Funder and Institutional Open Access Mandates

4. Research Councils UK's New Policy on Access to Research Outputs

Following the publication of the Finch Report by the Government, the seven Research Councils (RCUK) made this statement: 'Free and open access to publicly-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits.  The Government, in line with its overarching commitment to transparency and open data, is committed to ensuring that such research should be freely accessible.  As major bodies charged with investing public money in research, the Research Councils take very seriously their responsibilities in making the outputs from this research publicly available – not just to other researchers, but also to potential users in business, charitable and public sectors, and to the general public.' 

Following this statement, RCUK published their new policy on Open Access.  In essence, RCUK is mandating that every paper published as a result of research funded by them (i.e. funded by the public) has to be made Open Access following one of the Gold or Green Open Access publication routes with a relevant Creative Commons Licence attached to it and with an embargo period of no-longer than 6-24 months whenever applicable.

Read the full text of the new RCUK policy and suppoting guidance below (available at, which is effective from 1 April 2013.