Research and Knowledge Exchange

Research funders' policies

Support for compliance with REF, UKRI and Wellcome Trust

UKRI Open Access policy

The new Open Access policy applies to research which acknowledge UKRI funding and aligns with Plan S principles. The scope of the policy is:

  • peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings submitted for publication from 1 April 2022
  • long form publications (monographs, book chapters and edited collections) published from 1 January 2024


The policy now determines one unified set of requirements across UKRI funding councils and supports the transition to immediate open access to government funded research. 

This document focusses on the policy as it applies to journal articles and conference proceedings. Further information on long form publications will be announce in its due time. Some of the key changes in the policy include:

  • Outputs within the scope must be openly available upon publication.
  • They should be available under a CC BY licence. 


There are three compliant routes for publication:

• Publish in a subscription journal that is part of a “read and publish” deal (also called Transformative Agreement) between a publisher and UoE which allows UoE corresponding authors to publish open access for no extra cost. A searchable list of eligible journals can be found here.

• Publish your article in a fully gold open access journal or platform indexed by DOAJ (directory of Open Access Journals). UoE can cover Route 1 costs (APCs) for fully gold open access journals, authors can apply via this form. Please note that UKRI does not support page and colour publication charges.

• Publish in a subscription journal and upload your Author Accepted Manuscript in Pure on acceptance with a CC-BY licence.

Please note that UKRI will not cover the APCs for hybrid journals (journals which publish both subscription and open access articles), unless under a “read and publish” deal.


Author’s responsibilities

Before submission

• Include the following statement in all submissions to peer-reviewed journals and conference proceeding organisers. This statement must be included in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter that accompanies the article 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 from this submission.

• Use the journal checker tool to find out available compliance routes to you.

• Inform your co-authors about all UKRI publication requirements.

On acceptance

• Deposit your Author Accepted Manuscript in Pure as soon as the article has been accepted and select the CC-BY licence from the drop-down menu when uploading the file.

On publication

• Edit the Pure record by adding the publication date and the DOI as soon as possible and no later than a month after publication. Alternatively, you can email to notify the publication of the article. 


Read the UKRI Policy for further information on the data statement, licencing exceptions and pre-prints.

For CAHSS information and support on the UKRI Open Access policy, visit our SharePoint.  


Wellcome Trust Open Access policy

The Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy came into effect on the 1st January 2022 and aligns with the Plan S guidelines. It applies to journal articles, chapters and monographs. If you have been funded by Wellcome Trunst, ensure you follow the Author’s responsibilities as detailed above.

The Wellcome Trust has provided a block grant to the University of Edinburgh to pay open access article processing charges for peer-reviewed research publications resulting from research funded by one or more of the partner charities. More information on the procedure for claiming funds at Edinburgh is available at the link below:

Wellcome Trust OA blockgrant

Read the Wellcome Trust policy for further information.

For CAHSS information and support on the Wellcome Trust Open Access policy, visit our SharePoint.



REF Open Access policy

Whilst the submission to REF2021 has been successfully completed we have been advised by UKRI that for future exercises the REF 2021 OA policy should be followed until further notice.

To comply with REF Open Access policy, articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN must be deposited in an institutional repository within 3 months of the publisher's email of acceptance. The version required is the author's accepted manuscript, or the final draft after peer review and prior to copy-editing and typesetting. This document will remain closed until it is allowed under the publisher's policies to make it Open Access. This has to be within 2 years of publication in the case of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

At University of Edinburgh, this means adding a copy of the research output into PURE which publishes via the Edinburgh Research Explorer. The University aims for 100% compliance with REF2021 Open Access requirements to ensure all outputs are eligible to be considered for submission to REF2021.  The CAHSS Open Access team are happy to help researchers comply with any Open Access policies.

Author's responsibilities

On acceptance

In order to be eligible for submission to the next REF, research active staff are required to deposit the accepted manuscripts of their journal articles and conference proceedings in PURE within 3 months of acceptance.

If you haven’t yet updated the details of relevant forthcoming publication, please do so as soon as possible. To create a new record in PURE you will need:

  • The full date of acceptance
  • The author's accepted manuscript
  • A link to the source/s of research funding in the Relations section of the record (if applicable)

On publication

These manuscripts have to be made Open Access as soon as possible, according to publisher’s policies. 

If you have had an output recently published, update the details of publication (date of publication, DOI, issue and number) in the relevant field of the record as soon as possible or email the Open Access team so they can update the PURE record: A member of the team will update it on your behalf.

For CAHSS information and support on the REF Open Access policy, visit our SharePoint.


Contact for CAHSS support or for guidance on dealing with specific publishers, information on “read and publish” deals and payments of APCs.