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October 19, 2020, by Emma

Open Access Week: Wellcome Trust heralds open access policy shakeup

The first of our daily blogs for Open Access Week features the Wellcome Trust open access (OA) policy changes. 

Olivia Marsh, Research Librarian, provides an overview of forthcoming Wellcome Trust policy changesin the first of five posts exploring funder alignment with Plan Sthe manifesto for accelerating the shift to open access. 

From the 1 January 2021, the Wellcome Trust OA policy will look very different and this post explains some of the key changes. The overarching aim of the new OA policy is to make sure that knowledge resulting from Wellcome Trust funding is shared and used in a way that amplifies the benefits to health.  

Where can you publish? 

Fully OA journals and platforms that involvan article processing charge (APC), for example, PLoS or the Wellcome Open Research Platform and other journals listed in DOAJ.  

Journals that are part of transformative publisher agreements (where subscription publishers are transitioning to OA). To enable Wellcome-funded papers to be published OA under these agreements, Wellcome encourages its authors to act as corresponding author (or co-corresponding author) on a paper.  

‘Hybrid’ Gold OA will not be funded other than as part of transformative agreements, so make sure you check your journal types and policies. Wellcome will be launching a Journal Checker tool ahead of January 2021 to enable researchers to check their chosen publishing venue will comply with the new policy. 

You can continue to apply for funding through the OA webform as the University of Nottingham will receive funds in the form of a block grant to cover APC costs associated with Gold OA publishing for Wellcome Trust authors. 


You as the author retain copyright of your work as opposed to signing over copyright to the publisher as is current common practice. Wellcome Trust require a CC BY licence for all research papers. However, in exceptional cases authors can ask Wellcome Trust to agree to a CC BY-ND licence (no derivatives). 


All research articles supported entirely, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust must include a statement explaining how to access any data, original software or materials underpinning the research. 

What if it’s not a research paper? 

Wellcome Trust will continue to require monographs and book chapters to be made available through Europe PubMed Central within six months of publication. 

Find out more

For further information and updates, refer to Wellcome Trust’s OA policy web pages and the Research Support Team can support and guide you in navigating these policies. 

Subsequent blog posts this week will focus on facets of Plan S enacted by the new Wellcome Trust policy to explore in more detail the motivation for the changes and the implications. Look out for further information on rights retention, transformative agreements OA journals and platforms, and longform publications (monographs and edited collections). 

Open Access Week 2020 - Open with Purpose. Taking action to build structural equity and includion. October 19 - 25 2020.

Posted in Research Support