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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has had an open access policy since 2006. In line with many other funders, they are seeking to increase access to research for wider social and economic benefit.

What types of publication does the policy cover?

The policy covers peer-reviewed, published research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers, final reports or executive summaries) which:

  • are supported in whole or in part by NIHR funding


  • acknowledge funding from NIHR


  • are submitted for publication from 1 April 2014.

The current NIHR Open Access policy applies to articles submitted before 1 June 2022.

There will be a new revised NIHR Open Access policy for publications submitted on or after 1 June 2022.

How do I comply?

Where NIHR fund the payment of an article processing charge (APC), they expect the publication to be published in a journal that:

  • makes the output available using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence


  • allows immediate deposit of the final published version in other repositories without restriction on re-use.

As one of the Europe PMC funders, NIHR requests that the output should be made available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central, as soon as possible, or within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication. So where an open access fee is not paid, the requirement is for the final, peer-reviewed version of the paper to be archived in Europe PMC, to be available within six months.

To increase the discoverability of your research, please upload your final accepted manuscript to the relevant publication in your CRIS profile (CC-BY published papers will be identified and uploaded for you on your behalf by the CRIS support and development team).

Should a researcher wish to publish a paper in a journal that does not offer a compliant open access route, the DH or NIHR may grant permission for the author to submit the paper for publication the journal. In these cases, please contact your Biomedical Research Centre (BMC) manager or programme manager prior to submission.

NIHR expectations are that they will “expect to see NIHR funded researchers working towards full compliance by 2017/18 with 100% of research papers funded by the NIHR published in journals that are compliant with the policy on Open Access.”

How do I pay the fees?

NIHR advice is that from the start of this policy, “the cost of APCs and other appropriate publication charges will be supported either through the original NIHR award, or where applicable an NIHR open access fund. Researchers will need to contact the awarding NIHR programme coordinating centre to review the correct approach. This does not apply to any recipient of NIHR funding prior to 1 April 2014, which remain under the requirements of their original contract.”

NIHR has purchased a supporters scheme membership of BioMed Central. This entitles NIHR researchers to a 15% discount against any APC for a BioMed Central journal, though the choice remains with NIHR researchers as to where they publish, within the scope of the policy.

Remember, SGUL researchers can also take advantage of some ‘read and publish’ deals, which means SGUL corresponding authors can publish open access at no extra charge in some journals. These include many Wiley and Springer titles. Please see our Paying Open Access Fees web page for more information.

NIHR Open Research publishing platform

NIHR have a publishing platform which will allow for researchers to make available to everyone the findings of their projects not published elsewhere. For more information see NIHR Open Research.

Where do I get more information?

For more information, please refer to the NIHR open access policy page (articles submitted before 1 June 2022), or contact your Biomedical Research Centre (BMC) manager or programme manager.

For enquiries about open access, please email the open access team.


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