Complying with open access policies

Elsevier works with institutions and funding bodies to help authors publishing in our journals comply with open access policies.


United Kingdom

Research Councils UK, Wellcome Trust and partners of the Charity Open Access Fund all require journal articles that result from their funded research to be made open access. The Higher Education Funding Bodies of the UK also require that journal articles meet accessibility requirements in order to be eligible for submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF).


Gold open access:

  • Choose to publish your paper in either an open access or hybrid journal.
  • Select a user license. Most UK funders – including RCUK, the Wellcome Trust and partners in the Charity Open Access fund – require authors to select a CC-BY licence.
  • Pay an Article Publishing Charge (APC). Elsevier has established a prepaid plan with some UK institutions to help cover the costs of gold open access. Read more
  • To qualify for the post-2014 REF, deposit your article in a repository after publication.  We will deposit your article in EuropePMC where required by your funder.

Green open access:

  • Check the embargo period permitted by your funder.
  • Check the embargo period for your selected journal.  If the Elsevier embargo period is longer than that permitted by your funder, please choose the gold open access route. Or, to meet the accessibility requirements for submission to the REF, please speak to your institution about applying for an exception to HEFCE’s policy.
  • If the Elsevier embargo period matches that permitted by your funder, retain a copy of your manuscript after acceptance.
  • To qualify for the post-2014 REF, deposit your accepted manuscript into your institutional repository as soon as possible after acceptance and no later than three months after the date of publication.
  • Your accepted manuscript can be made publicly accessible after the embargo period, with a CC-BY-NC-ND user license attached to it.  Further details about sharing your research can be found here.
  • Please note: The Lancet titles are the only journals published by Elsevier which have an embargo of 6 months.  If you choose to publish in these titles, authors funded by the Wellcome Trust and the other Charity Open Access Fund partners are required to deposit their accepted manuscript into Europe PMC at the point of acceptance.  If you choose to publish in other titles and your funder requires an embargo of 6 months or less (e.g. members of the Charity Open Access Fund) then please choose the gold open access route.

Help and Support

Read Elsevier's agreements with the following agencies:


United States

Following the memorandum from The White House Office of Science of Technology Policy (OSTP) each Federal Agency is directed to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research. In some cases, Agencies have already had long established public access policies such as the NIH, however most Agencies have or will announce new policies. These policies will affect how US researchers need to publish their results. To comply with US public access policies, we have outlined the open access options available to US researchers below.

Gold open access

  • Although, the US policy is focused on green open access, authors always have the option to publish their article gold open access.

Green open access

  • Authors who are funded and report on research funded by a US federal agency are able to self-archive their accepted manuscript after a 12 month embargo.
  • CHORUS: CHORUS facilitates a simple compliance process by supporting agency search portals and leveraging publishers’ existing infrastructure. Elsevier is a founding partner and US federally funded authors can publish in any Elsevier journal and simply declare their funding agency in the Access and Rights form. Elsevier will then, on their behalf:
    • Send the metadata to CrossRef for compliance reporting and for dedicated search and indexing from the CHORUS portal
    • Host the accepted manuscript on ScienceDirect
    • Make this version publicly available after embargo
    • We currently support CHORUS for the following agencies: Department of Energy, Smithsonian.
    • The following agencies will be supported shortly: National Science Foundation, Department of Defence and the United States Geological Survey
  • Deposit in PubMed Central
    Due to the NIH being one of the first federal agencies to have a public access policy, Elsevier has a long standing arrangement to support their public access policy and this allowed us to test and learn how to best support US federally funded authors and agencies. In this arrangement we deposit the accepted manuscript on behalf of the author to PubMed Central after 12 months. We also deposit gold open access articles immediately.
  • Further sharing options
    Elsevier supports authors to share their research throughout the publication process by following our sharing guidelines.

Agreements (A-Z)

For details about the agreements and arrangements please select your funder or institution: