COAF ends this week, but not all break ups have to be painful

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), a block grant provided through a partnership of health research charities to enable publications to be immediately open access, ends on 30 September 2020. All COAF partners remain committed to open access and will continue to fund associated costs, but how they do so will vary.

COAF was established in 2014 and since then has awarded block grants annually to 36 institutions. As one of those institutions, we have allocated £1.5 million of COAF grant funds to make over 600 papers open access and help increase their visibility, reuse and impact. So, from our perspective it is a shame to see COAF end, but we understand why it must as the funders start to adapt their previously shared policy to Plan S at different rates.

However, this does not mean that researchers funded by the former-COAF partners can no longer make their papers open access. The Wellcome Trust, CRUK and BHF will be providing separate block grants to the university to support their researchers. Blood Cancer UK and Parkinson’s UK will now allow open access to be costed into their grants or applied for directly from the funder. Versus Arthritis researchers can also request funds for open access directly from the charity.

We’ve updated the funders’ information on the open access website to reflect this and are adapting our processes to support researchers funded by the different charities. If you have publications you plan to submit or that have already been accepted and want to discuss how this might affect your paper, please do contact the open access team.

As you may have picked up from reading this, many funder are changing their policies to implement Plan S. For the Wellcome Trust, that will be from Jan 01 2021 and for CRUK from Jan 01 2022, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

Published by


I provide support for Open Research at Newcastle University as part of the Library Research Services team. I've previously worked in open access, staff development and as a researcher in molecular virology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *