Wellcome Trust open access policy

Wellcome’s new policy applies to articles submitted for publication from January 2021. The new policy aligns with ‘Plan S’, a set of principles intended to accelerate the transition to open access business models while harmonising signatory funders’ policies. Find out how to claim open access fees from Wellcome below.

The Wellcome Trust's current open access Policy states: "Published outputs that arise from our funding must be open and accessible to everyone."

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 Wellcome Trust guide to compliance.

To meet the new policy requirements there are three options:

  1. Route 1. Publish in a fully open access journal indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. The journal must deposit the final published version in PMC and publish the article under a CC BY licence. Many OA journals require a fee in order to publish, if this is the case Wellcome will cover the open access fee via a Block Grant issued to institutions (the Trust will not pay for page, colour, or other editorial fees).
  2. Route 2. Publish in a subscription journal (also known as hybrid) and deposit the accepted manuscript in PMC directly, by date of publication, with a CC BY licence. You must include text in your submission to enable this route.
  3. Route 3. Publish in a subscription (hybrid) journal that is part of a ‘transformative’ open access deal. Wellcome-funded researchers may need to ensure they are corresponding author to benefit from these deals. See the St Andrews publisher memberships page for current deals. Where there is no transformative deal in place, compliance via Route 2 above may still be possible.

From 1 January 2021, when submitting articles, you should ensure the following:

  • That you have considered the route to compliance as described above and informed co-authors and collaborators. A ‘Journal Checker Tool’ is available to assist researchers in choosing compliant journals.
  • Inform openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk if you opt for Route 1 so that Article Processing Charge (APC) payment options can be discussed.
  • Ensure submissions include a CC BY licence along with text explaining your obligations under the Trust’s OA policy. More information and example text to include in your submission is provided on the Wellcome Trust website.
    '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 public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.'
  • Always ensure that your Wellcome Trust grant is acknowledged in your paper, including the grant reference number.

See the Wellcome Trust guide to compliance which covers details of the policy and how to meet the requirements. If in doubt, contact openaccess@st-andrews.ac.uk for advice in advance of your submission.

How to claim Wellcome Trust open access fees