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Open Access: SFI (Plan S) Compliance

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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 with a CC BY licence. This requirement also applies to other funding agencies that have endorsed cOAlition S / Plan S e.g. Wellcome Trust. 

All academic books (e.g. monographs, book chapters) should be made openly available as soon as possible but no later than 12 months from the publication date. An appropriate CC licence can be selected by the author e.g. CC BY ND.

SFI requests that researchers should include the CC-BY Rights Retention language provided in SFI's Open Access Policy (bullet point G) on all manuscripts submitted for publication, regardless of the publication venue.

Routes to Compliance

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

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

Under these agreements, Open Access publishing costs are fully covered where the corresponding author is affiliated with UCD, subject to the terms and conditions of each specific agreement.

For full details of which journals are covered, how many funded APCs are available, and how to avail of publishing through this route, see UCD Library's Open Access Publishing Agreements guide.


2. Publish in a fully Open Access journal

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


3. Publish as a subscription/paywalled article in a subscription (or hybrid) journal and self-archive the author's accepted manuscript (AAM) in an Open Access repository such as Research Repository UCD (No cost to authors).

Many journals apply a 6-48 month embargo with this 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 must include the following “Rights Retention” statement, on all manuscript submissions:

‘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’. 

Including this “Rights Retention” text upon submission in either the submission letter, acknowledgements section, or both, is an essential part of using this route to compliance. If the publisher refuses to accept this, contact your SFI Project Officer and ask for further details of how you should proceed.

Research Repository UCD will automatically apply CC BY licences to AAMs where the author has included the SFI funding information with their publication details on the UCD RMS. Alternatively this can also be done by request after uploading via email (

Research Data & Software

SFI encourages that research data and software should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reusable (FAIR). To find out more about FAIR data and making your research data FAIR please see our LibGuide below:

All data, original software or materials that underpins SFI-funded publications should be deposited in an open access repository. For advice on selecting a suitable repository for your data please see: