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Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy

Note: Wellcome will be updating its open access policy. The new policy will apply to articles submitted for publication from January 2021. Until then, researchers must continue to use the current policy.

Quick link: How to claim open access fees from COAF.

The Wellcome Trust's current Open Access Policy states: "It is a fundamental part of our charitable mission to ensure that the work we fund can be read and utilised by the widest possible audience." 

The Trust’s open access requirement extends to all research articles, scholarly monographs and book chapters which are supported in whole or in part by Wellcome Trust funding. See details in Wellcome's information for authors.

To comply with the policy, authors can either

  • pay an open access fee and the publisher makes the paper immediately open access at their site, and deposits immediately in Europe PMC (preferred option), or
  • self-archive the peer-reviewed author accepted manuscript in Europe PMC, ensuring it is freely available within six months. Digital Research staff can help with this.

NOTE: When a fee is paid, you must select a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). Please refer to Wellcome Trust's CC-BY FAQ for more information.

Journals may be fully open access (all content OA) or ‘hybrid’, which means that the journal is still accessed by subscription but provides individual articles with an open access option.

Since deposit in Europe PubMed Central is not optional for Wellcome grant recipients, authors should not sign publisher copyright agreements which prevent them from depositing items within six months of publication, as this would breach the conditions of grant and may jeopardise future funding applications.

See the Wellcome Trust authors’ guide and FAQ – regularly updated, this guide covers details of the policy and how to meet the requirements.

How to claim Wellcome Trust / Charity open access fees

Criteria for use of Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)

1. Confirm that the journal you plan to publish in has a policy that complies with Wellcome Trust requirements.

Refer to the advice from Wellcome, check the SHERPA/FACT compliance tool which will show whether a specific journal publisher’s policy complies with Wellcome requirements or contact

  • If you choose the paid open access route, proceed to Step 2.
  • If the journal does not have a paid open access option but allows archiving in Europe PMC, you should deposit in Europe PMC as soon as possible. 

2. Claim open access fees

Send the following details to

  • Your name, School and email address
  • Journal and publisher
  • Article title, manuscript ID or DOI
  • Date of acceptance of your article
  • Wellcome Trust Grant ID and PI name
  • Other funder(s) acknowledged in the paper

3. Confirming compliant publisher's paid option

The Library will usually need to create a Purchase Order in advance, and check details including the Wellcome Trust grant number. Please ensure you have contacted Open Access Support so that we can verify that the publisher's option complies with the Wellcome Trust requirements. The publisher MUST offer a CC-BY Licence if we are paying an open access fee. The Trust is developing a set of publisher requirements for their paid option.

Please note that page and colour plate charges cannot be claimed under this scheme, and that there is no exemption from VAT.

Send our PO number to your publisher so that payment can be processed from the Charity Open Access Fund.

4. Reporting to Wellcome Trust

The OA team in Research and Innovation Services are required to report each year to the Wellcome trust on use of the fund. We must provide details on compliance including PMC IDs and correct use of CC-BY licences.