Open access options for United Kingdom authors

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).

To comply with funder mandates, researchers are able to choose from the following two options:

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).
  • 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: