FAQ – Wellcome Trust

DISCLAIMER: This page is under reconstruction. For a new list of 2021 FAQ please download this PDF: New Wellcome Trust OA Policy FAQs for Oxford researchers


    • Here are some frequently asked questions about meeting Wellcome / BHF / CRUK requirements at Oxford:

      What is the scope of the Wellcome Trust OA Policy?

      • What kind of papers are covered by the WT Open access policy? Does it also include monographs and book chapters?

        Since 2006, the Trust’s open access policy has required that all original, peer-reviewed research papers funded in whole or in part by the Trust be made available via the Europe PubMed Central repository as soon as possible, and in any event within six months of the date of publication. (Note the WT’s block grant does not cover open access charges for commissioned (invited) reviews or conference proceedings, or other costs such as page and colour charges.) The policy also applies to Wellcome Trust Centres.

        The Wellcome Trust policy was extended in October 2014 to include all scholarly monographs and book chapters written by its grant-holders as part of their Trust-funded research.  For more information see their guidance Ensuring compliance for monographs and book chapters.

        New Wellcome OA policy from 2021 [updated 31 May 2019].

        A new Wellcome OA policy will take effect in 2021, for articles submitted from 1 January 2021 [previously due to start in 2020].

      • The project itself was not funded by the WT but I have a WT Investigator award/ I am a WT Fellow/ my salary is funded by WT/ work at a WT Centre or at a Major Overseas Programme. Does the policy still apply?

        Even if a project itself has not been directly funded by a WT grant, the policy also applies in the following cases:

        • For all papers by WT Investigator Award holders, WT Fellows and any individual whose salary is funded by the WT, if they are published during the award period.
        • For all papers based on research conducted at WT Centres or Major Overseas Programmes and hence supported by the core award.

        The policy does not apply where a WT funded researcher has provided assistance to a project without appearing as a co-author.

      • I am a co-author on a paper where the principal author is not required to comply with any OA policy. Does the WT OA policy still apply?

        If you are WT funded as described in question 2, and are a co-author, the WT OA policy requires the paper to be made available according to its policy.

      • What kind of open access does the policy require?

      • What does the WT policy require in terms of how and when a paper is made available to the public?

        An electronic version must be made freely available from PubMed Central and any other PMC International sites, e.g. Europe PMC, as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the official date of final publication.

      • Is it sufficient to self-archive the paper in an open repository, e.g. the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)?

        No, the WT policy also requires that the paper is freely available from PubMed Central or Europe PMC.

      • What kind of re-use of the published paper must be allowed for the general public if an open access publication fee has been paid?

        The publisher must make the paper available for commercial re-use (to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work) as long as the user attributes the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (called CC BY licence).

        Further information can be found on the Wellcome Trust page for the CC BY license.

      • How do I comply?

      • What options are there for publishing a paper open access?

        There are two options which give open access:

        a) the final published version of the paper made freely available on PMC/Europe PMC on the day of publication by the journal (a fee must be paid);

        b) the final, peer-reviewed manuscript is deposited by either the author (subject to permission) or the journal and made freely available either immediately or no later than six months after the publishers official date of publication (no fee required).

      • How do I check whether a journal offers a WT-compliant option?

        You could use the SHERPA/FACT tool to find information about whether a journal offers a compliant option.

      • How are publishing costs divided between authors/funders?

        The costs for open access should be divided between the authors belonging to different institutions if possible. If the work has been funded by more than one funder the costs should be borne proportionally as far as possible.

      • Other questions

      • Can I assume that the journal will make the paper publicly available if I have paid for open access?

        It is advisable to check that the paper is available in a way that complies with the WT policy.

      • How can I cover the costs for article processing charges?

        See our Wellcome Trust page for details.

      • Which version of a Wellcome Open Research article should I deposit in ORA for Act on Acceptance? What is the Accepted version?

        You can deposit when the Reviewer Status section has 2 green ticks. The Wellcome Open Research FAQ indicate that 2 ‘Approved’ ticks equate to the completion of peer review, ie ‘acceptance’:

        How do I know if an article has passed peer review?

        The peer review status of an article is clearly indicated at all stages:

        ·Immediately on publication, and until the first peer review report is published, the article is labelled as AWAITING PEER REVIEW – as part of the article title and in the Open Peer Review summary box within the article HTML and PDF.

        ·As soon as a peer review report is published alongside the article, the current approval status is displayed. As additional reports are received, the approval status is updated.

        ·Once an article receives two ‘Approved’ statuses, or two ‘Approved with Reservations’ statuses and one ‘Approved’ status, it will be indexed in various bibliographic databases.’

      • What happens if I do not comply?

        The WT apply sanctions if WT-funded researchers do not comply with their open access policy:

        • If non-compliant papers are identified in and End of Grant Report, the final 10 % of the grant will be withheld until all papers comply.
        • No funding renewals or new grants can be activated until applicants ensure that Trust funded papers resulting from current or previous grants are compliant.
        • Non-compliant papers cannot be included in any applications submitted to the Trust and will be discounted from considerations of a researcher’s track record.
      • What about articles which are already-published but non-compliant?

        The advice is not to pay retrospectively to convert to gold, but instead to self-archive in EuropePMC.

        This is stated on the COAF site under What the Fund Covers:

        ‘Fund should be used to meet the costs associated with making a paper open access at the time of publication. Authors wishing to make articles open access retrospectively should be advised to self-archive the accepted manuscript in Europe PMC, where possible and if permitted by the publisher. Contact the Wellcome Trust for further advice.’

      • What is the difference between WT’s policy on open access and RCUK policy?

        • The Wellcome Trust Open Access policy applies to journal articles, monographs and book chapters (extension to policy announced in May 2013: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2013/WTP052746.htm). The RCUK policy does not include monographs or book chapters.
        • The WT applies sanctions in cases of non-compliance. The RCUK have not yet decided on any sanctions.
        • A paper must be freely available in PMC/Europe PMC to comply with the WT policy. It is not sufficient to make papers available in other open repositories.
      • Where can I find out more information about meeting Wellcome Trust’s OA requirements?