Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (incl. DFID)

A summary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's open access policy and their requirements for researchers who receive funding from them.

Requirements overview

Requirement Detail
Acknowledge the funder Required
Data accessibility statement Required
Rights retention statement Not required
Specific licence 'Recommend' CC BY licence
Embargo limit 6 months or less (unless agreed with DFID)
Deposit locations ORA and R4D
APC payment exclusions None specified
APC payment source Pay from initial grant to follow 'gold' route when feasible
Other notes

DFID policy – Effective from 1 November 2012 covered above

Policy contains long-form publication requirements (see below)


Further information

DFID (Department for International Development) and the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) merged to form the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FC&DO) in September 2020. Grants made under the DFID continue to be subject to the OA policy instated on 1st November 2012.

What is covered by the policy

Peer reviewed journal articles

Researchers are required to make peer reviewed journal articles open access.

Books and book chapters

When a book or book chapter is a primary output of a project (rather than a consolidation of outputs available elsewhere), researchers and institutions are required to make a request to the publisher for the right to make this material open access, even if according to certain restrictions (e.g. following a period of six month publisher exclusivity or within regional limits).

Researchers and institutions are therefore not required to make books or book chapters open access, but they are required to show that this avenue had been explored.

  • In any event, when the book is published researchers and institutions are required to deposit in R4D a table of contents and 500 word synopsis of the book/book chapter’s main arguments.
  • When books are not published open access, researchers are encouraged to negotiate a buy-back option with publishers to purchase copies at reduced price for free distribution to researchers and institutions on request.

Further criteria

Make papers available in R4D

When a chosen publisher or journal does not offer a ‘pay-to-publish’ open access option, then authors are required to make available in R4D a digital version of the research paper within six months of first publication. Exceptionally, a case may be made for a longer delay. However, an embargo longer than six months will have to be agreed by DFID as an exemption.

Retain rights

Ensure necessary permissions are in place to add material to R4D, repositories or websites.

Paying for DFID journal article publication

DFID considers that costs associated with enabling open access to outputs are a legitimate research expense and will include these in the overall research budget as long as:

  • the costs are proportionate, reasonable and represent value for money
  • existing arrangements and resources at the host institution are used first when available and appropriate; this is to avoid paying twice for services.

 (All quotations taken from DIFD's policy page on 07/06/2023)