizon 2020 / FP7 / ERC policy through Green or Gold open access. 

  • All research articles, monographs and other research publications must be made available through an open access repository, including Aston Publications Explorerwith a maximum embargo of 6 months (STEM subjects) or 12 months (SSH subjects). To request a shorter embargo period from your publisher, please see H2020's suggested Open Access Publishing Agreement Addendum here
  • Gold open access charges are eligible costs in Horizon 2020 / ERC grants (Note: You will need to indicate expected costs in your grant proposal and they are must be incurred during the life of the project); use of a CC BY (or variant) licence is strongly recommended.
  • All publications should acknowledge the grant in the format specified by the European Commission. Further information can be found in their open access guidance here

*Note that the European Commission's Open Access policy is changing on 1 January 2021 in line with the 10 principles of Plan S. For further details on this change, please see their website here.


3. COAF (until 30 Sept 2020)

COAF ended on 30 September 2020. Researchers with funding from the charities that made up COAF (Arthritis Research UK, Bloodwise/Blood Cancer UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Parkinson's UK) should continue to adhere to their funder's open access policies. For those with Wellcome Trust funding, until 1 January 2021 you must:

  • ‚ÄčAll research articles must be uploaded to Europe PubMed Central with a maximum 6 month embargo from publication (this is usually done by the publishers, but you should also check)
  • Monographs and book chapters should be made available on PMC Bookshelf/Europe PMC with a maximum 6 months embargo
  • A CC BY licence is required for articles where a fee is paid for open access. Funding is available through Wellcome Trust to pay article processing charges. 

Details on the current (up to 31 December 2020) Wellcome Trust open access policy can be found on their website here


4. Wellcome Trust

Wellcome Trust's new open access policy will take effect from 1 January 2021. For further details and FAQs on this change, please see their website here. This new policy is in line with Plan S principles.

  • Authors must include the required Wellcome Trust funding acknowledgement when they submit articles. This ensures that publishers know about the WT open access requirements and serves as prior notice relating to copyright.
  • Journal articles must be in PMC/EPMC by the final publication date
  • Outputs must be made freely available at the time of publication and have a CC BY licence. This applies to both accepted manuscripts and published versions.

It is strongly recommended that you read the WT's Complying with our OA Policy document. Wellcome Trust funded authors should use the Journal Checker Tool to determine if a journal is compliant with WT/Plan S policies prior to submitting articles for publication. In cases where the publisher does not offer an acceptable open access route via gold open access, authors can comply with WT/Plan S policies by using the Rights Retention Strategy with green open access. 

Checking OA Funder Compliance

You can check SHERPA/JULIET and SHERPA/FACT to see if a particular journal's Open Access policy is compliant with your funder's open access requirements. 

Authors with funding from a Plan S signatory should use the Journal Checker Tool to determine if a journal is compliant with Plan S.