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 as soon as possible, and in any event within six months of the date of publication. Last year, the Trust announced that it had strengthened its enforcement of its open access policy.
However, key research findings - particularly in the medical humanities - are also often published as scholarly monographs or book chapters, which until now have not been included in the open access policy.
Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, says: "We are 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."
The extended policy will become effective for holders of grants awarded after 1 October 2013, and for existing grantholders from October 2014. The new policy does not apply to textbooks, 'trade' books, general reference works or works of fiction, or to collections edited but not authored by Trust grantholders. It would not affect, for example, a non-fiction work written by a medical historian aimed at a general audience and published by a commercial publisher.
As with its existing open access policy, the Wellcome Trust will make funds available for the payment of publishers' open access monograph processing charges. These funds will be distributed in the same way as current open access funds, primarily via block grants to institutions.
Simon Chaplin adds: "The Wellcome Trust is once again leading the way in open access. Over the past two years we have seen a number of innovative proposals for open access books, and we are looking forward to working with publishers and our researchers to develop viable models for scholarly monographs and book chapters."
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.