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Open Access

UKRI Open Access policy

What you need to know about the policy

Anyone acknowledging UKRI funding in their publications must adhere to the UKRI Open Access policy.

This applies to:

  • peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022.
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.

The policy aims to ensure that findings from research funded by the public through UKRI can be freely accessed, used, and built on.

Read the full UKRI policy now to ensure you know what your responsibilities are.

Key points and what they mean for you as a Cranfield researcher

Download the UKRI policy flowchart

Follow our UKRI policy flowchart

How to publish

The policy still includes two compliant routes to publish open access, but there are two key changes:

  • an embargo period is no longer permitted if publishing via the green route
  • only a CC-BY licence is allowed (except under certain circumstances)

Gold route (Route 1)

  • The gold route may well involve paying an APC (an article processing charge). Please see our section below on using our ‘Read and Publish’ deals and block grant to support this.
  • Using the gold route means your work will be publicly available immediately, and you will be able to apply a CC-BY licence.

Green route (Route 2)

  • The AAM (author accepted manuscript) must be made publicly available on CERES at the same time as the version of record (publisher branded version). No embargo is permitted.
  • You must include a sentence of prescribed text in your acknowledgements and any cover letter accompanying the submission. This text reads: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence’ may be stated instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.’
  • Depending on where you choose to publish, you may need to negotiate with the publisher to get permission to include the text in the AAM and publish it with no embargo. Some publishers do not impose an embargo (e.g. IEEE, AIAA, Emerald). 


If your paper is going to appear in one of IEEE’s subscription journals or conferences and it acknowledges UKRI funding, then the IEEE has created a manual workflow that you must follow to achieve Route 2. You need to:

  1. Send an email to IEEE’s Intellectual Property Rights group at as soon as you submit your article. Your email should explain that the paper acknowledges UKRI funding and as you are publishing via Route 2 you are requesting that they apply a CC-BY licence to the AAM.

  2. You must also include this piece of text in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript, and any cover note accompanying the submission:

    “For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to any Accepted Manuscript version arising.”

    This text is called the Rights Retention Statement, or RRS.

  3. Let the Library know – please send a copy of the AAM to and explain that you have requested a CC-BY licence and included the RRS. We will add the paper to CRIS so that it appears on the web profiles of all the Cranfield authors, and we will also arrange to share the AAM on CERES with the correct licence.


All ASME papers can be made available via the green route as ASME allow all authors to comply with Cranfield’s open access policy. All you need to do is send a copy of the AAM to as soon as the paper has been accepted, and we will do the rest!


The policy requires a CC-BY licence for both routes. There are two exceptions:

a. An Open Government Licence (OGL) can be used when a research article is subject to Crown Copyright.

b. A CC-BY-ND licence may be permitted on a case-by-case basis. How to apply for a CC-BY-ND licence

Remember your research data

UKRI requires all research articles to include a Data Access Statement (also known as a Data Availability Statement), even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible

Publicly funded research data should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible. Where there are reasons to protect access to the data, for example commercial confidentiality or sensitivities around data derived from potentially identifiable human participants, these should be included in the statement. More information on writing a Data Availability Statement.

Don’t worry, help is always available to ensure you are compliant!


Take advantage of our ‘Read and Publish’ deals and block grant

The Library has signed up to a number of deals with publishers that either cover APC charges in full or provide a discount. Many of the deals do not include fully gold journals, so it’s important to check if your desired journal is included before submitting your paper. Check our Publisher deals page (linked in the menu to the left) to see if your journals are included.

Cranfield also has a UKRI Open Access block grant which is given to us each year to support gold open access publishing of research funded by UKRI. 

If you are a Cranfield corresponding author with UKRI funding, and your chosen journal is not included in one of our existing deals, please contact us with the details and your grant number and we may be able to pay the APC. This may be subject to approval from your Director of Research. You can apply for funding to pay an APC by following the link in the menu to the left.


Act on Acceptance

Please continue to act swiftly when your article is accepted for publication. Forward the publisher acceptance email and AAM to the Library via

We will put the item on CRIS and validate it to ensure it appears on your web profile.


Further support

Your Library is always here to help. Ask our experts if you have any queries. 

Your Research Support Librarians:
Clare Humphries – SWEE and Transport
Mandy Smith – CDS and SOM
Emma Turner – Aerospace and Manufacturing

Your Research Data Manager:
Greg Simpson – all schools.