Open access publishing
Open access ensures that original research publications – including journal articles, book chapters and monographs – are available to everyone to read and re-use at no cost.
On this page
We’re committed to making sure that maximum benefits are gained from the research we fund by making it accessible to as many people as possible.
For more than a decade, we’ve taken the lead in implementing and supporting open access.
What we’re doing
- In 2005, we were the first research funder to introduce a mandatory open access policy. More than 150 global research funders have followed our lead.
- We provide funding for our researchers to publish their work in open access form.
- We work in partnership with other funders to support Europe PMC – a free digital repository of biomedical and life sciences literature. Europe PMC meets the agreed definition of a repository, as determined by Jisc.
- We support eLife, an open access online journal for biomedical and life sciences research.
- Our new platform, Wellcome Open Research, allows our researchers to rapidly publish and share their outputs.
- We support research to explore publishing business models and the transition to open access.
- Scholarly communication and peer review [PDF 487KB], March 2015. Commissioned by Wellcome, this report by the Research Information Network examines the current status and possible future direction for the peer review of research papers.
- Developing an effective market for open access article processing charges [PDF 1.1MB], March 2014. An investigation of the open access article processing charge market.
- The Potential Role for Intermediaries in Managing the Payment of Open Access Article Processing Charges (APCs), October 2012. This report by the UK Open Access Implementation Group examines how article processing charges are paid and whether intermediaries could improve the efficiency of the payment process.
- Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings: the Finch Group, June 2012. Research Council UK’s open access policy was based upon the recommendations made in this report.
- Costs and business models in scientific research publishing [PDF 639KB], April 2004. An assessment, commissioned by Wellcome, of the costs associated with the traditional subscription business model and the ‘author-pays’ business model within the publishing industry.
- Economic analysis of scientific research publishing [PDF 236KB], January 2003. An early report, commissioned by Wellcome, into the traditional scientific research publishing market and its implications for the research community.
If you have any questions, contact David Carr
Sharing data helps researchers to access and build on new information and knowledge.
Science policy affects a broad range of issues, ranging from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.
Open access ensures that original research publications are available to everyone to read and re-use for free.