COAF relies on all partners sharing a common open access (OA) policy. This will no longer be the case from January 2021 when Wellcome implements its Plan S-aligned OA policy. Consequently, COAF will end on 30 September 2020.
All partners are committed to open access and will continue to fund open access costs [PDF 68KB] for the researchers they support.
Find out more about how COAF works and read answers to frequent questions.
Annual award letters are sent to the 36 UK universities and research institutes. These organisations are required to use the fund on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible publications supported by any of the partner charities.
Article processing charges (APCs) for research papers acknowledging at least one of the partner charities as a funder can be charged to COAF.
The COAF may be used to cover APCs for:
Where these costs apply, researchers must use other funds to meet these costs.
Where an APC is paid from COAF, the journal must:
Content deposited in PMC is automatically mirrored to the Europe PMC repository.
From 1 April 2017, the fund can only be used for APCs where the publisher has agreed to our publisher requirements.
If the journal allows it, you can comply with the open access policies of the partner funders by self-archiving a final author manuscript version of your paper in Europe PMC. It must be freely available within six months of the publication date.
If you self-archive, no APC is charged and no call will be made on COAF.
You can use the SHERPA/FACT database to check whether your journal offers a compliant publication route, and which route to opt for.
The majority of journals in which researchers supported by the partner charities publish their research offer a compliant open access publishing option.
If you’re based at one of the 36 universities and research institutes that receive a COAF block award, please contact the organisation directly.
If you’re unsure who to contact at your institution, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about how to get open access funding.
Researchers who are supported by one of the partner charities but not based at one of the 36 organisations that receive COAF funds should refer to their funder’s policy and guidance to find out how to comply with its open access requirements.
You can access COAF funds to meet open access costs for any paper resulting from research supported in whole or in part by one or more of the partner funders.
If other research funders have supported the work reported in the paper, and these funders mandate open access, we expect the open access costs to be split between the contributing funders.
You can’t use COAF to cover monograph and book chapter open access publishing costs.
Wellcome mandates open access to monographs and book chapters. It has a separate funding mechanism to manage payment of these costs for its funded researchers. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Organisations will tell researchers if there are no longer funds available through COAF. If this happens, authors should contact their relevant research funder(s).
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about how COAF works.
We’ll forward your query to the relevant partner funder(s) where appropriate.
If your query is specifically related to the open access policy of an individual partner charity, please contact the relevant charity directly: