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Open Access: SFI (Plan S) Compliance

Learn more about Open Access to Research

Science Foundation Ireland Open Access Policy

SFI now requires all peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings submitted for publication after 1st January 2021 to be made openly accessible immediately from the date of publication. This requirement also applies to other funding agencies that have endorsed cOAlition S / Plan S e.g. Wellcome Trust. 

Routes to Compliance

There are three main routes through which you can comply with SFI's Open Access policy:

1. Publish in a fully Open Access journal

A list of reputable Open Access journals can be found in the DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals.

Some journals charge authors articles processing charges (APCs) to cover Open Access publishing costs. SFI will allow researchers to use a proportion of their grant award to cover these costs in fully Open Access journals or transformative journals, but not other hybrid journals. More specifically:

"Currently SFI will support the use of up to 1% of the total grant awarded for article processing charges. For example, if you have a grant of 300,000 euro, then 3000 euro of the grant may be used".

However grantees are "not permitted to use SFI grant funds to publish in hybrid journals, in Bronze OA journals or in journals that apply embargoes to publications". Hybrid journals are subscription journals which allow individual articles to be published Open Access upon payment of an APC.


2. Publish in a journal covered by UCC Library's Open Access publishing "transformative" agreements (No cost to authors)

IReL provides details of open access agreements with publishers, which typically allow corresponding authors from eligible institutions, including University College Cork, to publish their articles open access immediately on publication.

Under these 'transformative' OA agreements, Open Access publishing costs are fully covered where the corresponding author is affiliated with UCC, subject to the terms and conditions of each specific agreement, so there is no direct cost to authors.

You can find out how UCC authors can avail of these agreements here:


3. Publish in a subscription (or hybrid) journal and self-archive the author's accepted manuscript (AAM) in an Open Access repository such as CORA: UCC's Institutional Repository (No cost to authors)

Many journals apply a 6-24 month embargo with this 'Green' route to open access. In order for authors to retain their rights to share the AAM with a CC BY licence without any embargo, SFI’s policy requests grant holders include the following “Rights Retention” statement, on all manuscript submissions to publishers:

‘This publication has emanated from research [conducted with the financial support of/supported in part by a grant from] Science Foundation Ireland under 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’.

Include this “Rights Retention” text upon submission in either the article submission letter to the publisher or the acknowledgements section.


SFI Routes to Open Access

Image: SFI Open Access Policy Webinar