Research Councils UK (RCUK)

Funding body agreement

Elsevier has established an agreement with the Research Councils UK (RCUK) which allows RCUK-funded authors to comply with their open access policy implemented from the 1st April 2013.  Authors can choose to comply with RCUK policy by either gold or green open access, see below:

 Gold open access option:
RCUK-funded authors can publish their article open access in an Open Access Journal or in an established journal which support open access publishing. Upon publication, Elsevier will:
  • Enable authors to identify themselves as being funded by RCUK via our funding body form.
  • Provide the option to publish with a CC BY license, as required by RCUK.
  • Add the CrossMark® identifier and links back to the authoritative version of record on ScienceDirect.
  • Provide immediate and permanent free access to the final published article on ScienceDirect.
To choose the gold open access option a publication fee is payable by the author or institution. Elsevier's fees range from 500 – 5000 US Dollars. Visit the individual journal homepages for specific open access pricing information.

To help UK authors comply with RCUK's policy, Elsevier and JISC Collections have developed a pre-paid plan for open access publication fees.

See eligible institutions for the prepaid plan

Green  open access option:
For RCUK-funded authors, who wish to self-archive their manuscript to comply with RCUK policy, the following steps apply: 
  • Authors need to keep a copy of their manuscript, which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the peer review process (also called an accepted author manuscript AAM).
  • Post this version on their institutional repository for public access after a journal-specific embargo period has expired.
  • Authors should add a link back to the final version of the article hosted on ScienceDirect.
To choose this option there are no fees for either the author or institution.
Authors are required to wait until their journal's embargo period has expired before posting. For a majority of Elsevier journals this is between 12 – 24 months.

See list of RCUK applicable embargo periods

Help and Support

Specific details on the funding body agreement between RCUK and Elsevier

RCUK's policy allows what UK Government policy refers to as gold open access (paying an article publication fee to make the article immediately available) and green open  access (posting the author's accepted manuscript to the author's website or institution's website or repository after a journal-specific embargo period has expired). Elsevier enables authors to comply with the RCUK policy under both mechanisms. By publishing gold open access authors can meet the UK Government's and RCUK's preference for articles to be made open access immediately upon publication.

 For gold open access:

  • Authors can comply with RCUK's policy and make the article immediately available by publishing in either an Open Access Journal or in a primarily subscription journal via our Open Access Article program.  In either case a publication fee needs to be paid. These mechanisms are what UK Government policy and RCUK policy refers to as gold open access. Elsevier's publication fees are journal-specific. Please note for some journals, additional colour / page charges may apply. For specific pricing information, please refer to the individual journal's guide for authors.
  • Authors who are funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Elsevier will deposit the article to PubMed Central (PMC) and PMC mirror sites on behalf of the authors. All articles posted to PMC and PMC mirror sites will have a CrossMark® identifier and link back to the authoritative version of record on ScienceDirect.
  • For ESRC - funded authors, as a further service, Elsevier will also deposit the article to the ESRC Research Catalogue.


For green open access

  • Green open access works by relying on the subscription model. As such, Elsevier requires an appropriate period time to deliver value to our subscribing customers before the manuscript becomes available to the reading public for free.
  • Elsevier permits author posting of their accepted author manuscript, to their institutional repository, after an RCUK applicable journal-specific embargo period has expired. For a majority of our journals this is between 12 – 24 months. 
  • There are some exceptions in which Elsevier journals have longer or shorter periods than 12- 24 months.  Our embargo periods are journal-specific and reflect a number of individual journal characteristics. These include factors such as the volume of articles, usage over time, and the role of the journal in its academic community.
  • Posting of the manuscript to PMC, or PMC mirror sites, is only permitted to authors funded by MRC and BBSRC after the journal-specific embargo period has expired.