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Funding and policies

Funder policies and grants

Most research funders have an open access policy that you must follow for funding to be awarded. Please read your funder’s full policy to understand what you must do. It is your responsibility to make sure your funder requirements are met.

Funding may be available through a Library administered block grant or through a publisher agreement. Where these options don’t apply, the green route should enable compliance. 

Here are the open access policies for the main research funders at the University of Leeds, with a brief summary on how to comply and what funding is available to pay for gold open access and APCs (article processing charges).

Other funders might allow you to claim the cost of article processing charges (APCs). Check your funder website for information.

Please contact us with any queries about funder policies, we’re here to help.

Funder policies and grants

UKRI (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, Research England, Innovate UK)

UKRI’s new open access policy applies to research outputs that acknowledge funding from UKRI or any of its constituent councils.

It covers peer-reviewed research articles, reviews and conference papers submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022. The policy will also apply to monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

(For research articles submitted before 1 April 2022 the previous policy still applies.)

Policy summary

You must make your research outputs open access immediately when they are first published, either through green open access or by paying for gold open access, with no embargo periods. Outputs must contain a data access statement and be made available with liberal Creative Commons licenses.

Read the full UKRI open access policy

Key policy points:

  • Research outputs must be open access immediately on first publication.
  • Publishing embargoes are not allowed.
  • Articles can be open access through a gold route in a purely open access journal or publishing platform, or in a subscription (hybrid) journal covered by a transitional agreement with Jisc.
  • Articles can be open access through a green route by depositing the author accepted manuscript in an institutional or subject repository, but embargoes on access imposed by publishers are not allowed.
  • Manuscripts must include a rights retention statement if they are to be made open access through a green route whilst published by a journal that is not part of a transitional agreement.
  • Articles must be made available with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. A Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY ND) licence may be applied by exception. Where an output is subject to Crown copyright, an Open Government Licence may be used.
  • You must notify the publisher at the point of submitting the article that a CC BY, CC BY ND or Open Government licence will be applied through a green open access route.
  • Articles must include a data access statement, even if there is no data associated with the article or the data is inaccessible.

Funding available for APCs

A block grant is provided to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs), for research funded wholly or partly by UKRI. This does not cover any other publication costs, such as page or colour charges.

Please contact the Research Support Team if you are unsure if your APC is eligible, we will help.

What to do

Contact us before you submit your article for publication. We can help you understand your options and advise you on funder compliance and what funds are currently available for publication.

The action you take depends on the type of journal you choose to publish in. Below is a guide to how to make sure you meet the UKRI requirements.

Route 1: gold open access
  • Check to see if the journal you want to publish with is a transformative journal or covered by a transitional deal using the Journal Checker Tool or our publisher agreements webpage. If your journal is covered, then we have already paid for the article processing charges and you can submit your article with no further cost.
  • If the journal is a subscription or hybrid journal covered by a transitional deal, make sure that when you submit the article you retain your rights and inform the publisher that the author accepted manuscript (AAM) will be made openly available under a CC BY licence at the time of first publication. Use Sherpa Fact to check the journal’s open access policy.
  • If your journal is a gold open access journal, make an application for open access funding to pay for the article processing charge from the block grant. We will send you a purchase order number that you can give to the publisher. The publisher will then raise an invoice. We will let you know If the application is not successful. Use Sherpa Fact to check the journal’s open access policy.

In all of these cases, make sure you include a data access statement, even if you don’t have any data.

As soon as your article is accepted for publication, add a record to Symplectic.

Route 2: green open access

If the journal is a subscription or hybrid journal that is not part of a transitional deal, you will need to use the green route to open access. Use Sherpa Fact to check the journal’s open access policy.

When you submit your article you must retain your rights. Include this text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and in your covering letter accompanying the submission:

“For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising”

If UKRI have allowed you to, you can replace "Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence" with either the "Open Government Licence" or the "Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY ND) licence" as appropriate.

Make sure you include a data access statement, even if you don’t have any data.

As soon as your article is accepted for publication:
  1. Add a record to Symplectic and upload your author accepted manuscript
  2. Check the box if you have included a rights retention statement
  3. Check the box to confirm you have included a data access statement
  4. Make sure you complete the “Link to funding” step to make it clear that you are Research Council funded.

We will make sure that your author accepted manuscript is openly available under a CC BY licence through the White Rose Research Online repository at the same time it is published in the journal.

Wellcome Trust

Policy summary

From January 2021, research articles partly or wholly funded by Wellcome must be made freely available, openly licenced and deposited in Europe PubMed Central at the point of publication.

