May 16, 2022

Wellcome Introduces Publisher Requirements for Open Access Publications

From a Wellcome Blog Post:

2016-09-06_15-26-53An analysis of the 2014-15 Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), which includes Wellcome funding, revealed that 30% of Wellcome and COAF member articles for which an APC was paid didn’t comply with our open access policies.

The relationships in the publication process aren’t straightforward, and we know there has been confusion with the process – for instance with which type of licence a researcher should choose for an article to be fully open access.

To try to address this issue we’re now setting out requirements stating what we expect from publishers when an APC is levied. Publishers that cannot commit to providing these services will not be eligible for funding from us to cover APCs for Wellcome-funded research.

You can read the full set of requirements but, in essence, they focus on three key services – depositing, licensing and invoicing.

In setting out our expectations of publishers in a more detailed way, we are also taking the opportunity to:

  • introduce a small number of new requirements
  • make previously implicit requirements explicit.

New Requirements

For the first time we’re spelling out a number of requirements relating to the payment of APCs.

Specifically, as an absolute minimum invoices must include the article title. We also strongly encourage publishers to provide additional information such as:

  • the article digital object identifier (DOI)
  • authors of the paper
  • the funders which supported the article
  • the licence under which the paper will be made available.

We are also specifying that publishers must have a publicly available reimbursement policy. To be clear, we aren’t defining what this policy should say, just requiring that such a policy should exist. This is so that authors, institutions and funders understand on what terms an APC payment may be refunded.



The key dates regarding implementation of our publisher requirements are:

  • 6 September 2016: publisher requirements published
  • 6 September to 15 December 2016: publishers requested to indicate if they can provide the defined services
  • 6 January 2017: Wellcome publishes a full list of publishers who can comply with our requirements
  • 1 April 2017: requirements come into effect for all Wellcome-attributed articles submitted for publication from this date.

Read the Complete Blog Post (Approx 1300 Words)


Complete Publisher Requirements

Wellcome Publisher Requirements: Early Adopters

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.