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Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)

What is COAF?

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership between Arthritis Research UK, Breast Cancer Now, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise, Parkinson’s UK, and the Wellcome Trust. COAF provides funding for the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs), for peer-reviewed original research articles and unsolicited review articles, for eligible authors. It was set up on 1st October 2014 for an initial pilot phase of two years.


Authors who have received funding from one of the partner charities are required to comply with the associated policy. Full details can be found on the partner charity open access policy page:

Funded authors will need to comply with the following:

  • Gold Open Access: where COAF funds are used to pay an open access fee the article should be published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.  
  • Green Open Access: papers which are wholly or partially funded by the COAF partner charities must be made available in Europe PMC within six months of publication.

COAF and Oxford Journals

The majority of Oxford Journals have embargo policies of either 12 or 24 months* for non-open access content. This means that, in most cases, COAF-funded authors cannot self-archive a copy of the accepted manuscript after six months if their paper has been published under the traditional, subscription model. Authors who need to comply with the COAF policy can publish their articles open access via the gold route in a journal which offers optional open access. Where COAF funds are used to pay the associated charge, the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence must be used.** Open access papers are deposited in PMC upon issue publication.*** By publishing under the CC BY licence, COAF authors will be compliant once the article has been deposited in PMC.

More information about the CC BY licence can be found here.

* Information on exceptions to this and full details of Oxford Journals embargo periods can be found in the journal self-archiving policy on the individual journal website.

** Please check the ‘Instructions to Authors’ page of any journal to find out which licences it uses.

***Where subject relevant.

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