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Durham University



Wellcome Open Access policy changes in 2020

Apply to research articles submitted for publication from 1 January 2020 – changes do not apply to monographs nor book chapters

There are 5 changes:

  1. Research articles must be available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC at the time of publication – previously a 6-month embargo was permitted
  2. Research articles must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY) regardless of whether an Article Processing Charge (APC) has been paid – ie the charge for ‘Gold’ Open Access
  3. Wellcome will not pay APCs for articles published in ‘hybrid’ journals – ie journals which are part Open Access and part available by subscription-only
  4. Pre-prints which offer a significant public health benefit must be published before peer-review, on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript and under a CC-BY licence – this is a new requirement
  5. Wellcome-funded organisations must sign or publicly commit to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) – a statement about ways to improve how scientific research is evaluated by funding agencies, academic institutions, and other parties – this is a new requirement

An initiative launched in September 2018 by an international consortium of research funders. Broadly, the Plan would require from 2020 outputs from publicly-funded research be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms.

Here are some of the 10 principles:

  • Authors to retain copyright of their publication with no restrictions. All publications must be published under an open licence, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution Lcence (CC-BY)
  • Where applicable, Open Access publication fees are covered by the Funders or universities, not by individual researchers
  • When Open Access publication fees are applied, their funding is standardised and capped (across Europe)
  • The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the principles - ie journals which are part Open Access and part available by subscription-only
  • Principles shall apply to all types of scholarly publications, but it is understood that the timeline to achieve Open Access for monographs and books may be longer than 1 January 2020

19-page report published in November 2017. Decisions include:

  • Which staff are to be returned for REF - 'all staff with significant responsibility for research'
  • Open access deadlines - 'deposit as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date'
  • New Exception - 'outputs unable to meet the deposit timescale, remain compliant if deposited up to three months after the date of publication'
  • Non-portability - 'outputs may be submitted by both the institution employing the staff member on the census date and the originating institution where the staff member was previously employed as Category A eligible when the output was demonstrably generated'

Full report on Research England's website (formerly HEFCE).