The Trust has extended its open access policy to include scholarly monographs and book chapters authored or co-authored by Trust grantholders that arise as part of their grant-funded research.
The extended policy applies to all Wellcome Trust grantholders, past and present. This FAQ provides further information about the policy change. If you have any other queries about this policy and its implementation please email email@example.com.
Last updated: August 2015
- 1. What is the Wellcome Trust’ open access policy?
- 2. Why is the Trust extending the open access policy to include monographs and book chapters?
- 3. When does the monograph and book chapter requirement apply from?
- 4. Who does the extended open access policy apply to?
- 5. How can grant-holders comply with the extended open access policy?
- 6. How will open access costs be met?
- 7. How do you define ‘scholarly’ monographs or book chapters?
- 8. Why aren’t other kinds of books included in the extension to the open access policy?
- 9. The Trust’s open access policy only applies to peer-reviewed research articles. Does thepolicy alsoonly apply to peer-reviewed books and book chapters?
- 10. Will the open access requirement prevent authors from publishing books and monographs with the most appropriate publishers?
- 11. I have already signed a contract to publish a book based on my grant-funded research – will I have to renegotiate it?
- 12. Can I use third party images if I make my monograph or book chapter open access?
- 13. Do I have to deposit my book in OAPEN?
- 14. Why is the Trust requiring CC-BY licences for journal articles and not for books?
- 15. Can you explain the difference between the different Creative Commons licences?
If you have any queries about this policy and its implementation please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What is the Wellcome Trust’ open access policy?
The Wellcome Trust’s open access policy requires that electronic copies of all original research papers, monographs and book chapters that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by Wellcome Trust funding, to be made freely available from PubMed Central (PMC) (research articles) or PMC Bookshelf (Monographs and book chapters) and Europe PMC, as soon as possible, and in any event within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication.
The Trust will provide grantholders with additional funding to cover the open access charges levied by publishers who provide a Wellcome-compliant paid open access option. Where a publishing fee is levied, such works must be available without embargo. See our open access funding page
Research papers where the Trust pays an open access fee, we require authors and publishers to licence research papers using the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). CC-BY is also the preferred licence for monographs and books chapters. See Question 12 below for more information about licences.
2. Why is the Trust extending the open access policy to include monographs and book chapters?
The Wellcome Trust is committed to ensuring that the published outputs of our funded research are made freely available, so that this knowledge can be built on by the widest possible audience, in a manner that maximises health and public benefit, and fosters a richer research culture.
We have long-recognised that key research findings are also published in the form of scholarly monographs or book chapters, and believe that the visibility and impact of these research outputs should be maximised. We believe the time is now right to extend our open access policy to cover these other important types of research publications.
3. When does the monograph and book chapter requirement apply from?
The extended policy applies to all grantholders. The policy applies to all scholarly monographs and book chapters arising from grants awarded on or after 1 October 2013. In October 2014 it came into effect for holders of grants which were awarded before 1 October 2013 and who sign a contract after 1 October 2014.
From 1 October 2014, the sanctions which the Trust applies to grantholders who have authored a research paper which is not compliant with the open access policy will also apply to authors of scholarly monographs and book chapters funded by the Wellcome Trust.
4. Who does the extended open access policy apply to?
The extended policy applies to all Wellcome Trust grantholders. We recognise that the publication of original research in the form of scholarly monographs and book chapters is most common in the humanities and social sciences. However, researchers supported through our biomedical science funding schemes do also report original research through such mechanisms from time to time. Our policy therefore applies to all such outputs across the totality of our funding.
5. How can grant-holders comply with the extended open access policy?
To ensure that your scholarly monograph or book chapter complies with the Trust’s open access policy, you should make it available from PubMed Bookshelf and Europe PMC as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the publisher's official date of final publication. Where an open access publishing fee is levied, such works must be available without embargo, and be licensed in ways which support their re-use. Open access monographs and book chapters will be freely available in both html and PDF format via the repositories.
Wellcome Trust grantholders or publishers of research funded by the Wellcome Trust should use the deposit form available from the Wellcome Trust website to deposit a monograph or book chapter for inclusion in the PubMed Bookshelf and Europe PMC. The following information is needed to complete the form:
- relevant Wellcome Trust grant number or grant-holder name
- full text monograph or book chapter file(s), plus associated metadata files if available
- licence details of the publication
- embargo release date, if applicable.
Publishers may find this practical guide to publishing open access monographs and book chapters provides useful. Additionally the Trust’s service requirements when an open access fee is paid can be found in the publishers guide
6. How will Open Access costs be met?
The awards made to institutions for open access through the Charity Open Access Fund cannot be used to cover the cost of open access fees associated with Trust-funded scholarly monographs and book chapters.
