Skip to main content

New Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy

New Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy

New Wellcome Trust Policy starts 1 January 2021

Policy Summary

The new policy applies to any article submitted for publication from 1 January 2021 that includes original, peer-reviewed research and was supported by Wellcome funding. All such articles must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the final publication date and be published under a Creative Commons attribution (CC BY) licence.

Routes to Compliance

There are 3 routes to compliance with this policy:

  1. Publish in a fully open access journal or platform
  2. Publish in a subscription journal and the author makes the accepted manuscript freely available in Europe PMC on publication
  3. Publish in a subscription journal that makes articles open access via a transformative arrangement

Wellcome prefer routes 1 or 3 as they make the final version immediately open access. You will soon be able to check which routes are availalbe with your chosen journal using a Journal Checker Tool. For now, more detail on each of these routes is provided below.

Route 1: Publish in a fully open access journal or platform

For example, journals published by open access publishers such as PLOSBioMed Central, MDPI and Frontiers, as well as in individual open access journals from other publishers, such as Nature Communications or BMJ Open.

Wellcome will fund fair and reasonable charges for publication in open access journals that:

  1. are indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and meet cOAlition S requirements 
  2. deposit the version of record in PMC and share it with Europe PMC.

Apply for Wellcome Trust funds

Route 2: Publish in a subscription journal and make the AAM freely available in Europe PMC on publication.

You can still publish in any subscription journal providing that the Wellcome Trust funded author takes responsibility for making the author accepted manuscript (AAM) freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication and under a CC BY licence (or CC BY-ND, if pre-approved by Wellcome). Although few journal publishing agreements currently allow this, the prior CC BY licence that has already been applied to accepted manuscripts via the Wellcome Trust grant conditions allows authors to comply via this route.

Wellcome have informed publishers of this new licencing requirement. However, grantholders must also include the following text with all submissions to peer-reviewed journals in cover letters and funding acknowledgements of the manuscript:

'This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.'

Authors may request approval from Wellcome for individual articles to be published under a Creative Commons No-Derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence. If approved, the altenative text below should be included with the journal submission:

'This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number xxxxx]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY-ND public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.' 

If a journal refuses to accept a submission which makes clear that the AAM will be licensed under a prior CC BY or CC BY-ND licence, Wellcome recommend authors shold reconsider where they publish their research and should inform them of the issue.

Deposit your AAM in Europe PMC

Route 3: Publish in a subscription journal that makes the article open access via a transformative arrangement with the university

Transformative arrangements support the transition of subscription journals to full open access and make eligible articles from our corresponding authors open access at no additional cost. The university has signed transformative agreements with a number of publishers, including Wiley, Springer, RSC, IOP.

With this route the publisher will deposit the published version of the article in Europe PMC on publication and under a CC BY licence. Authors will not be charged for open access by the publisher as this has already been funded through the transformative agreement.