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

If you are unable to make either of these versions open access, you may post a preprint under a CC BY license.

Wellcome Trust open access policy 

Routes to meeting open access requirements

GOLD Publish in a fully open access journal or platform e.g. Wellcome Open Research, or open access in a hybrid journal. See “paying for gold open access” as Wellcome will not usually pay for this option in hybrid journals. Please refer to the section below regarding “mirror journals”. 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.


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 Depositing in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.  Rights retention under Imperial’s Research Publications Open Access policy, or the inclusion of a Rights Retention Statement (see below), ensures you retain the right to do this.

If you are unable to make either the final published version or the author’s accepted manuscript open access, Wellcome will accept as compliant a preprint acknowledging Wellcome Trust funding posted on a preprint server indexed by Europe PMC  under a CC BY license. Imperial authors should always be able to comply by depositing the published version or accepted manuscript  due to our open access policy, so this situation should not arise, but contact openaccess@imperial.ac.uk if you believe it applies to you.

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 until 31 December 2024 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, 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 GREEN open access.

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

Rights retention statement

For articles complying via GREEN open access, authors should retain the right to apply a CC BY license (or other permitted license by exception) to the accepted version of their manuscript. 

Under Imperial’s Research Publications Open Access Policy this right is retained automatically for publication in journals where the publisher has been notified of our policy. A list of notified publishers is available. 

If your publisher is on the list of those notified, simply deposit the accepted version of the manuscript in Spiral via Symplectic on acceptance. The open access team will make it available on publication with a CC BY license (or other license permitted by exception). You also need to deposit the accepted version in Europe PubMed Central with no embargo and a CC BY license.

If your publisher has not been notified, contact openaccess@imperial.ac.uk so that we can notify them, and include the following text 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’.

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.


Mirror journals

Mirror journals are open access versions of subscription journals.

These journals have similar aims, scope, peer review processes, and policies, with at least 50% of the board members being the same. They may be listed in DOAJ and have their own ISSN. Examples include journal titles with an X in the suffix (refer to the 2022 Jülich list for specific titles, although it may be incomplete). However, for open access funding purposes, these journals are considered 'hybrid', and open access charges cannot be paid for from the Wellcome Trust, (refer to the Open Access Policy 2021 FAQ (pdf). If you have submitted or been accepted in one, please contact the Library’s Open Access team.