The Wellcome Trust is changing its policy on open access from 2020 following a six month review and consultation with grantees, publishers, research organisations and funders.
The funder is dropping support for ‘hybrid’ journals, which operate traditional subscription models while allowing some articles to be published open access. Wellcome says it no longer thinks that this publication model will help the transition to full open access and won’t cover the costs of publishing in them any more. It also says the research it funds will have to be made free to read immediately after publication. Previously it permitted a six month embargo period.
These measures put Wellcome’s policy in line with Science Europe’s recently announced Plan S, which aims to completely eliminate paywalls in science. Wellcome says it has now joined the coalition of funding bodies supporting the plan, alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Other updates to its open access policy include a requirement that Wellcome-funded institutions sign up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, and that all research should be published under a creative commons licence to allow it to be accessed by text mining services.
It has also updated its policy to support publishing preprints which haven’t been peer reviewed in cases where there is a significant public health advantage to the research being shared widely, such as during a disease outbreak.