Wellcome puts trust in expanded open access

The Wellcome Trust has announced plans to extend its open access policy to include scholarly monographs and book chapters

May 30, 2013

For holders of grants awarded after 1 October 2013, and existing grant holders from October 2014, publishing in books and scholarly monographs will be subject to the same open access requirements as peer-reviewed research papers.

Since 2006, the trust’s open access policy has required that all original research papers funded in whole or in part by the trust be made available via the Europe PubMed Central repository within six months of the date of publication.

However, research findings published as scholarly monographs or book chapters – common in the medical humanities – had not been included.

All scholarly books, even if not subject to anonymous peer-review, will now fall under the policy. However, the policy will not cover textbooks, “trade” books, general reference works or works of fiction, nor collections edited but not authored by grant holders.

As with its existing open access policy, the trust plans to make funds available to pay publishers’ open access monograph processing charges, with funds distributed in the same way as current open access funds; primarily via block grants to institutions.

Although for books and monographs the use of the Creative Commons, Attribution licence (CC-BY), which allows unlimited reuse of content subject to attribution, will be strongly preferred, it will not mandatory.

The trust requires that all journal articles for which publication incurs an open access fee are published under the CC-BY licence.

A new Europe PMC monograph service to facilitate compliance is in development, and will be in place when the policy comes into effect, says the trust’s website.

Simon Chaplin, head of the Wellcome Library, said the organisation remained “deeply committed to ensuring that the published outputs of our funded research are made freely available”.

“We recognise that a significant amount of scholarly work is published in monographs and book chapters and we want to ensure that these, too, reach as wide an audience as possible. This will allow the knowledge to be built upon in order to maximise health and public benefit, and foster a richer research culture,” he said.

elizabeth.gibney@tsleducation.com

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