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  commissioning and funding research focusing on improving outcomes for health and social care

DH / NIHR funded research and Europe PubMed Central

In association with the other main UK biomedical research funders, the Department of Health (DH) and NIHR is a partner in a European version of PubMedCentral (Europe PMC).

Launched in January 2007 (originally as UKPMC), Europe PubMed Central provides a permanent and free-to-access online digital archive of the full text, peer reviewed research publications (and datasets) that arise from research funded by DH, the NIHR and the other members of the Europe PMC Funders Group.

Europe PMC comprises three key systems:

·    A mirror of the data held in PMC, subject to permission from those publishers that participate in PMC.

·    An author manuscript submission and tracking system, with supporting document conversion services.

·    A system to provide authenticated login services to the submission system.

In common with the other members of the Europe PMC Funders Group, the DH takes the following approach to Open Access to research it funds through the NIHR. This approach is consistent with the long-standing policy set out in the Research Governance Framework, section 2.4 – Information.

All the members of the Funders Group seek to encourage initiatives that increase the potential for quality research to be widely disseminated and freely accessed. The DH and the NIHR support the principles that:

·    Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny as widely, rapidly and effectively as possible

·    Published research outputs must be subject to rigorous quality assurance through effective peer review mechanisms

·    The models and mechanisms for publication and access to research results must be both efficient and cost effective in the use of public funds

·    The outputs from current and future research should be preserved and remain accessible for future generations.

The following approach is consistent with the requirements adopted by other members of the Europe PMC Funders Group.

1.     The DH and the NIHR require that, for applications submitted from 1st April 2007, electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal (or final reports and / or executive summaries) which are supported in whole or in part by DH or NIHR funding, are deposited at the earliest opportunity – and in any case within six months - in Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC).

2.     Deposition of a research paper, final report or executive summary into Europe PMC does not prevent authors from also depositing a copy in their own institutional or another subject-based repository should they choose to do so or be required to do so by their employing institution.

3.     The DH and the NIHR also strongly encourage, but do not formally oblige, all award recipients to deposit articles arising from awards funded as a result of applications submitted before 1 April 2007.

4.     The DH and the NIHR strongly encourage authors to publish in journals that allow them (or their institutions) to retain ownership of the copyright.

5.     If author/institution-ownership of copyright is not permitted by the publisher, authors should publish in journals that permit deposition of; the published paper in Europe PMC within six months of publication.

6.     The DH and the NIHR will work with publishers to put in place mechanisms for publishers to deposit publications directly, on behalf of authors, where this is possible.

7.     The DH and the NIHR’s terms and conditions are consistent with this approach and do not require amendment. The relevant section of the DH contract is section 17 and paragraph 17.3.


8.     When a researcher informs the DH or the NIHR of the wish to publish a paper in a journal that is unwilling to agree either to author/institution-ownership of copyright, or to deposition in Europe PMC within six months, the DH or NIHR may grant permission for the author to submit the paper for publication in such a journal.

Benefits to authors of Open Access

9.     Authors will benefit in two ways. Firstly, their research papers will be given a much wider form of dissemination and will be able to be read without restriction by anyone with internet access. Secondly, as researchers they will increasingly be able to search the full text of all the research published in their area, not just the research available to them via the subscriptions their institution offers.

Open Access Publishing Costs

10. For any research supported by DH or NIHR funds, the DH and the NIHR expects all research costs (including publishing costs) to be budgeted for when the research is commissioned. Therefore, the DH or NIHR will not routinely fund additional publishing costs separately. However, if a researcher can demonstrate that the whole of the DH or NIHR award has been used for the purposes of the intended research and that the budget was correctly managed, the DH or NIHR may consider additional support on a limited ad hoc basis. 

If you require further assistance to meet the cost of publishing your research, please in the first instance, contact the primary funder of your research.  If this is the NIHR or DH, please send your request to, stating:

a)  the cost of any processing charge

b) what the charge covers (i.e. open access deposition, additional publication costs or other)

c)  details of the original award received for this research, including:

i)    when it was awarded
      ii)   the name of the project
      iii)  the name of the Programme awarding the grant
      iv)  the grant reference no. (if known)

d) confirmation of whether this is the original paper or a subsequent follow-up

e)  the reasons why these costs were not budgeted for when the research was commissioned, in line with DH and NIHR policy.