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Durham University


Research Funders

Many funders now require that outputs resulting from research which they have funded, must be available open access. You are strongly advised to check as early as possible if your funder has such a policy. It could influence your choice of publisher. You need to ensure that the journal to which you intend to submit your paper offers either a Green or Gold open access option which complies with your funder's requirements.

The website SHERPA/RoMEO provides summary details of publisher and specific journals' policies about which version of your paper you can make available on the web and where (eg whether on a personal website and/or an institutional or subject repository). The website SHERPA/JULIET provides details of some of the larger funders' open access requirements. Three important funders of Durham University's research are the UK Research Councils (formerly RCUK), the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 Programme. All now have an open access requirement. Here is a brief overview.

UK Research Councils (formerly RCUK)

RCUK announced its open access policy in July 2012. It requires that journal articles and conference papers submitted for publication from 1 April 2013 must be available open access - either via the Gold or Green route.

  • Final published version made freely and immediately available from the publisher's own website
  • Must be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence
  • Likely to require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the publisher

The University has received funding from UK Research Councils to pay APCs for RCUK-funded research outputs only. Full details about how authors can apply for this funding are on the Research Office website.

  • Final accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript deposited in a repository
  • Without restriction on non-commercial re-use
  • No APC payable to the publisher
  • Made open access no later than the following maximum embargo periods
UK Research Councils-Gold option available No UK Research Councils-Gold option available
AHRC 24 12
BBSRC 12 6
EPSRC 12 6
ESRC 24 12
MRC 6 6
NERC 12 6
STFC 12 6
Additional requirements
  • All papers, whether made open access by the Gold or Green route, must acknowledge the UK Research Councils funding in the acknowledgements section of the paper. The following guidance about what wording to use is taken from Acknowledgement of Funders in Scholarly Journal Articles produced by the Research Information Network (RIN).

    This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxxx].

    Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space. Where the research was supported by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with 'and' before the final funder. For example:

    This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

  • If appropriate, include a further statement about how any underpinning research data can be accessed. You are advised to check your particular funder's policy for details of suggested wording. The Data Curation Centre (DCC) website hosted at Edinburgh University links to relevant information on the major funders' websites. But please note that the UK Research Councils policy does not require that the data be available open access. Your statement could just state the reason why it can't. For example, for reasons of commercial confidentiality or concerns about identifying the people who took part in the research.


Wellcome Trust

Wellcome has had an open access policy since 2006. But in 2012, they calculated that only 55% of papers resulting from research which they had supported were available open access. So they strengthened their policy. Now, failure to comply can result in final grant payments being withheld. And any non-compliant publication will be discounted from future bids for funding. The scope of the policy was extended in 2014 to include book chapters and monographs. Here are the main points:

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles must be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) within six months of official publication
  • Outputs must be published under under a Creative Commons Attribution licence CC-BY, if Wellcome have paid the Article Processing Charge (APC)
  • Authors must also make their scholarly monograph or book chapter available through PMC Bookshelf and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible, and no later than Wellcome's maximum embargo period of six months
    • Policy applies at the moment to researchers who received a grant from 1 October 2013 onwards
    • From October 2014, it will apply to all existing grant holders

Full details are on Wellcome's website.


European Research Council (ERC)

The ERC policy applies to any research article, monograph or other research publication that is supported in whole, or in part, by ERC funding.

  • Outputs must be deposited in a suitable repository immediately upon publication
  • Made open access as soon as possible, and no later than 6 months after the official publication date (12 months for Social Sciences and Humanities outputs)
  • ERC-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to use discipline-specific repositories
  • Open access fees are eligible costs that can be charged against ERC grants, provided they have been incurred during the duration of the project
  • Recommends researchers retain all research data files they have used during the course of their work, and be prepared to share


Horizon 2020 Programme

Horizon 2020 is the name of a European Union research funding programme. Its implementation was agreed in 2013 and brings together three previouly separate programmes including the 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7). Funds are allocated through a competitive process.

  • Policy applies to all peer-reviewed outputs
  • 'Beneficiaries' can choose either the Gold or Green route to open access
  • But they must all deposit their papers in a repository as soon as possible, upon publication at the latest
  • Beneficiaries going Gold, must deposit the published version
  • Beneficiaries going Green, must deposit the final accepted, peer-reviewed version
    • Maximum embargo period is 6 months or 12 months for Humanities and Social Science subjects
  • Beneficiaries should indicate expected Article Processing Charges (APCs) in their proposal
  • APCs incurred after the end of projects are not eligible for reimbursement
  • Whether going Gold or Green, funding must be acknowledged in the repository record and must include the following
    • the terms ["European Union (EU)" and "Horizon 2020"]["Euratom" and "Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018"]
    • the name of the action, acronym and grant number
    • the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable and a persistent identifier (eg a DOI)
  • Research data needed to validate the results in the deposited publication should also be deposited at the same time, ideally into a data repository

Full details are in the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020. There is also a FAQ available.