Home » Open Access » NIHR introduces new open access policy favouring the paid ‘gold’ method

NIHR introduces new open access policy favouring the paid ‘gold’ method

All peer-reviewed research papers that have been wholly or partially funded by the NIHR should now be made immediately open access by paying the journal publisher a fee at the time of publication, known as ‘gold’ open access.

This new statement will affect all papers submitted for publication after 1 April 2014.  It includes review articles, final reports and executive summaries.

There will be a period of transition but NIHR expects full compliance in four years.  Revised policy and further guidance will be issued over the summer.

View the current policy:

Existing policy states:

“For any research supported by DH or NIHR funds, the DH and the NIHR expects all research costs (including publishing costs) to be budgeted for when the research is commissioned. Therefore, the DH or NIHR will not routinely fund additional publishing costs separately. However, if a researcher can demonstrate that the whole of the DH or NIHR award has been used for the purposes of the intended research and that the budget was correctly managed, the DH or NIHR may consider additional support on a limited ad hoc basis.”

Please ensure when putting a grant application together that you include all expected costs of paid open access publishing.  The average cost per paper is around £1.8k but can be much higher.  For example, to publish in BMJ costs £3k + VAT.

To get an idea of specific costs of publishing in your journal of choice use SHERPA/RoMEO, a web site that makes details of journal/publisher open access policies available from a single, searchable interface.  SHERPA/FACT allows you to find out whether your chosen journal is compliant with selected funder policy (if it’s MRC compliant it will be NIHR compliant).  The Open Access Team can advise if you’re uncertain.

NIHR has not as yet noted a particular licence requirement but it’s almost certain that they will start to ask for the CC-BY licence to be attached to published journal articles to come in line with other funders of medical research, such as MRC and Wellcome.

If you have any queries about the policy please contact your research support team or the Open Access Team.

We will post further details of the new policy as we receive them.


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