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Wellcome launches new open access requirements for publishers

Wellcome have issued a set of requirements for open access publishing, which will come into force on April 1 2017. The policy outlines the service that publishers must provide to receive an article processing charge (APC) from the charity, focussing on three key services – depositing, licensing and invoicing. It states that “when Wellcome funds are used to pay an APC the article must be deposited, at the time of publication, in PubMed Central (PMC)”. Further to this, updates must be made to PMC if papers are corrected or retracted and all deposited articles must be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence. Publishers must also have a publicly available policy setting out their approach and criteria for refunding APC payments.

Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at Wellcome explains how, in setting out their expectations of publishers in a more detailed way, Wellcome are “taking the opportunity to: both introduce a small number of new requirements and make previously implicit requirements explicit”.

Wiley, Springer Nature, Oxford University Press, Royal Society and PLOS are among some of the publishers who have already committed to the requirements, and other publishers who currently provide or intend to provide the services outlined by Wellcome have until 16th December 2016 to sign up.

The publisher requirements follow an analysis by Wellcome, which showed that during 2014-2015, 30% of Wellcome and Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) articles for which an APC was paid were non-compliant with their open access policies.

COAF members Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Parkinson’s UK will also apply the same requirements for outcomes of research they have funded. For the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the requirements are due to come into effect in January 2017.



Summary by Louise Niven, DPhil from Aspire Scientific.


Medical writing

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