Appendix 2: Open access policy and resources

To comply with RCUK Open Access policy you are required to make your publications Open Access either by publishing in a compliant journal, or by depositing your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in a subject specific repository (Europe PMC, PubMed Central).  RCUK policy requires funding information to be included within the acknowledgements section.  The policy also requires that a statement of how underlying research materials, such as data, samples or models, can be accessed.

RCUK recognizes a journal as being compliant if:

The journal 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, and allows immediate deposit of the final published version in an institutional or subject repository without restriction on re-use.  This may involve payment of an ‘Article Processing Charge’ to the publisher.  This is known as the ‘Gold’ route.  The University has funding available to support gold route for all RCUK funded research.  Details on how to claim can be found here:


The journal publisher consents to deposit of the final Accepted Manuscript in a subject-specific or institutional repository, without restriction on non-commercial reuse and within 6 months of publication.  No ‘Article Processing Charge’ will be payable to the publisher.  RCUK will accept an embargo of no more than six months between on-line publication and the final Accepted Manuscript becoming Open Access.  The Accepted Manuscript is the version of a journal article submitted by an author that has been accepted for publication in a journal, and that has been through a peer-review process but has not necessarily had the publisher’s branding and pagination added.  This is known as the ‘Green’ route.  This route is freely accessible to all researchers via subject specific repositories (e.g. Europe PMC, PubMed Central) or Pure (see below).

Resources and further information

University guidance on Open Access:

The Sherpa RoMEO databse provides information at journal title or publisher level on publishers’ policies on self-archiving:

The Sherpa Fact database provides information at the journal title level on whether a journal has a publication policy compliant with RCUK Open Access Policy:


If the journal consents to deposit of the AAM in a repository (green route), it is usually the author’s responsibility to do so. Some journals offer an opt-in service to archive the manuscript on the author’s behalf. To be complaint with MRC policy, all manuscripts must be deposited in PMC/Europe PMC. It is the responsibility of the most senior IEU author (not necessarily the most senior staff member) to ensure the AAM is archived. The publisher’s PDF version should not be deposited when self-archiving.

Commissioned articles

Articles commissioned by a publisher, such as invited review, are not covered by the above policy.  The expectation of RCUK is that these outputs will be open access compliant at the publisher’s expense (where necessary).  BrisSynBio members are advised to discuss Open Access prior to agreeing to write a commissioned article.

Conflict of interest disclosure

When submitting a paper you will be asked to complete a ‘Conflict of Interests’ disclosure.  Ask your line manager for specific advice regarding this.  BrisSynBio receives funding from a number of commercial organizations, including UCB CellTech and Bruker, and has formal collaboration with both GSK and Syngenta for example. 

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