Does your funder have an open access policy?

Does your funding purse come with strings attached?

If you are receiving funding for your research then there may be conditions attached regarding open access and possibly research data too.

Many funders have now introduced open access policies that apply to any publications that result from that funding. These policies are usually more demanding than the HEFCE REF policy (which commences on 1st April 2016) so even if you are complying with that, you may not have done enough!

How to check your funder

You can check your funder’s policy on the Sherpa Juliet database ( This gives details and links for all relevant policies. These are split into “Open Access Archiving” (i.e. self-archiving your paper in the institutional repository or other archive), “Open Access Publishing” (where you publish your paper) and also any “Data Archiving Policy”. The key word to look for is “Required” – this means you are obliged to act to meet the conditions of your funding.

PhD students also need to be aware of these requirements – for example, RCUK-funded students now have to adhere to the RCUK’s open access policy (PDF link).

How much will it cost?

There may not be any cost attached to meeting requirements if you can self-archive your paper in RIS to be open access in our repository Cronfa. Publishers are keen to promote their paid-for open access options but most allow some form of self-archiving. There will only be a cost if you need to pay the publisher an Article Processing Charge (APC) to make your paper open access (the “Gold” route) – this would be necessary, for example, if the publisher’s copyright policy does not meet your funder’s stipulations on embargo periods or licensing (check the Sherpa Romeo database).

Some funders allow the use of grant money to cover any open access costs. We also have a central fund at Swansea University for any RCUK-funded researchers.

Why are they giving researchers MORE work to do?

Although the increasing number of open access policies can feel like additional workload, they are all designed to get more people reading and using the research that is being funded from the public purse (“Free and open access to publicly-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits” say RCUK). There is also a growing body of evidence that open access publication can increase impact and boost citations.

Help is available!

  • The ISS Research Support team can help with any open access queries: contact us on
  • Research Data Requirements? Contact the new Swansea University Research Data team: if you need to investigate your Data Archiving options.


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