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Library Research Support: Open Research: Wellcome Trust Policy: 2021-

This guide is intended to provide advice and support on open access research, including guidance around Durham Research Online (DRO), open access publishing, research data management and related topics.


The Wellcome Trust's Open Access Policy applies to:

  • original, peer-reviewed research articles that are supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome
  • original scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome grant-holders as part of their grant-funded research

They state that "The overarching aim of our open access (OA) policy is to make sure that knowledge and discoveries resulting from our funding are shared and used in a way that maximises their benefit to health."

You will find detail guidance on how to comply with this policy on Wellcome's webpages. You can also email Wellcome directly with any questions that you have or contact the Open Access Team

Wellcome Policy: Research Articles

Wellcome’s current Open Access Policy applies to articles submitted for publication from 1st January 2021.

All original, peer-reviewed research articles that are supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must be:

Where there are multiple partners involved, all research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must be compliant with this policy.


How to comply


To comply with the policy, researchers must ensure that a version of the research publication is available within Europe PMC under a CC BY licence. This could be:

  • the Version of Record, or
  • the Author Accepted Manuscript

If you are unable to make the Version of Record or the Author Accepted Manuscript open access, then you may post a preprint under a CC BY licence. We will accept this as compliant with the policy in these situations. If you plan to comply in this way, please contact the Open Access Team for further guidance. 

Further guidance can be found on Wellcome's webpages:

Open Access Policy - Grant Funding | Wellcome

Complying with our open access policy - Grant Funding | Wellcome

Key information at a glance


To help to ensure compliance:

  1. Check the Journal Checker Tool prior to submission.  This should tell you whether, and how, you can comply in your chosen journal. Please also get in touch for guidance. It may be useful to know that;
    • Not all fully open access journals are compliant with the policy
    • You may be able to comply by publishing gold in a hybrid journal
    • You can still comply with the open access policy via the green route 
  2. UPDATE AUGUST 2021: Wellcome have added guidance to their policy, notifying authors that "You should not sign a publishing contract that conflicts with our open access requirements. These are set out in our grant conditions"
  3. Authors should include a rights retention statement when submitting their manuscript and will be complying with the policy by depositing their Author Accepted Manuscript into Europe PMC (and into Durham Research Online (DRO). Familiarise yourself with the Rights Retention Statement and how to add it to all manuscripts at the point of submission.
  4. For the payment of "fair and reasonable" Article Processing Charges  - please note that we are now in receipt of a small grant from Wellcome.  This can be used to cover eligible open access fees for Durham University-funded authors publishing in fully open access journals. It cannot be used for any additional charges such as page charges.  Find out more about what is covered and how to apply.  The grant does not cover book chapters and monographs and Wellcome will still need to be contacted directly to apply for funds for this purpose.
  5. If you have no other means of paying an invoice it is important that you do not request gold open access/raise an invoice until you have approval to do so from the Open Access team. 


Rights retention


The Rights Retention statement must be added to your submitted manuscript where the author is complying with Wellcome's Open Access Policy by depositing their Accepted Manuscript. The format for the statement is: 

'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.'

Further information on Rights Retention can be found on the Plan S Website.


The Journal Checker Tool


The Journal Checker Tool was updated on 13th October 2021 and you should now find the guidance on how to comply with your funder's requirements much clearer. If you have any questions please do still get in touch and we will do all we can to help. 




The Library receives a small Block Grant Award from the Wellcome Trust. This award is to fund open access publishing costs for original research papers which have been supported in whole or in part by Wellcome, and published in line with their Open Access policy.  

The process for applying for costs associated with monographs / book chapters remains unchanged and authors should liaise with Wellcome directly. Please see the guidance on Wellcome's webpages about this.

The Block Grant cannot be used to cover any non-OA publication costs (e.g. page or colour charges).

Full guidance on funding is available via Wellcome here


How to request APC funds

You can use the journal checker tool to initially check that your journal is compliant with Wellcome's policy.  

Contact to request funding with the following information (prior to submitting your article):

  • Wellcome Grant name and ID number
  • Title of article
  • Journal name 
  • Journal publisher
  • Confirm a CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution) licence will be selected
  • Confirm the article type (i.e. "original research")

To ensure that the article can be funded from the grant it is advised that you get in touch at the point of submission.  Checks can then be carried out on the journal and we can advise you if there are any potential compliance issues. 


Wellcome Policy: Monographs and Book Chapters

Monographs and book chapters are in-scope of Wellcome's Open Access Policy: 

Our open access policy applies to all original scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Wellcome grantholders as part of their grant-funded research. The policy does not apply to textbooks, ‘trade’ books, general reference works or works of fiction, or to collections edited, but not authored, by Wellcome grantholders.


How to comply:

  • To ensure your scholarly monograph or book chapter complies with Wellcome's open access policy, you must make it available from NCBI Bookshelf and Europe PMC as soon as possible. It must be within six months of the publisher's official date of final publication.
  • Where an open access publishing fee is charged, works must be available without embargo and licensed in ways which support their re-use. CC BY is strongly preferred, but if this isn't available they will accept non-commercial and/or no-derivatives licences such as CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-ND.

You will find full details and guidance in relation to this on Wellcome's webpages. 




The Block Grant Award that we receive from Wellcome does not cover open access fees for monographs or book chapters. Wellcome will cover eligible fees, however, and you will find more guidance on what is available and how to apply for these funds here

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