Requirements from funders concerning Open Access publishing

Many funders require that articles based on a funded research project are made freely accessible in an Open Access repository - typically within 6-12 months after the article has been published.

Most journals - including the most prestigious ones - allow the author to archive the final manuscript after peer-review in an Open Access archive - often referred to as "institutional" or "subject" repository.

When you adhere to the guidelines in DTU's publishing policy, you typically live up the most common funder requirements. 

Reimbursement of publishing expenses

In some cases you can to get the publishing costs 100% reimbursed by the research funder - usually on the condition that you have included the cost of Open Access publication in the funding application.


Demands from Danish funders 

All public research councils and funders in Denmark require Open Access, that is:

  • The Danish Council for Independent Research
  • Innovation Fund Denmark
  • Danish National Research Foundation

PilThe Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation's policy

Demands from EU 

Since 2007, the European Commission has demanded Open Access from those who receive funding within the ERC programme and several areas: energy, environment (including climate change), health, information and communication technologies (cognitive systems, interaction, robotics), research infrastructures (e-infrastructures), science in society and socio-economic sciences and the humanities.

In the new programme from December 2020, Horizon Europe Open Access is still mandatory to all and still part of the standard contract with the EU.

New is the demand for immediat Open Access to results of EU supported research - with no embargo period.


Demands from international funders

Internationaly it is common for both public and private funders to demand Open Access.

Funder requirements typically fall within these categories:

  • Green mandates (demanding archiving in open access archives)
  • Golden mandates (demanding publishing in open access journals if possible)
  • A mix of green and gold mandates.


Embargo periods

As for green mandates funders typically allow an embargo period of up to 12 months from the date of publication - this is to protect the traditional publishers business. Within scientific and technical research fields this period is normally 6 months .

If there is a discrepancy between the Open Access demands of the funder and the author's contract with the publisher, is it the author's responsibility to obtain the necessary rights. There might for instance be discrepancies regarding the length of the embargo period. For this reason, it is a good idea to consider Open Access at a very early stage in a research project and look into possibilities of applying for funding for Open Access publishing in addition.,  discrepancies between funder requirements and publisher policies may sometimes be handled by making an appendix to the original agreement or by only granting the publisher the rights to publish the article (so that the author retains the right to provide Open Access to his/her work in accordance with funder requirements).

Model agreements and appendixes

Funders have developed templates to help authors negotiate with publishers. One such template is an appendix to the publisher's own agreement, whereas a model agreement is an alternatives to the publisher's agreement. Their function is to limit the copyright transfer to the publisher and ensure the author the right to deposit a version of the article in DTU Orbit or other non-commercial archives. 

The publishers' own model agreements are often called Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA). A CTA will typically be an agreement in which the writer transfers all rights to the publisher and thereby limits his or hers rights to his or hers own work.

We recommend that you either use an appendix or a model agreement to ensure your rights to your own work. The European Commission and the five Danish research funders have made templates for appendixes to agreements.

Possible sanctions

As the funders' Open Access requirements mature, the consequences of not complying with them tightens. The European Commission can, as of Horizon2020, reduce parts of the funding in the case of a receiver not meeting the demands in the contract (Multi-beneficiary General Model Grant Agreement, version 1.0, §29.6 Consequences of non-compliance, page 63). 

It is especially the large international funders that use sanctions where researchers do not meet the Open Access demands, e.g. funders like: 

  • National Institute of Health
  • Welcome Trust
  • Research Councils UK (RCUK)
  • EU

Other sanctions include retaining funds and excluding researchers from applying for funding in the future.


For questions related to Open Access and funder requirements, please contact: