On 1 January 2021, Wellcome Trust will require that all funded authors retain the necessary intellectual property rights to comply with their new Open Access Policy. This can be accomplished through one of the following three publication routes:
- Publish in a fully open access journal or platform under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.
- Grant a CC BY licence to all Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) published in subscription journals that are not part of an approved transformative agreement.
- Publish in a journal that is part of an approved transformative agreement and under a CC BY licence.
In the case of route 2, where an author submits an original research article for review, the AAM must include the following statement:
This research was funded 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.
Additionally, Wellcome recommends that this statement is included in any cover letter that accompanies the submission, as well as in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript. If a funded author permits others to own copyright (e.g. an unfunded co-author), it is the grantholder’s responsibility to ensure that a CC BY licence is applied to an AAM.
Although 1 and 3 are the preferred routes to compliance, route 2 will allow funded authors to continue to publish in any journal they wish, as long as the journal accepts that the AAM is made available in Europe PMC under a CC BY licence and without an embargo.
If a subscription journal refuses to accept a submission that makes clear that the AAM will be licensed under a CC BY licence, Wellcome advises grantholders to reconsider where they publish their research. In such cases, Wellcome asks authors to contact them with the journal details, which will allow the Journal Checker Tool to be updated (https://journalcheckertool.org/).
Exception to the CC BY licence requirement
Wellcome funded authors can request an exception to the route 2 requirement of a CC BY licence and ask for individual articles to be published under a Creative Commons No-Derivatives licence (CC BY-ND).
To apply this exception, funded authors must submit a CC BY-ND exception form, which will be available on the Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy webpage from December 2020. The request must be approved by Wellcome in advance of submission. If agreed, the submitted manuscript must include the following statement, which should also be included in any accompanying cover letter.
This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY-ND public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.