Deposit published or accepted version in Europe PMC with zero embargo and a CC BY license.

Wellcome Trust open access policy 

Routes to meeting open access requirements

Route 1 GOLD Publish in a fully open access journal or platform e.g. Wellcome Open Research. The publisher should send the final version of record of your paper to Europe PMC once it is published. However, it is the responsibility of the funded author to ensure that the paper meets the requirements. We recommend checking that the deposit has been made, see Depositing in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.


Route 2 GOLD Publish in a subscription journal through a transformative agreement Imperial has signed up to, see Publisher agreements and discounts, or in a Plan S-approved Transformative Journal. The publisher should send the final version of record of your paper to Europe PMC once it is published. However, it is the responsibility of the funded author to ensure that the paper meets the requirements. We recommend checking that the deposit has been made, see  . (Route 2 is available until 31 December 2024).


Route 3 GREEN Publish in a subscription journal and take responsibility for making the author’s accepted manuscript freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication, see . The Rights Assertion Statement ensures you retain the right to do this.

Check your options using the Journal Checker Tool.

Scope of policy


Funded in whole or in part by Wellcome Trust i.e. meets one of the following:

  • Research has been funded in whole or in part through a Wellcome Trust grant (either during the award or after the funding period has ended)
  • Researcher is a Wellcome Trust Investigator,  Award holder, Fellow or any other individual in receipt of salary support from the Wellcome Trust appears as a co-author during the period of their award (this applies even where the specific research project is not Wellcome Trust funded)
  • Research has been carried out from Wellcome Trust Centres or Africa & Asia Programmes which has been supported through the Core Award, even if the research has been primarily supported by grants from one or more other funders

Article types

Journal articles that report original, peer-reviewed research.

Research or study protocols, systematic reviews, scoping reviews and meta-analyses are not included in Wellcome’s open access policy, but our Wellcome Trust fund can be used to cover APCs for these article types if they are authored by Wellcome-funded researchers, and published in fully OA journals or platforms.

Requirements of your journal

Journal has an agreement with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to deposit the Version of Record (final published version) in PMC and allow that content to be shared with Europe PMC.

Paying for GOLD open access

Wellcome Trust grant held centrally in the Library. Funded author should apply for funding via Symplectic if the relevant grant is held at Imperial. For grants held elsewhere, an application should be made to the grant-holding institution in the first instance.

Covers in-scope articles in fully open access journals and Plan S transformative journals (which have met Plan S criteria demonstrating their commitment to transition to fully open access).

You can also publish GOLD open access where eligible for a transformative agreement (route 2), see publisher agreements and discounts. To have your paper included, follow the instructions for the relevant agreement. The corresponding author needs to have an Imperial College London affiliation and other conditions may apply.

Wellcome funds cannot be used for hybrid journals unless they are transformative journals or part of a transformative agreement.

No cost is associated with open access via route 3 (GREEN).

We cannot pay page, colour or submission charges on any route.

Rights assertion statement

Designed to support route 3 (GREEN), but Wellcome require this statement to be included for all journal submissions in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter or note accompanying the submission:

‘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’.

Some researchers and organisations have encountered issues when attempting to comply with the policy via the GREEN route using a rights assertion statement. Wellcome have released a statement on Publishing in hybrid, open access journals. Notably, some journals are accepting submissions with a prior CC BY Licence, but, on acceptance, are imposing terms and conditions via a publishing agreement, or otherwise, that prevents the author from meeting the open access requirements. In this situation, Wellcome advise authors to follow these steps:

  1. If the journal provides a paid open access option for individual articles, seek to publish via this route and request a waiver from the journal for the article processing charge (APC). Wellcome funds cannot be used to pay the APC.
  2. If the waiver requested in Step 1 is not given, then request a publishing agreement amendment via the journal editorial office. You can use this template Wellcome_RRS_addendum (docx).

If the requests outlined in Step 1 and Step 2 above are both rejected by the journal, contact Wellcome at openaccess@wellcome.org. Wellcome Trust provides more information under 'Detailed information on Route 3' in its guidance on Complying with our open access policy.

Required licence

 CC BY required on all compliance routes.

CC BY ND by requesting an exception from Wellcome Trust.

For information see Creative Commons licenses or The anatomy of a Creative Commons License (SWAY).

Other requirements

Data access in line with data, software and materials management and sharing policy.

Depositing preprints encouraged, and where there is significant public health benefit, e.g. a disease outbreak, may be required.

Non-compliant papers

Researchers and organisations who do not comply with Wellcome’s policy will be subject to appropriate sanctions. These may include Wellcome not accepting new grant applications, or suspending funding to organisations in extreme cases.