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Bodleian iSkills: Open Access Oxford – what’s happening?

The next session will take place Wednesday 20 September, 11am-12pm, Manor Road Building, Seminar Room A. Book at

New Oxford policy for RCUK Open Access block grant

Research Committee has approved a revised policy for allocating funds from Oxford’s RCUK Open Access block grant, in order to best manage the limited funds remaining in our 2017/18 RCUK block grant. The new policy took effect on Monday 21 August 2017 and prioritises Article Processing Charges (APCs) for fully open access journals.

RCUK-funded authors remain free to choose where to publish their work, but with ‘hybrid’ journals should use the green route rather than the (paid) Open Access option, by depositing the accepted manuscript in ORA for Act on Acceptance. MRC-funded authors of green route articles should also upload the manuscript into EuropePMC.

RCUK policy allows longer embargoes (12 months for Science) if the block grant runs out; in Biomedicine the 6 month embargo remains. See RCUK’s FAQ 2.2, ‘What happens if there is no money to pay…?’). For journals which exceed the permitted (or extended) embargoes, Oxford’s position is that RCUK-funded authors should take the Green route regardless, given the financial constraints.

New procedure for RCUK OA Block Grant:

1. Check first that funds are available. Authors should contact the APC team before submitting article to journal to ask if RCUK OA Block Grant funds are available and journal is funder-compliant (email the APC team at mentioning journal title).

2. If funds are available, apply for block grant when submitting article to journal (not at article acceptance or later) by sending an APC application form to the APC team, to log potential call on funds. 

Please visit the OA Oxford website for the new procedure and new APC application form.

Further information and help is available from the OA Enquiry team,

Emails and applications received since 21 August fall under the new policy.  Applications already being processed before 21 August are not affected. 

COAF Block Grant update

Oxford’s Charity Open Access Fund Block Grant for 2016-17 has now been fully spent. Researchers funded by Arthritis Research UK, Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK  or Parkinson’s UK should contact the partner charity direct to request funds or guidance. Wellcome authors are unaffected. See news item on the OAO website at

  1. The process of moving books from Level 2 to Levels 5 to 8 has been completed, and all open shelf collections are now accessible again. We would like to thank readers for their patience during our relocation of stock.
  2. Work on constructing a goods lift in the car park outside the RSL are still in progress. Updates on progress and expected noise levels can be found at