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Open Access: Wellcome Trust & Other Funder 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.


Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Open Access Requirements





As a CRUK-funded researcher, if you have an original primary article accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, you must ensure that:

  1. An electronic copy of the final, published form of your paper (either the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) or Version of Record (VoR) is available on Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) as soon as possible and no later than 6 months after publication. For articles accepted for final publication on or after 1 January 2022 we require that your paper is made openly available in Europe PMC immediately on publication. (i.e. a 6-month embargo will not be permitted).

  2. If you've paid an article processing charge (APC) for the Europe PMC deposit, your paper must be published with a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY 4.0), so that it may be freely copied and reused (for example, for text- and data-mining purposes), providing that the original authors are properly credited. Other licences will not be compliant with your Grant Conditions.

  3. The journal you publish in must be published by a publisher who has agreed to these publisher requirements. Most publishers have agreed to these – for details, download the full Open Access Policy.

CRUK Open Access Policy




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.

British Heart Foundation (BHF) Open Access Requirements


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

Other Funder Requirements

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) 

For all peer-reviewed research articles you must:

  • Make your research Open Access

For a journal to be compliant with the NIHR policy it must either:

  • Provide immediate and unrestricted access to the final published version of the paper with a CC-BY licence. (Gold open access)


  • Permit the deposit of the final accepted manuscript in Europe PMC (must be freely available no later than six months after the date of publication).

NIHR Open Access Policy

Horizon 2020

For all peer-reviewed research articles you must:

  1. Deposit publications in a repository.
  2. Make your research Open Access.

For a journal to be compliant with the Horizon 2020 policy it must either:

  • Provide open access through a repository upon publication. (Gold open access)Article processing charges are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project.


  • Provide open access through a repository within a defined period. (Green open access)

Maximum embargo period allowed for Green open access :

  • 6 months for STEM disciplines
  • 12 months for SSH disciplines

Horizon 2020 Open Access Policy