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RCUK Open Access Fund

Research Council UK-funded researchers can apply to a central fund to pay for Open Access publication costs.

How much is available?

RCUK have provided a block grant of £1,074,924 for 2018/19 to the University of Edinburgh to pay for open access publication charges incurred by RCUK-funded researchers who are required to make their research available in an Open Access format.

UPDATE: The RCUK Open Access fund is running low 

From 1st December we will no longer pay open access charges for articles published in traditional subscription-based journals ('Hybrid-OA') where it is possible to comply via the 'Green' route to open access. Funds are reserved to publish articles in fully 'Gold ' open access journals.

Go 'green' where possible

The University of Edinburgh’s preference is primarily to achieve Open Access through no-cost ‘green’ Open Access, by making appropriate versions of research outputs available using PURE in line with your publisher’s policy.

There will be cases when the author’s journal of choice requires payment of an article processing charge (APC) to cover the cost of making an article available Open Access. In these cases, the author may apply to the Institutional Publication Fund to cover this. The fund is run by the Library’s Scholarly Communications Team, who will administer applications to use the fund and report on its use to RCUK.

How to apply

We will cover open access publishing costs in the following circumstances:

  • for articles published in reputable fully OA journals  (listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals:;
  • for some 'Hybrid-OA' journals where the University already has an agreement with publishers to pre-pay or offset costs, currently these publishers are:
    • Springer (but not Nature);
    • Taylor & Francis;
    • Institute of Physics;
    • Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • if papers are funded by MRC and the Green OA embargo exceeds 6 months;
  • all publications must acknowledge Research Council funding. 

To make an application please see the step-by-step guide below:

Page charges

We have now had clear guidance from RCUK that other costs resulting from the publication of Research Council‐funded research, e.g. page or colour charges, can be covered by our institutional open access block grant. The costs must be reasonable (generally less than £1,000); and the paper must be made open access by depositing a copy of the Author's Accepted Manuscript in Pure. 

If you require further information please consult our FAQs or contact us directly.

RCUK Open Access publication fund FAQs

Scholarly Communications Team

Contact details



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