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Latest Open Access requirements

The four UK HE funding bodies have a policy for Open Access in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). In order to be eligible for the next REF the policy requires peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings to be available through an institutional repository when they are accepted for publication.

Make sure your work can meet REF requirements

Log in to Pure and upload your paper as soon as it is accepted – the Library will take care of the rest. See how to deposit in PURE

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. For practical information on how to comply, simply select your funding body below:

Open Access Policy for REF 2021

The four UK HE funding bodies have a new Policy for open access in the current Research Excellence Framework. The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to REF 2021, peer-reviewed author accepted manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication.

To comply with the policy, St Andrews researchers should deposit their peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings in PURE.

RCUK Policy

From April 2013, a new policy applies to all Research Councils UK (RCUK) funded research: see New RCUK Policy on Open Access and RCUK OA Policy: how to comply. To claim APCs for RCUK-funded research outputs see details of funds available.

EU Horizon2020

The European Commission (EC) now requires open access to all peer reviewed research articles resulting from Horizon 2020 project funding. You should include any associated costs in your EU grant applications. See further details on how to comply with EU policy.


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.

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, St Andrews Research Repository, 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.

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

For information on the options available for including APCs in EU grant applications, contact Financial Advice and Support Teams. Information on payment of publication fees is also available from the Research Information Network.

Our Open Access support 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.