Wellcome Trust and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)


Current Policy
What do I do at Oxford?
Oxford University researchers funded by Wellcome or a COAF member charity are eligible to apply to our Wellcome/COAF block grant for the payment of open access fees for articles acknowledging their grant from one or more of the participating charities:

  • Bloodwise, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UKParkinson’s UK, Versus Arthritis*, Wellcome.
  • COAF policy (since 1 Oct 2014):  peer-reviewed research articles and non-commissioned review articles funded wholly or in part by a COAF charity must be freely available in PubMed Central (or EuropePMC) within 6 months of publication.
  • If an Article Processing Charge (APC) is paid, the journal must make the final published version immediately available in PMC, publish it with a CC-BY licence, and from 1 April 2017 also meet new publisher requirements.
  • Articles submitted to non-compliant publishers cannot use Wellcome funds to pay APCs.  See list of compliant publishers.
  • The fund does not cover commissioned reviews, conference proceedings, letters, page/colour charges so you need to use other funds such as your grant. See What COAF covers.
  • The policy applies to researchers in Wellcome Trust Centres.
  • The block grant year runs from 1 October – 30 September.
  • Full details are on the Wellcome’s COAF page and the open access policies of the partner charities:

*Versus Arthritis was formed by a merger of Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care in 2018.

Monographs & book chapters

Wellcome policy also applies to scholarly monographs and book chapters. See ‘Complying with our Open Access policy’ .

New Wellcome OA policy from 1 January 2020

The new Wellcome OA policy will affect articles submitted from 1 January 2020. Key points: all articles must be freely available in PMC/Europe PMC at the time of publication and with CC-BY licence (6-month embargo no longer permitted). OA publication costs in hybrid journals will no longer be funded.

How Wellcome is tackling four key concerns about its new OA policy (Feb 2019).

Before submission:
  1. Check SHERPA/FACT to ensure journal meets WT/COAF requirements.
  2. Check if publisher is on list of Wellcome list of compliant publishers for APCs since 1 April 2017.
  3. Remember that the Wellcome Open Research publishing platform is an option, where publication costs are funded directly by Wellcome.

When article accepted
  1. Please contact the Bodleian APC team before confirming selection of gold (paid) route with journal, to check funds are available and the journal is funder-compliant: email apc@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.
  2. Complete an application form and send it to the APC Team at apc@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with the publisher’s APC or article-charges request form.
  3. Please also Act on Acceptance & deposit a copy in ORA.
  1. Departments should not pay the invoice on behalf of the grant holders and claim reimbursement. The APC Team request the invoice and arrange payment from Oxford’s COAF Block Grant where eligible.
  2. Date of publication or payment must fall within current COAF block grant year, 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.
  3. COAF preference is for Gold open access. If journal does not offer this, author should deposit a copy of the final, peer reviewed manuscript into Europe PMC within 6 months of publication. See the Europe PMC plus user guide.
  4. If you have any questions about paying APCs from the COAF fund, contact apc@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.