Read the full Wellcome open access policy

Key policy points:

  • You must make your research outputs open access either through green open access or by paying for gold open access (see funding available below)
  • Articles must be made available using the creative commons attributions licence (CC BY 4.0)
  • You must include the following statement on all submissions of original research to peer-reviewed journals:
    “This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.”
  • If you choose to publish in a hybrid or subscription journal that is not covered by a transformative agreement, you must retain your rights in order to comply with the above.

Embargo period allowed

Research outputs must be made immediately open access with zero embargo period.

Funding available

A block grant is provided to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs), for publications from research funded either wholly or in part by Wellcome.

Funding covers open access fees for articles accepted for publication from 1 October 2020.

From January 2021, Wellcome will only pay if you publish in a fully open access journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). It will not fund publication fees for hybrid journals.

The funding is for article processing charges (APCs) only, not any other publication costs.

Funding is received in October and managed by the Research Support Team.

What to do

Green open access

Choose a green open access route if possible.

How to publish green open access.

Gold open access

The action you take depends on the type of journal you choose to publish in:

  • If the journal is gold open access make sure it complies with Wellcome’s policy and make an application for open access funding (APCs) from the university’s block grant.
    If your application is successful, we will send you a purchase order number that you can give to the publisher. The publisher will then raise an invoice. If you are not successful we will inform you.
  • If the journal is a transformative journal, check to see if APCs are covered by one of our publisher deals.
  • If the journal is a subscription or hybrid journal, retain your rights and make the author accepted manuscript (AAM) openly available under a CC BY licence in Europe PMC at the time of publication.

Blood Cancer UK

Policy summary

Read the full Blood Cancer UK open access policy

Key policy points:

  • A copy of the final manuscript should be deposited with Europe PMC as soon as possible, but within 6 months of the final publication date
  • Where an open access article processing charge is paid to the publisher, articles must be made available using the creative commons attributions licence (CC BY 4.0).

Funds for open access will be paid as part of grant funds or on a case-by-case basis subject to approval.

What to do

Please contact research@bloodcancer.org.uk for more information.

Cancer Research UK

Policy summary

Key policy points:

  • the publication must acknowledge Cancer Research UK funding
  • the corresponding author must be a researcher at the University of Leeds (staff member or RPG student) or the grant holder must be based here
  • the output has not already been published
  • the output is made available with the CC BY licence.

Funding available

A block grant is provided to the University to support the payment of article processing charges (APCs), for original research journal articles where Cancer Research UK funding is acknowledged.

The funding is for article processing charges (APCs) only, not any other publication costs.

Funding is received in October and managed by the Research Support Team.

What to do

Make an application for open access funding

If your application is successful, we will send you a purchase order number that you can give to the publisher. The publisher will then raise an invoice.

If you are not successful we will inform you. We will give you information about how to make your output open access through the institutional repository.

Horizon 2020

Policy summary

Publications arising from Horizon 2020 projects should be made open access by either the gold or green route.

Read the full Horizon 2020 open access policy.

Funding available

Where applicable article processing charges (APCs) can be reimbursed during the duration of the project.

What to do

Find out more about Horizon 2020 open access funding.

NIHR

Policy summary

NIHR require that NIHR-funded researchers publish their main study findings in a peer-reviewed, open access journal.

NIHR supports the aims and goals of Plan S, an initiative by a consortium of research funders to make all publicly funded, peer-reviewed research publications immediately and freely open access to the reader.

Read the full NIHR open access policy

Key policy points:

  • You must publish your research findings in a peer-reviewed open access journal that allows immediate deposit of the final published version in other repositories without restriction on re-use
  • Articles must be made available using the creative commons attributions licence (CC BY 4.0)
  • A copy of the final manuscript (the AMM) should be deposited with Europe PMC upon acceptance for publication
  • Maximum embargo period of 6 months.

All NIHR researchers must prepare and submit to the NIHR a statement on how underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed. The policy does not require that the data must be made open.

Funding available

If you are funded by NIHR, open access costs should be included in the grant application. In exceptional circumstances, the funder may pay APCs at the point of publication if the grant has been spent.

What to do

Find out more about NIHR open access funding.

Parkinson’s UK

Policy summary

Parkinson’s UK believes the best way to share papers as widely as possible is through free, unrestricted, online access.

Read the full Parkinson’s UK open access policy

Funding available

Funds for open access will be provided as additional allowable costs through grant applications and directly from Parkinson’s UK.

What to do

Please contact researchapplications@parkinsons.org.uk for more information.

Versus Arthritis

Policy summary

Wherever possible researchers are expected to choose a journal that ensures the work is available immediately on publication.

Read the full Versus Arthritis open access policy

Funding available

Authors are asked to explore other funding routes before applying for funds. Authors should apply directly via Grant Tracker.

What to do

Contact research@versusarthritis.org for more information.