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Policy Summary

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership of the health charities Blood Cancer UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson's UK, Versus Arthritis and the Wellcome Trust. Peer-reviewed research articles arising from research funded by a COAF partner must be made open access in PubMed Central. COAF prefer immediate open access via the Gold route and provide the university with funds to support this. Where a journal does not offer compliant Gold open access, authors should deposit the accepted manuscript in Europe PubMed Central to provide open access within six months of publication.

COAF Gold open access

Articles arising from research funded by a COAF partner should perferably be made open access via the Gold route. Open access charges can be paid from the university's COAF grant for publications of an eligible type that acknowledge a COAF funder and are published in a compliant journal.

Eligible publication types

COAF can be used to pay open access charges for:

  • Original peer-reviewed research articles
  • Non-commissioned review articles
  • Not-invited review articles
  • Study protocols

COAF cannot be used to pay open access fees for commissioned or invited reviews, conference proceedings, editorials, letters or commentaries or other fees associated with publication, such as page or colour charges.

Compliant Publishers

COAF funds can only be paid to publishers that meet the COAF publisher requirements as confirmed in SHERPA/FACT.

COAF-compliant publishers will:

COAF will not allow us to use their funds to pay an invoice from a non-compliant publisher or where an author choses a licence other than CC-BY. Under these circumstances, the payment will be declined and any invoice already issued will be returned to the author.

If your publication meets the COAF criteria, you should choose gold open access and apply for COAF funding.

Apply for COAF funds

COAF Green open access

If a journal does not offer gold open access or it does not meet the policy requirements above, authors should follow the green route to open access. Authors should deposit their accepted manuscript in Europe PubMed Central via Europe PMC plus to provide open access within six months of publication. Authors are advised to check that the journal self-archiving policy allows for this and to contact us to discuss any issues.

Some publishers automatically deposit accepted manuscripts in PubMed Central where authors declare COAF funding. However, authors should confirm if their journal offers this service and that it will meet COAF requirements.

Monographs and book chapters

Original scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome grantholders as part of their grant-funded research must be made freely available via PMC Bookshelf and Europe PMC as soon as possible, with a maximum embargo of six months. The COAF grant cannot be used to pay open access fees associated with Wellcome-funded scholarly monographs and book chapters. Instead, researchers should follow the Wellcome Trust procedure for reimbursement of open access fees for scholarly monographs and book chapters.

Where an open access fee is levied by the publisher, the work must be made open access without embargo and be licensed to allow re-use. The Creative Commons CC-BY licence is strongly preferred, but CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND licences will be accepted.


  1. Charity Open Access Fund
  2. Blood Cancer UK open access policy
  3. British Heart Foundation open access policy
  4. Cancer Research UK open access policy
  5. Parkinson's UK open access policy
  6. Versus Arthritis open access policy
  7. Wellcome Trust open access policy