Grant funding and open access

Many research funders, including the NHMRC and ARC, have open access requirements that grant recipients must meet. 

Plan S

In mid-2018 a group of funders announced Plan S stating that all peer-reviewed scholarly publications arising from their funding would be openly available immediately on publication from 2021.

Known as cOAlition S, the group of funders who have endorsed Plan S is made up of national, international and charitable organisations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and World Health Organization. The full list of cOAlition S members is available here.

If you receive funding from a cOAlition S member the following information will help you meet the overarching Plan S requirements. However, you will also need to refer to the open access policy of your specific funder as implementation details vary.  

  • Pathways to compliance

    To be compliant you need to ensure that all scholarly articles that result from research funding by members of cOAlition S must be openly available immediately upon publication, under a Creative Commons license, without an embargo period.

    There are three ways you can achieve this:

    1. Open Access journal or platform

    Publish in an open access journal where all the peer-reviewed research articles are openly available on publication, or on an open access platform such as Wellcome Open Research.

    cOAlition S funders will financially support publication fees for open access journals.

    The journal checker tool can be used to identify open access journals which are Plan S compliant.  

    1. Repository route

    Publish in a subscription or hybrid journal and make either the final published version (Version of Record (VoR)) or the Author’s Accepted Manuscript (AAM) openly available under a Creative Commons license in a repository, such as Adelaide Research & Scholarship,    

    cOAlition S funders will not financially support hybrid publication fees in subscription venues, i.e. where there is the option to pay an article processing charge to make the individual publication open access while the other journal content remains subscription only access.

    There are no publication fees to make the AAM openly available in a repository. However, it is the responsibility of the author to ensure that you do not enter into a publication agreement that restricts their ability to make the AAM openly available immediately under an open license. It is suggested that any manuscript you submit for consideration by a journal should include:

    • Name of funder and your grant number
    • Text to indicate that any AAM arising from the submission is already licensed CC BY. For example: “This work was funded by [funder name] [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.”
    1. Transformative arrangement

    Publish open access in a subscription or hybrid journal under a transformative arrangement where the journal has committed to transition to open access.  

    cOAlition S funders may contribute financially to open access publication fees for journals covered by a transformative arrangement, this funding will cease by the end of 2024.  

    The journal checker tool can be used to identify transformative journals which are Plan S compliant. 

    Regardless of the publishing option you have chosen, the work (VoR and/or AAM) must have an open license. The preference is for a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. However, a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) licence or the Public Domain dedication (CC0) may be used. Any variation to these licenses must be approved by the funder.

  • How the library can help

    The library can help you determine if your chosen publication pathway is Plan S compliant and advise you on any additional steps you may need to take. If you require assistance please contact us.

    The library also manages the University’s institutional repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship (AR&S). If you are wish to take the repository route to compliance please contact us before submitting your work for publication so that we can ensure that it can be made available immediately on publication under a Creative Commons license.

  • FAQs

    Do I need to comply with Plan S if I received funding from a cOAlition S member before 2021?  

    The implementation of Plan S varies by funder with some organisations applying the principles to articles submitted for publication from 1 January 2021 while for other organisations it will only apply to new funding calls after this date. See the implementation roadmap for details.   

    What publications are covered by Plan S?

    At present Plan S applies to scholarly peer-reviewed articles. Monographs and book chapters will be included at a later date with cOAlition S to release a statement on how the principles will apply to these outputs by the end of 2021. All other research outputs, including research data, are encouraged to be made as open as possible and as closed as necessary.  

    If I pay to make my publication open access will I be Plan S compliant?

    Only if you publish in an open access journal or a journal with an approved transformative agreement in place. cOAlition S funders will not financially support open access publishing for subscription or hybrid journals. If you do publish in a subscription or hybrid journal you will need to ensure that your work is also made openly available immediately via a repository, even if you have paid a fee.   

    If I deposit my publication into Adelaide Research & Scholarship (AR&S) will I be Plan S compliant?

    Only if the publication (VoR or AAM) is made openly available immediately on publication under an open license. If you have chosen the repository route then we recommend that you contact us before submitting your work for publication so that we can check compliance and ensure that it is processed within the required timeframe.


NHMRC and ARC

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) have open access policies which grant recipients must comply with. Both policies are substantially similar. However, the NHMRC policy refers specifically to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings, while the ARC policy covers all outputs that result from their funding.

The research outputs specified in the respective policies are required to be made openly accessible within a 12-month period from the date of publication, preferably under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.  

Outputs may be made openly accessible via an institutional repository such as Adelaide Research & Scholarship, a subject repository such as PubMed Central, or via the publisher’s site. Regardless of the open access route the metadata of the output is required to be made available via an institutional repository within 3-months from publication. 

If you plan to make the output openly available via an institutional repository then we recommend that you confirm that this is allowed by the publisher before publication. Visit the open access publishing page for more information.

  • How the library can help

    The library manages the University’s institutional repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship (AR&S). We can help you meet your NHMRC and ARC grant requirements by making both your metadata and outputs openly accessible in AR&S.

    To achieve this please ensure that your submission records in Aurora include details of your grant funding, including your grant number. The library will then make the metadata of these publications available in AR&S within the required timeframe. If you also want to make the full text available in AR&S then you will need to upload the Authors Accepted Manuscript (AAM) to the submission record in Aurora. The AAM is the version which is most likely allowed to be made available by the publisher but the library will check this before making it openly accessible in AR&S.