Open Access Fund

The Library manages a Fund to enable researchers to publish in open access journals that levy article processing charges.

Open access logo

Scope of the Open Access Fund

The Fund can only be used for papers where the research was funded, wholly or in part, by one of the UK Research Councils or by a member of the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF):

Research Councils UKCharity Open Access Fund
Arts & Humanities (AHRC) Arthritis Research UK
Biotechnology & Biological Sciences (BBSRC) Bloodwise
Economic & Social (ESRC) British Heart Foundation
Engineering & Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Cancer Research UK
Medical (MRC) Parkinson's UK
Natural Environment (NERC) The Wellcome Trust

Science & Technology Facilities Council

Scope: Peer-reviewed research and review articles normally published in academic journals or conference proceedings. Scope: Peer-reviewed, original (primary) research papers; Study protocols.

Funding for open access monographs is available for Wellcome Trust grant holders. This scheme is not administered through the Library, instead researchers can claim these costs back directly from the Trust.

If your publication does not fall within the terms of our fund, you may be able to apply for funds from elsewhere and the Library has negotiated free or heavily discounted Open Access arrangements with several leading publishers.

Eligibility for funding

If your paper was supported by any of the funding agencies above, you may well be eligible.  You must explicitly acknowledge your funder (preferably with a grant number) in your paper and we normally only accept applications where the corresponding author is from the University of Leicester.

You should check the relevant Research Councils UK or Charity Open Access Fund web pages for more specific guidance on their requirements before finalising where to publish.

Information on publishers who provide paid options for open access can be found at SHERPA Romeo. You can find out whether your preferred journal is compliant with your funder's requirements by checking the new SHERPA FACT database.  If you are in any doubt, please contact the Leicester Research Archive team ( for further advice.

The Fund is disbursed on a strictly first-come first-served basis and we encourage applications from researchers at any stage in their career, including PhD students.

How to apply for funding

The Open Access Fund application form covers all of the funders listed above.  The form asks you for details of your paper, the open access fee, and your grant.

Apply to the Open Access Fund (please apply before submitting your paper). Please tell us ( once your paper has been accepted and send us the invoice or payment details as soon as possible.

Please note that the Fund covers open access fees only: submission, page, colour or other charges are not supported and you will have to find another source for these.

For collaborative papers that cross institutions, we will pay 100% of the open access fee if there is a Leicester corresponding author.  Otherwise we expect the other institution to pay the charge, if they have access to RCUK or COAF funding for this purpose.

Once we have received your application, we will:

  • check all applications and give you a decision within two working days if your request is straightforward;
  • In more complex cases where we need to contact the publisher for clarification, we will let you know why there is a delay;
  • If your journal is not compliant, we will explain why and set out any alternatives for you.

If you apply to the Fund at a later stage, after your paper has been accepted, we cannot guarantee to re-imburse you from the fund since we cannot plan financially on this basis.

Finally, please note that some publishers may offer you a choice of open access licenses at the point of submission.  To comply with both RCUK and COAF requirements, you must choose the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) and no other.  Variants of CC-BY such as CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-SA are not acceptable.

Open Access Fund workflow

RCUK open access workflow


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