Where do I find the money to pay OA publishing costs?

Funding is available to assist with Gold Open Access fees. 

RCUK funding (if your research is funded by one of the UK Research Councils)

Lancaster University funding (institutional funding, subject to criteria below)

RCUK Block Grant

From 1 April 2013, RCUK issued research organisations (including Lancaster) with a block grant to help meet the cost of open access via the Gold pay-to-publish route. From this date it is no longer possible for individual grant applications to RCUK to request funding for pay-to-publish Article Processing Fees (APCs). Lancaster University has received £190K for 2016/2017 to support Gold open access.  

This policy will affect anyone funded by the following Research Councils:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Economic & Social Research Council
  • Medical Research Council
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Science & Technology Facilities Research Council

In summary, the main points of the RCUK OA policy are:

  • Open Access should be through the Gold route (often pay-to-publish via the publisher's platform) and a record of the research output should be added to Lancaster's institutional repository (Pure) and also an appropriate subject repository if desired
  • The author should apply for Gold Open Access funding
  • All publications must be available on Open Access within six months of the publication date with the exception of AHRC and ESRC funded papers which must be available within a 12 month period
  • To check if a journal in which you wish to publish complies with your funder's requirements for open access please see the SHERPA/FACT tool 
  • For Gold Open Access, the selected publisher must support the Creative Commons 'Attribution' licence - CC-BY - which allows unrestricted use of manual and automated text and data mining tools, as well as unrestricted re-use of content with proper attribution. This is to maximise exposure to the research findings
  • Research papers must include a statement on how the underlying research materials can be accessed
  • Funding information must be included within the acknowledgement section of a paper

For further information please see the RCUK policy on Open Access and RCUK OA Policy FAQs.

Directory of Open Access Journals is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.  

If you are the principal author and want to apply for funding please complete the online form once your paper has been accepted. (Please note that you must either be on campus or connected to the VPN if you're off campus to access this form.)

The Library will carry out administrative checks on your funding application, after which a decision should be made within 3 working days.

Lancaster University Funding

From 1 April 2016 Lancaster University has provided a small fund to pay for Gold Open Access charges for Lancaster academic staff if both of the following criteria apply:

  • the research paper is likely to be rated as 4* in the next REF
  • the chosen journal is the most appropriate place to publish and does not offer a compliant green route (e.g. for submissions to panels A and B the publisher's maximum embargo should be 12 months, for panels C and D the publisher's maximum embargo should be 24 months) or is an open access only journal.  Check Sherpa Romeo for details of a journal's self-archiving policy.  If you are unsure, please contact for assistance.

Please apply for funding prior to submission so that we can guarantee funding if you are accepted.  Funding will be subject to approval by your Head of Department and Associate Dean for Research.  Please complete the online application form. (Please note that you must either be on campus or connected to the VPN if you're off campus to access this form.)

If you have any further queries on Open Access, please contact