Important update on the RCUK open access block grant

Due to an administrative error made by RCUK last year, the amount of open access funding awarded to the School has been significantly reduced for the 2018-19 block grant year (running from 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019). The School will be unable to provide RCUK-funded researchers with funds to cover the costs of publishing in fully open access journals once this year’s allocation has been spent up. Unfortunately, owing to the error, this will occur much sooner than we had originally envisioned.

This being the case, RCUK-funded researchers wishing to submit their articles to fully open access journals should check prior to submission whether funding is likely to be available for them via the funding application form on ServiceDesk

The funds will be made available on a first-come-first-serve basis, and a further announcement made when funding is fully allocated.

It remains the case, as announced a couple of months ago, that we can no longer cover the costs of RCUK-funded research published in hybrid journals (i.e. subscription journals with the option of paid open access). If you have already applied for funding from the RCUK open access block grant for a particular article, we have ring-fenced the funds for you, and you do not need apply again.

Although the 2019-2020 award is yet to be confirmed, we anticipate that the award will be renewed at a similar level to previous years in the next block grant year (starting 1 April 2019) and open access funds can then be made available again. The COAF block grant continues to be available (for both hybrid and fully open access journals) for Wellcome Trust funded researchers.


If funding is not available for gold open access, there are two options, both acceptable to RCUK:-


(1) Green open access

Submit your article to a subscription journal and make your work open access by depositing a copy of your accepted manuscript in LSHTM Research Online (do this as soon as possible after acceptance for publication).

You should make sure that your chosen journal is compliant with your funder’s open access policy. For the MRC, the journal should have an embargo period of no longer than 6 months, and for other funders 12 months. For the MRC, the journal should also allow the article to be deposited and made available in Europe PMC within 6 months of publication (it is the PI’s responsibility to deposit to Europe PMC).


(2) No-cost open access journals

Submit your article to an open access journal with low or no publishing fees. There are many fully open access journals that do not issue charges, which can be explored on the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Some free-to-publish journals in which LSHTM researchers have previously published include Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease and the Journal of Biomedical Science.


If you have any questions about green open access or RCUK compliance, please contact the Research Publications Team via the Library & Archives Section on ServiceDesk.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.