From 1 January 2021, our open access policy is changing. It will require all research articles which arise from Wellcome funding to be:
Until January 2021, researchers must continue to comply with our current policy.
Both polices are set out on this page.
The overarching aim of our open access (OA) policy is to make sure that knowledge and discoveries resulting from our funding are shared and used in a way that maximises their benefit to health.
Providing free, online access to published research will:
Our new OA policy will apply to any article that:
The new policy won’t apply to:
All research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must be:
Grantholders should read our Complying with our OA policy for detailed practical guidance on how to comply.
We will update our grant conditions before January 2021 to include:
'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.'
These changes seek to ensure that grantholders (and anyone supported/associated with the grant) can:
All research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must include a statement explaining how other researchers can access any data, original software or materials underpinning the research. This is in line with our data, software and materials management and sharing policy.
All Wellcome-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to:
Where there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, we require the posting of preprints.
We will provide grantholders with funding to cover fair and reasonable article processing charges (APCs) for articles published in fully OA journals or platforms that:
We will no longer cover the costs of OA publishing in subscription journals. Grant applicants cannot ask for these costs in their grant application, and grantholders will not be allowed to use their grant funds to pay for these costs.
However, from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024, UK organisations can use Wellcome OA funds for publication costs associated with transformative OA arrangements. These costs must be in proportion to the number of OA articles supported by Wellcome.
We do not fund any non-OA publication costs (for example colour, page charges etc).
We are committed to making sure that when we assess research outputs during funding decisions, we consider the intrinsic merit of the work, not the title of the journal or publisher.
All Wellcome-funded organisations must also publicly commit to this principle. For example, they can sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, Leiden Manifesto or equivalent. We’ve produced guidance for organisations on responsible and fair approaches for research assessment, that sets out three high-level requirements and other activities they could consider to support these.
We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits.
Researchers and organisations who do not comply with this policy will be subject to appropriate sanctions. These may include Wellcome:
The current OA policy for journal articles will expire on 31 December 2020. For books and monographs, the current policy will continue to apply.
Information for publishers, including service requirements if an open access fee is paid, can be found in the publishers' guide [PDF 1.8MB].