Society & Partner Zone Issue 18, Open Access

Open Access: Additional Funding Available in the UK

In line with the UK government’s commitment to open access to publicly-funded research, additional funding will be provided to the top 30 research-intensive institutions in the UK to help the transition to open access and compliance with the new Research Councils UK (RCUK) Open Access Policy.

The new RCUK policy states that all published research articles and conference proceedings funded by the RCUK from 1 April 2013 must be open access. While the RCUK still supports open access via self-archiving (‘green OA’), the policy aims to make it easier for UK institutions and researchers to publish in fully or hybrid open access journals (‘gold OA’). A fully or hybrid open access journal is recognized as being compliant with their policy if it publishes under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. To support the gold route of open access the RCUK will provide a block allocation to UK higher education institutions to fund payment of article-processing charges (APCs) associated with open access publishing.

Watch this video from BioMed Central to learn what the new RCUK Open Access Policy means for researchers in the UK.


Springer is fully compliant with the new RCUK Open Access Policy

Springer offers a variety of open access options for authors to publish their research. The majority of our Springer journals participates in the Open Choice program, where authors can choose to have their paper published open access within an established subscription-based journal. In addition, we offer over 360 fully open access journals across all areas of science, making Springer the largest open access publisher. All SpringerOpen and BioMed Central journals as well as articles published in our subscription-based journals using the Open Choice option, are truly open access and Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licensed.

Springer also enables authors to self-archive the accepted manuscript version of their article in any repository 12 months after official publication if they decide to publish in a subscription-based journal. See our self-archiving policy for further details.

The RCUK policy as well as the additional funding signal significant developments for the open access movement and reflect the increased interest in open access not only in the UK but across the globe, with more and more open access mandates being introduced and more funding being made available.

Together with BioMed Central, we offer an Open Access Membership Program, which allows institutions, societies and funders worldwide to actively support open access. Concretely, we help them to establish affordable membership accounts to cover some or all of the publication costs for their individual researchers. To find out whether your institution is one of our over 400 members, please visit the SpringerOpen website.

To learn more about the RCUK policy and what it means for you as a researchers, please read the RCUK Policy on Open Access and Supporting Guidance. For more information on the implementation for this new funding scheme within SpringerOpen and BioMed Central, please contact us at