Understanding your funders' expectations
It is essential to know what your funders’ expectations are regarding publications and research data. Non-compliance with funder requirements policies may result in future funding being refused or, in the case of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), with a publication not being eligible for submission.
In the case of the REF, it is essential to continue complying with the Open Access Policy even after the end of the 2021 submission.
Even though most funders’ Open Access policies regarding publications and research data apply later in the project, it is important to be aware of them from the planning stage; especially in cases when you write Open Access costs into the bid.
Open Access requirements
The University’s policy on Open Access to research outputs (PDF) outlines what the University expects of researchers in terms of Open Access to research outputs, including journal publications and monographs. These requirements are aligned to funder policies.
The Open Access requirements of major funders are outlined below. You can look up other funders’ policies at the Sherpa Juliet database.
Although the submission to REF 2021 is now complete, you must continue to meet the requirements of the REF 2021 Open Access Policy for future assessment exercises, until further notice.
- The policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings (published with an ISSN)
- The author’s accepted manuscript needs to be deposited in an Open Access repository as soon as the paper is accepted for publication, and no later than 90 days from acceptance
- Deposited manuscripts must be publicly available within 12 months (REF panels A and B) or 24 months (REF panels C and D)
- Articles published for Open Access meet the policy requirements.
The UKRI Open Access Policy policy applies to:
- peer-reviewed research articles submitted for publication on or after 1 April 2022
- monographs, book chapters and edited collections published on or after 1 January 2024.
With respect to research articles, the policy requires you to:
Publish the paper Open Access, making it available immediately at the time of online publication with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY)
Make the accepted manuscript of the paper available in an Open Access repository, immediately on publication, with a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY)
You are also required to:
- Acknowledge the funders that supported the research
- Include a data access statement, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible.
What has changed from the previous UKRI policy?
The policy has introduced changes related to how the UKRI Open Access block fund may (or may not) be used to support OA publishing.
The policy also indicates what you need to do to comply with immediate OA via the repository.
These changes are summarised below.
|How are OA costs funded?||What do you need to do?|
|Articles published in purely OA journals|
From UKRI OA fund (same as now: funds available for Surrey corresponding authors)
Page charges and colour/image charges are NOT supported
|Request OA (APC) funds as before|
|Articles published in ‘hybrid journals’ (subscription journals that offer an OA publishing option)|
UKRI fund still covers these articles if a transitional agreement with the publisher is in place
Page charges and colour/image charges are NOT supported
UKRI will no longer fund articles in subscription journals which are not under transition to OA
Surrey corresponding authors covered by an agreement qualify for OA.
If you are publishing in a journal not covered by an agreement, you will need to use alternative sources of funding or choose the repository route. See below.
|OA via a repository|
To ensure your article is available immediately on publication in line with UKRI policy, you must act on submission.
Please add the following statement to the funder acknowledgement section and to any submission cover notes/letters: “For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising”.
A new policy applies for research articles submitted from 1 January 2021.
Research articles funded by the Wellcome Trust must be:
- Made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official publication date
- Made available under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY), unless the funder has agreed to an exception of a CC BY-ND licence.
Aligning University, funder and REF Open Access policies
The University has aligned its OA publishing policies - particularly the way OA funds are used to support OA - with the UKRI policy.
Whether your research is UKRI-funded or not, the guidance below helps you:
Open data requirements
Most funder data policies recognise the value of research data in advancing scholarship, enterprise, and the public good. These policies outline expectations about how researchers should manage, share, and preserve the data produced by their funded projects. Similarly, the University of Surrey has its own Research Data Management Policy (PDF).
Be sure to review your funder’s expectations carefully as they do vary. Non-compliance could result in restrictions on further funding.
For an overview of current funder data policies, please see the Data Curation Centre website.
In general, expectations include:
- Data management plans (updated as needed)
- Data access statement in all publications
- Timely sharing of data, especially underpinning publications
- Deposit in a data repository or data centre
- Preservation of data.
For more on how to share your data, please see REF open data guidance. Some funders specify timelines for data sharing, e.g., at time of publication. Surrey’s policy is for data underpinning publications to be made available within 12 months.
Funders and the University do recognise legitimate constraints on data sharing. It is up to you, the researcher, to make an informed judgement on what can and what cannot be shared based on legal, ethical, and commercial considerations:
- In line with the University’s Intellectual Property Code (PDF), declare any commercially valuable IP to the Technology Transfer Office
- Follow the terms of sponsorship and collaboration agreements related to your research
- Be aware of data protection and ethical considerations affecting when and how your share your data
- Ensure consent and permission to share
- Take reasonable steps to make your data more shareable, e.g. de-identification, aggregation, etc.
Any access restrictions must be justified. Full details should be included in your data management plan, the data statement appended to your publications, and in the data documentation.
Including publication and data costs in bids
Funders often indicate the direct costs that should be included in your grant proposal. Some of these include:
- Publication costs, including colour printing and article processing charges to publish Open Access
- Data management and data sharing. Details of any resources needed to meet your funder’s research data management requirements and should be included in your data management plan.
The Research Finance team can offer you further help on costing and pricing for your bid.
Consider the staff involved in and responsible for all research data management activities, from day-to-day organisation to the final preparations for sharing and preservation. Activities to consider here include:
- Managing, formatting and documenting the data
- Cleaning, validating, de-identifying, transcribing
- Creating metadata
- Training on data management, sharing, and preservation
- Documenting and preparing data for sharing and preservation
- Uploading and sharing data to data repositories.
It may be necessary to factor in costs of additional staff or a percentage of a staff member’s time to undertake some or all of these functions.
Any software and/or hardware you will need to undertake your project’s management activities, particularly for enabling data to be shared and preserved more easily.
If your project will require more than 1TB of storage contact IT Services (email@example.com) about costing it into your bid. They can help you cost any technical or security requirements for your bids.
Surrey provides long term storage through our repository, retaining the data for a minimum of ten years. Some discipline specific repositories charge for hosting data long term. Remember to account for any preservation costs before the end of your funding period. Consider including the date you intend to deposit your data in your data management plan as soon as you can.