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Research funders: open access policies

An increasing number of funding bodies now have policies in place that require grant holders to make copies of any resulting publications freely available, known as open access. These policies are a condition of grant, and it is important that all St Andrews authors know how to comply.

This guide is designed to ensure you are fully informed about this before submitting manuscripts to any publishers. A summary of the requirements of each funding body is available. To see the policy summary or details of how to comply, simply select the link beside your funding body:

[NOTE: From April 2013, a new policy will apply to all Research Councils UK (RCUK) funded research: New RCUK Policy on Open Access ]

Open access repositories

Different funders have different requirements. In most cases, you will be required to make your publications available in an open access repository, either the University’s institutional repository, Research@StAndrews:FullText, or a subject-based repository such as Europe PubMed Central or RePEc. You will see this referred to as ‘deposition’, ‘self-archiving’, ‘author posting’, or ‘green’ open access.

Open access journals

A number of funders prefer authors to comply with open access requirements by submitting articles to fully open access journals, or journals that offer a (per article) paid open access option. Where this is the case, you will need to arrange this in advance of your work being published. If your publisher offers a paid open access option, this may be the only possible way of complying with funder mandates. You may also choose to publish in an open access journal that does not charge author fees (for example journals supported by societies or institutions).

Publishing in open access journals is often called ‘gold’ open access. Open access fees are normally called Article Processing Charges (APCs).

To claim APCs for RCUK-funded research outputs contact the Library open-access-support. For information on the options available for including APCs in grant applications for other funders, contact Financial Advice and Support. Information on payment of publication fees is also available from the Research Information Network.


How you are able to comply with funder open access requirements will largely depend on the policy of the publisher of the journal you are intending to publish in. We hope this information will guide you through processes which are not always straightforward.

Our research repository team in the Library can help you find out what you need to do in practical terms to comply with the open access policy of your funding body. For advice and information, contact giving details of the funding body concerned and the title of the journal you intend to publish in.

For a list of terms used in this guide, see our page of open access definitions.