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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 (see Section A below)
  • monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024 (see Section B below)

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

Section A: How to publish papers within scope of the policy

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 workflow that you must follow to achieve Route 2 (green open access). You need to:

  1. 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.

  2. When completing the copyright agreement, you need to identify yourself as a UKRI-funded author. This, in combination with the inclusion of the RRS will give us permission to apply a CC-BY license to the author accepted manuscript in CERES.

Further information from the IEEE.

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!

AIAA allows authors to share the AAM of their paper on their institutional repository (CERES at Cranfield) using a CC BY license to meet their funder’s open access requirements, for release no later than the date of first online publication.

Further information from the AIAA.


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.


Section B: How to publish longform research output in scope of the policy

If your work has UKRI funding and you have a produced a monograph, book chapter, or edited collection please make sure you know what is required of you in terms of open access. 

Check whether your work is in scope of the policy by looking at the definitions in Annex 1 of the policy

If it is, then check what requirements you need to meet. The core requirements are:

  • your final Version of Record or Author’s Accepted Manuscript must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publisher’s website, or institutional or subject repository within a maximum of 12 months of publication
  • images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content should be included in the open access version, where possible
  • the open access version of your publication must have a Creative Commons licence, with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence preferred. An Open Government Licence is also permitted. (This requirement does not apply to third party materials included in your publication)

Please note in Annex 3 lists possible exemptions if your chosen publisher has no provision for open access and there are no alternative publishers for your work.


Assistance with Open Access fees for longform output

In line with Cranfield’s institutional rights retention policy (IRRP) you should state to your publisher when you submit your output that you are retaining your rights to your work and will be depositing your AAM on the university repository. 

However, there may be instances where this is not possible, and your chosen publisher may require a fee to make your work open access. [Please inform the Library if this happens so that we can record an exception to the IRRP.]

Universities are not permitted to use their UKRI OA Block Grant to pay for longform OA publishing fees. Instead, the UKRI has set up a separate central fund to which we can apply for a grant. If you require funding to support your publication with your chosen publisher, please contact the Library’s Open Access Team who will submit a Stage 1 funding request to UKRI on your behalf. You will need to supply us with some basic information about your publication and the grant you have received.

Further support

Contact the Library Research Support Team for more help on the policy

Email the Open Access Team if you need to start a Stage 1 funding request.