How to Comply with Funders' Open Access Policies

April 23, 2015 Natasha White

With more and more funding agencies establishing policies and mandates for open access publishing, we know that navigating the various requirements can be difficult and time consuming for authors. Every funding agency seems to have slightly different specifics to their open access policies and each paper has multiple authors with multiple funding agencies supporting their research. The following three steps will help you comply with your funder mandates when publishing your research:

Step 1: Learn the details of the open access policies of the funders supporting the research in your paper.

Authors can use funders’ policy listings such as SHERPA/JULIET or publisher versions; for example Wiley, Nature Publishing Group and BioMed Central have similar listings.

115407-CT-Icon+Text-Solid-Purple-RGBWiley has recently launched a new institution and funder Open Access Policy Finder*, searchable by Funder and Institution. This includes:

  • Information on 96 funders, searchable by country
  • Information on 158 institutions, searchable by region
  • Direct links to the funder and institutions’ open access policies and article processing charge funding/payment information
  • Information on whether or not your funder or institution has a Wiley Open Access Account

Here are some of the typical details within the open access policies that you will need to understand before publishing your work:

  1. Preference for Gold (pay-to-publish) or Green (self-archiving) open access
  2. Time to open access: Funders may stipulate that your paper is published open access immediately or after a certain embargo period
  3. Where you make it open: Funders may ask that you or your publisher makes your article available in a public repository such as PubMed Central or in your institutional repository
  4. License requirement: Funders may require that your article is published with a specific Creative Commons license
  5. Availability of funds: Funders may or may not provide money to cover open access charges
  6. Open data: You may need to ensure that any underlying data is also made publicly available
  7. Acknowledgements: You will need to acknowledge all funders who have supported the research in your paper

Step 2: Work out the best route to comply with your funder mandate(s).

Now that you understand the specific requirements needed to comply with your funder’s policies, you need to work out which route to take in order to comply. This might be either through gold open access (payment of an open access fee to make your article fully open access immediately upon publication) – or through green open access, (self-archiving your paper in a repository after an embargo period).
With Wiley you can take either route:

Pay-to-Publish (Gold) Open Access
Wiley Open Access

Wiley Open Access is our program of fully open access journals. Every article is published open access.

Online OpenOnlineOpen is our program of subscription journals which offer authors the option to make their articles open access.

Self-Archiving (Green) Open Access

Self-archivingSelf-archiving allows peer-reviewed (but not final) versions of a paper to be hosted on a personal website or an institutional website after an embargo period.

Before making your final choice, you need to find out the open access policy for the journal you wish to publish in to learn what is permissible to ensure you comply with your funder(s) requirements. A few things to look out for:

Gold Open Access:
Copyright/license type
Open access fee
Deposition to PubMed Central

Green Open Access:
Embargo length
Allowed Article version
Repository (institutional or public)

Authors can use SHERPA/RoMEO which is a listing of publisher copyright policies and self-archiving or go direct to a journal’s website to read the author instructions.

But with so many different funders and journals with so many policy combinations and permutations, authors struggle to find the right route. Authors need a simple guide to compliance helping them to interpret publisher policy and funder policy data. For authors funded by UK researchers there is SHERPA/FACT Funders & Author Compliance Tool. This is a tool that combines both 1) UK funder policy and 2) journal policy to help authors comply with UK research funders’ policies on open access. It uses data from SHERPA/RoMEO which is database of Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving and SHERPA/Juliet which is a funder policy listing.

Step 3: Follow the proper workflow when submitting your work to a journal to ensure you comply with your funder’s mandates.

Now that you’ve chosen which route you’ll take, you need to navigate your open access journey. Many publishers ask authors during the submission process who has funded their research and give them further information and guidance about how to comply with their funder’s policy. Wiley has a number of tools to help authors, including:

Open Access Navigation Maps:


Gold Open Access Map

Green map

Green Open Access Map

Wiley's Understanding Open Access Video:

For more information on Wiley’s Open Access program, please visit:

*We are regularly updating our Institution & Funder Open Access Policy Finder Tool and not all institutions/funders may be represented at this time. We strive to ensure that all information is correct and up-to-date, so if you notice anything is missing or incorrect, please contact us at

About the Author

Natasha White

Director, Open Access Marketing // As Associate Marketing Director, Author Engagement, I have responsibility for driving Open Access and Author Engagement Marketing Strategy.

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