More in this section Open Access


RCUK policy

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Policy on Open Access (revised on 8th April 2013) states that all peer-reviewed research papers that acknowledge RCUK funding submitted for publishing from the 1st April 2013 onwards, and are published in journals and conference proceedings, must be made publicly available through Open Access (OA). The policy also states that all papers must include details of the funding that supported the research and, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed. More information about the policy and what it covers can be found in RCUK's FAQs.


RCUK policy and OA routes  

The RCUK policy supports both ‘Gold’ and ‘Green’ routes to OA, with a preference for immediate OA with the maximum opportunity for re-use (Gold OA).

Gold OA means that the publisher provides, via its own website, immediate and unrestricted access to the final published version of the paper, which should be made available using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. This may involve payment of an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC) to the publisher.

Via the Green OA route, authors deposit a version of the article in an institutional or subject repository (at Royal Holloway, documents are made OA using our research information system, Pure). The RCUK policy requires that the accepted manuscript version of a research paper (the version submitted by an author that has been accepted for publication, and that has been through a peer-review process, sometimes referred to as a postprint) is deposited in a repository. If the publisher requires it, an embargo period is also applied; RCUK will accept an embargo period of up to 6 months for the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, and up to 12 months for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and six months for Biomedicine). In some circumstances where funding for article processing charges (APCs) is unavailable during the transition period, longer embargo periods may be allowable. Publishers’ copyright policies can be checked using the SHERPA/FACT tool.

RCUK OA Policy decision tree


RCUK block grant

From the 1st April 2013, the College has received a RCUK block grant to contribute towards covering Article Processing Charges (APC) for RCUK funded research papers. In September 2015 the Royal Holloway Research Committee approved the amended “Policy for the Administration of the RCUK Block Grant for Open Access to Fund Article Processing Charges”. The original policy was implemented in May 2013. The Policy states that the Royal Holloway block grant will be divided into separate funds for each faculty, and within each faculty the money will be allocated on a “first come first served basis”. The Royal Holloway grant is administered by the Library.

APC schemes

The College is part of 3 schemes that offer discounted APCs for RCUK funded articles:

  • Springer - The library has signed a new Jisc agreement with Springer that covers all Article Processing Charges (APCs) for articles published in Springer Open Choice (hybrid) journals (see authors-intro/731990). This means that with effect from 15th October 2015 authors do not need to pay Springer an APC to make articles OA in a Springer Open Choice journal. This covers both RCUK and non RCUK research articles.
  • Taylor and Francis - vouchers offering 75% discount off the normal rate of APCs making APCs £450 plus VAT
  • Wiley - 25% discount off APCs

Eligibility and application for funding to cover APCs 

RCUK-funded researchers can apply to the APC fund, please complete the online application form. The following checklist outlines the key points to check that all the eligibility criteria for the APC funding are met as outlined in the “Policy for the Administration of the RCUK Block Grant for Open Access to fund Article Processing Charges” (section 6). 

  1. An application for APC should be made prior to a paper being submitted to a journal or conference proceeding, as there is no guarantee that funding is available.
  2. Details of the forthcoming paper must be entered into the College’s research information system, Pure, with a link made between the research output and the appropriate research project.
  3. No APCs will be covered on papers where the related research grant has already funding allocated within the grant application to cover publishing costs.
  4. APCs will only be covered for articles being submitted to Gold Open Access journals which conform to the CC-BY licence (Creative Commons licence which allows commercial and non-commercial redistribution, as long as it is passed along unchanged and includes appropriate attribution).
  5. The PI for the related research grant must support the APC application for the paper.
  6. The paper must include details of the funding that supported the research, and a statement on how the underlying research materials – such as data, samples or models – can be accessed.
  7. Any additional criteria identified by individual Research Councils need to be adhered to when necessary. For example some Research Councils, such as MRC and ESRC, have a requirement that papers must be deposited in specific repositories, such as Europe PubMed Central and the ESRC Research Catalogue.
  8. All articles in receipt of APCs must be made available in Royal Holloway’s Research Repository after publication. Articles should be added to Pure.

Application form for RCUK APCs

If you have questions regarding the Royal Holloway block grant and the eligibility criteria, please contact

Contact Us 


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback