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Open Access: Wellcome Trust, CRUK, & BHF OA Policies

This guide is intended to provide advice on open access to researchers



From 1 January 2021, Wellcome's  open access policy will require all research articles which arise from Wellcome funding to 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 Wellcome have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC BY-ND licence.

Summary of the routes to compliance

There are three publishing routes you can follow to comply with Wellcome’s policy:

Route 1: Publish in a fully OA journal or platform.

Route 2: Publish in a subscription journal and take responsibility for making the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication.

Route 3: Publish in a subscription journal through a transformative arrangement that is available to you via your organisation.

Wellcome’s preferred routes to compliance are routes 1 or 3. These options ensure that the final published version is made OA at the time of publication.

Grantholders should read Wellcome's Complying with our OA policy for detailed practical guidance on how to comply.




Wellcome have updated their grant conditions to 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:

'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.'

These changes seek to ensure that grantholders (and anyone supported/associated with the grant) can:

  • continue to submit manuscripts to any journal they choose (provided it accepts that Author Accepted Manuscripts arising from submissions from Wellcome-funded researchers will already be licensed under a prior CC BY licence)
  • retain the necessary intellectual property rights to remain compliant with our OA policy.


*Some hybrid journals – which have not yet implemented publishing models to transition away from subscriptions – now ask grantholders to agree to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) at the point of submission.

Wellcome funds cannot be used to support these fees.

Grantholders should either contact the journal to check if they will grant a waiver or consider publishing in another journal.






From 1 January 2022, if you have a research paper accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, you must ensure that the following requirements are met:

  1. An electronic copy of the final paper must be made freely available in Europe PubMed Central at the time of final publication.

  2. The open access version of your research paper must be published with a CC-BY 4.0 licence.

  3. You must acknowledge Cancer Research UK funding in the funding acknowledgement section of the paper, using your grant reference number.


Routes to compliance

The above requirements can be met through the following routes:

Route 1: Publish in a fully open access or hybrid journal which makes the Version of Record (VoR) freely available immediately on publication. Typically, the journal deposits the final publication in Europe PMC on the authors' behalf.

Route 2: Publish in a subscription journal and make the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) available immediately on publication. Typically, the author self-deposits the AAM on Europe PMC at the time of final publication.

Route 3: Publish in a journal that has agreed a transformative agreement with Queen's.


CRUK Policy on Open Access




British Heart Foundation grant holders should ensure that an electronic copy of each primary research paper or non-commissioned review funded wholly or in part by the BHF is made freely available in Europe PubMed Central as soon as possible and no later than 6 months after publication.

It is a Condition of Grant that Grant Holders acknowledge BHF support by quoting “British Heart Foundation” followed by the award reference number in the appropriate section of all publications arising from BHF funded research.

BHF Open Access Policy