National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) open access policy

For publications submitted on or after 1 June 2022, the NIHR open access policy has changed

The new open access policy requires all research articles which arise from NIHR funding to be:

  • made freely available at the time of publication
  • openly licenced under a CC BY licence

For articles submitted before 1 June 2022, please refer to the former NIHR Open Access policy.

NIHR Policy on Open Access 

The NIHR policy on open access applies to all peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews not commissioned by publishers and conference papers, submitted for publication on or after 1 June 2022 arising from:

Peer-reviewed research articles which are otherwise out of scope (e.g. NIHR Infrastructure research studies with minority NIHR funding), but which acknowledge NIHR support/funding must be deposited and made freely accessible through Europe PMC, as soon as possible, but no later than 12 months post the official final publication date. 

Monographs (with the exception of NIHR Journals Library publications), book chapters, edited collections, or forms of non-peer-reviewed material, such as pre-prints, are considered out of scope of this policy. However NIHR reserves the right to ensure the use of preprints in the context of emergencies.

How do I comply?

here are three publishing routes you can follow to comply with NIHR's policy:

More information

We would expect APCs to be paid directly from NIHR grants. For awards issued after 1 June 2022 a ring-fenced open access envelope should be included within the grant for this purpose.

NIHR will pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect open access publication in line with the criteria of this policy. Where relevant and appropriate, additional funding can be requested for active contracts that budgeted based on the previous Open Access policy scope. Requests for additional Open Access funding can be made using an NIHR Open Access request form. Authors should read the Open Access funding guidance for information on the terms and processes for accessing Open Access funding. 

NIHR may permit, on a case-by-case basis, the use of a more restrictive Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives licence (CC BY-ND) for the open access version of a research article. Authors can request a CC BY-ND licence on an NIHR Open Access request form.

These licensing requirements do not apply to any materials included within a research article that are provided by third-party copyright holders. The third-party materials in the article can be subject to more restrictive copyright licences than outlined in this policy.

Further guidance on the policy and achieving compliance is available on the NIHR site. Any queries regarding the NIHR Open Access policy should be directed to


Professional Services