Open Access Publishing: Requirements of Research Funders

What is Open Access Publishing (OA)?

OA literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA to research articles:
• OA archives or repositories do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain un-refereed preprints, refereed postprints, or both. The University has an open access repository, Leicester Research Archive (LRA), which is run by the Library.

• OA journals perform peer review and then make the contents freely available. Their expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space. OA journals often charge a processing fee on accepted articles in return for making them available via the internet for free.

The University requires academic staff to put details of all research outputs into the central publications database (IRIS) and to deposit copies of items in the LRA. 

How can I find out the requirements of my research funder?

Many of the major research funders, particularly in biomedical sciences, now require grant holders to deposit publications arising from research they fund in an OA archive or to use an OA journal.

For example
• Wellcome Trust
• Medical Research Council
• British Heart Foundation
• Cancer Research UK
all require authors to deposit of articles in the OA archive UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) within 6 months of publication.

Economic and Social Research Council requires deposit of a copy of any article in its Research Catalogue.

Other examples include
• Arts and Humanities Research Council
• Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
• Natural Environment Research Council
which all require deposit of a copy of any article in an OA repository (such as LRA or UKPMC).

Finally, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council strongly support OA deposition and the EU are trialling a required OA deposit system in certain areas of FP7 funding.

For more information on the requirements of your funding body consult the funding body policies and journal guidelines, but if you need advice, please contact the funding body directly.

You can also get help on OA and how to deposit publications in LRA from staff in the Library.  

The publisher charges for OA deposition. Can I get some help?

The University Library administers the Open Access Fund. This covers both RCUK and Wellcome Trust Open Access funding. Please contact for further information.

The British Heart Foundation requires deposit of articles in UKPMC and will reimburse valid fees on receipt of a copy of the paper and the fee invoice. Where multiple funding bodies are acknowledged BHF will pay a proportion of the cost.


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