RCUK Open Access Policy

Is Your Research Funded by RCUK?

The UK’s seven research councils and their umbrella organization RCUK (Research Councils UK) have an Open Access policy. Research submitted for publication from 1 April 2013 and funded by any of the following research councils must be freely accessible online to everyone, everywhere with a license that permits copying, distribution and reuse.

Research Councils

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The RCUK policy is designed to help make publicly funded research easily available to anyone it might benefit – a principle held by PLOS since its inception.


Compliance is Easy

All PLOS journals are 100% compliant with the RCUK’s strongly preferred “Gold Open Access” standard. Choose to publish in the PLOS suite of influential journals to ensure compliance with the policy. Publishing with PLOS means the article is immediately and freely available online, to anyone in the world who wants to read and reuse it. The cost of peer review management, editing and publishing is covered by an article processing charge (APC). The good news for RCUK-funded researchers is that a grant has been established to cover these costs, so in most cases the institution will pay the APC.

Why Choose PLOS?

Repeat Author Loyalty 93% of PLOS authors say they are likely to publish with PLOS again (Author Survey 2013).

Top Researchers from Around the World Publish with PLOS. Authors – including 54 Nobel Laureates – from more than 200 countries have published with PLOS.

Author Representation from All Areas of Science and Medicine. ~1/3 of all PubMed authors have published with PLOS (PrimeDemand, 2002−2012).

Rigorous Review Enhances Final Published Articles. All articles undergo an efficient and thorough peer review process by experts in their respective fields.

Articles are Easy to Find, Read and Cite. PLOS articles are indexed by Google Scholar, PubMed and Medline, and immediately deposited in PubMed Central.

Which PLOS Journal is the Best for Your Research?

PLOS is a leading Open Access publisher with a suite of influential journals that are 100% compliant with UK funder mandates, including the RCUK policy.
The World’s Largest Journal

Choose PLOS ONE, which publishes all technically sound research from all areas of science and medicine.

Groundbreaking, Exceptional Research

Choose PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine for highly influential, original research that reaches a broad audience.

Leading Research in the Fields of Biology and Disease

Choose PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases or PLOS Pathogens for significant research and commentary, rooted in specific scientific communities.


Rigorous and efficient peer review by leading experts enhances the final published article.

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