Pathways to Open Access
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    APC survey report

    By Catherine L Sharp, on 9 December 2015

    The Pathways to Open Access project recently ran a survey to find out how different UK institutions manage their APC funds and determine eligibility for open access funding.

    The full survey report is now available in draft form. Please send comments to

    Sixty complete reponses to the survey were received. The results show a wide variety of approaches both to complying with the RCUK policy and to eligibility for funding. Key findings include:

    • 53% of respondents apply the strict embargoes (6/12 months) in the RCUK policy; 41% apply the transitional embargoes (6/12/24 months); (6% “other”)
    • If both Gold and Green options comply with the RCUK requirements, 34% advise the author to choose whichever they consider most appropriate; 31% advise or encourage Green; 23% advise or encourage Gold
    • 23% determine eligibility for funding on where the award or PI is based; 17% on where the corresponding or lead author is based; 38% treat papers as eligible regardless of where the funded author is based
    • 68% participate in publisher prepayment schemes
    • 18 institutions have an institutional fund for non-RCUK/COAF APCs

    Institutions commented on the lack of policy harmonisation, but also emphasised the importance of flexibility in implementing funders’ policies and managing APC block grants.

    The project looks forward to further discussions between institutions and funders to achieve greater clarity for all stakeholders involved in using and managing APC funding.