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This post will focus on research articles underpinned by funding, fully or partially, by both the Wellcome Trust and UKRI and will draw your attention to the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS).  

Hold on to your seats! This is complicated, but please be reassured that help is at hand from your Open Research and Publication Practice colleagues, so, if in doubt please email eprints@soton.ac.uk  

As you may be aware, the Library manages block grants for open access funds on behalf of the UK Research Councils (UKRI), the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation. The Wellcome Trust updated their open access policy at the start of 2021, and in August, UKRI announced their new policy which will start on the 1st April 2022 for research articles, and January 2024 for in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections. 

For UKRI (for articles submitted from 1st April 2022) and the Wellcome Trust there are two paths to open access: 

Path one: 

Version of Record (VoR) must be published in a journal, or platform, that makes the content immediately available with the most liberal CC BY Creative Commons Attribution licence (although both have licence exceptions). At the University of Southampton this must be a fully open access title, not a hybrid, to qualify for funding from the block grant for both funders*. 

Path two: 

Deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) into our institutional repository (and for the Wellcome Trust PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central, and for the MRC and BBSRC, Europe PubMed Central), with a zero-embargo (or the Version of Record if the publisher allows) with the most liberal CC-BY Creative Commons licence (although both have licence exceptions).  

Why is this new? Previously, you could deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript with a publisher specified embargo if it met the funders embargo rules, but the embargo has now gone, the article must be made openly available at the point of publication; and with a CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution) licence. 

* It is worth noting that at the University of Southampton, we will only use the open access block grants to pay open access fees in fully gold open access titles, unless we have an institutional transformative publisher agreement for a hybrid title (both subscription and open access content),  you can view our current agreements at https://library.soton.ac.uk/openaccess/agreements  

If your journal of choice is a hybrid title, and we do not have a transformative agreement with the publisher, what are your options? You can either select another journal or use the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS). The RRS was developed by Coalition-S https://www.coalition-s.org/about/ 

It enables you to publish in your journal of choice, providing you follow these steps. You need to inform the publisher that your funder requires the article to made open access at the point of publication and you will be using the Rights Retention Strategy, and you must include a statement in the funder acknowledgments section… 


If you are funded by UKRI, for articles submitted from 01/04/22: 

‘For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence  to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising’ (where permitted by UKRI, ‘Open Government Licence’ or ‘CC BY-ND public copyright licence’ may be stated instead) 

For further details please see our guide at https://library.soton.ac.uk/ld.php?content_id=33747725 and the UKRI’s website https://www.ukri.org/publications/ukri-open-access-policy/

If you are funded by the Wellcome Trust: 

‘This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.’ 

For further details please see our guide at https://library.soton.ac.uk/ld.php?content_id=33316617 and the Wellcome Trust’s website https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/guidance/open-access-guidance/open-access-policy.  

A reminder that all of the above applies to the Wellcome Trust funded colleagues now, and it will apply to UKRI funded colleagues from 1st April 2022. 

So, do you remember at the start I said that this is complicated? Well, it is! But we are here to offer advice and guidance and you can also use the Journal Checker Tool https://journalcheckertool.org/ to see if your journal meets Wellcome Trust requirements. Please get in touch via eprints@soton.ac.uk  

We look forward to hearing from you, 


On behalf of the Open Research and Publication Practice and ePrints Team 

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Open access policies for UKRI and the Wellcome Trust; the Rights Retention Strategy (RRS)

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