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Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy

2017 Wellcome Trust logo black

12 January 2021

The Wellcome Trust announced changes to its Open Access policy with effect from 1 January 2021.

The overarching aim of the Wellcome Trust (WT) open access (OA) policy is to make sure that knowledge and discoveries resulting from WT funding are shared and used in a way that maximises their benefit to health. Wellcome Trust OA policy for journal articles is in line with the key principles of Plan S. Wellcome is a member of cOAlition S and is committed to working in partnership with other funders to make all research articles OA. WT policy for monographs and book chapters remains unchanged. Both of these policies apply to publications that include original research that is funded in whole, or in part, by Wellcome.

Key changes:

Journal articles submitted from 1 January 2021 

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

  • made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the official final publication date


  • published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY), unless WT have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC BY-ND licence.

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

Detailed practical guidance on how to comply can be found here.

New changes to WT grant conditions to help grantholders to comply include:

  • a new condition that all grantholders – both new and current – will automatically grant a CC BY public copyright licence to all their future Author Accepted Manuscripts. This will apply to manuscripts that are:
    • reporting original research
    • supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome grant funding.
  • an update to the existing condition whereby grantholders must also include the following statement on all submissions of original research to peer-reviewed journals (if you received your grant directly form the Wellcome Trust please remove reference to the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute):

'This research was supported by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, University of Bristol, andfunded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. 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.

Making data and software available to other researchers

All research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must include a statement explaining how other researchers can access any data, original software or materials underpinning the research. This is in line with our data, software and materials management and sharing policy.


All Wellcome-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to:

  •  post preprints of their work
  • publish them under a CC BY licence on a platform that is indexed in Europe PMC.

Where there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, we require the posting of preprints.

Full details of Wellcome Trust OA policy can be found here and full OA guidance  here.

If your preferred publisher does not offer and Open Access option, you should email Wellcome at They will work with you and your publisher to try to arrange publishing the work in an open access manner.

Full guidance on how to acknowledge support from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute: Acknowledging EBI guidance (PDF, 283kB)

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