To receive reimbursement for these costs researchers should email the following details to email@example.com:
- your current employing institution
- title of the monograph or book chapter
- Welcome Trust grant reference number
- publisher name
- proposed date of publication
- cost of the open access fee.
Your research grant will be supplemented and the institution will be able to claim reimbursement for these additional costs in the usual way. Open access funding will also be provided where a research grant has ended.
7. How do you define ‘scholarly’ monographs or book chapters?
In general ‘scholarly’ books are defined by their content and their intended audience. In terms of content, they represent the results of original academic research, presented in accordance with recognised academic conventions – for example, with rigorous inclusion of bibliographic references. In terms of audience, scholarly books will be written by, and aimed at, those who are actively engaged with or interested in academic research, rather than a general readership. Scholarly books are sometimes identifiable by the publisher, imprint, or series, or by the way in which they are described and marketed by publishers. They are unlikely to be stocked by general booksellers.
A key criterion is that the book concerned reports original scholarly research. Researcher contributions to other kinds of book – including text books, reference books or non-fiction books aimed at general readers do not fall under the mandate.
If you are unsure whether your book or book chapter should be made freely available under the extended open access policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Why aren’t other kinds of books included in the extension to the open access policy?
The Trust’s policy exists to promote dissemination of, and access to, the outputs of its grant-funded research. We recognise that research grantholders may also be active authors and/or editors of or contributors to other kinds of books, such as text-books, reference books or non-fiction books aimed at general readers. These are not included in our policy for two reasons. First, for the most part these sorts of publications are not primarily intended as ways of disseminating new, original research findings. Second, the business models for these books are different from those for scholarly monographs or edited collections (usually print runs are higher and cover prices are lower). This makes it both less important, and less appropriate, for the Trust to fund open access to these works.
9. The Trust’s open access policy only applies to peer-reviewed research articles. Does the policy also only apply to peer-reviewed monographs and book chapters?
We understand that books – even scholarly books – are not always subject to anonymous peer review in the way that journal articles are. While complete monograph manuscripts are sometimes sent out for peer review, in other cases review may take place at the proposal stage, or on the basis of one or two trial chapters. Academic editors often fulfil a role similar to a peer reviewer, especially for works published as part of a series, and publishers’ commissioning editors also play a part in guaranteeing the quality of the published work. For these reasons we have decided not to make peer-review a necessary criterion for books included under the mandate.
10. Will the open access requirement prevent authors from publishing books with the most appropriate publishers?
We will work hard with authors and publishers to ensure that compliance with the Trust’s policy does not compromise researchers’ ability to publish with whichever publisher they feel is most appropriate – just as we have done with journal publishers.
As with journals, we believe that adopting this mandate (and encouraging other research funders to do likewise) will provide existing publishers with a strong rationale for developing open access book publishing mechanisms (as many are already doing), and will encourage new fully-open access book publishers to emerge.
Publishers already offering an OA option for scholarly monographs include:
Amsterdam University Press
Cambridge University Press
Manchester University Press
Open Book Publishers
Pickering & Chatto
At this stage a number of publishers, including Oxford University Press, Rutgers University Press and Peter Lang do not yet have an OA policy for monographs but are open to being approached by Wellcome Trust grantholders to discuss their options.
If you are considering publishing a monograph or book chapter with a publisher which does not have an open access option, please email email@example.com and we will work with you and the publisher to see if it is possible to publish your work open access.
11. I have already signed a contract to publish a book based on my grant-funded research – will I have to renegotiate it?
Possibly not. If you were awarded a grant before 1 October 2013, and signed a contract before 1 October 2014, then the policy does not apply to your monograph or book chapter. However, if you were awarded a grant on or after 1 October 2013 and/or signed a contract on or after 1 October 2014 then the policy does apply.
If you publish – or have published – a scholarly monograph or book chapter funded by the Wellcome Trust before the extended policy comes into effect, and you wish to make it open access, the Wellcome Trust will work with you to identify whether the publisher will allow this. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this option.
12. Can I use third party images if I make my monograph or book chapter open access?
Yes. Third party images are already being reused in open access journal articles, and the same principle applies to monographs and book chapters. However, this is a new area for many authors, publishers and image providers and there remain challenges around creating norms of how images can be reused and licensed within open access content.
Permission to use the image should be sought as usual. It is important to inform the image owner that your work will be published open access. However, the choice of how the image itself is licensed remains with the image owner. Ideally, the image will be published under the same license as the rest of your work, but this is not essential – the image can be licensed separately.
As with research articles, the Wellcome Trust’s Open Access fund cannot be used to pay image fees. Where use of a third party image is essential grantholders can use any Flexible Funding Allowance (FFA) provided on their research grant to meet this cost. For funding schemes where FFA is not provided, applicants can request this cost in their application to the Trust.
13. Do I have to deposit my book in OAPEN?
No. Grantholders are required to make scholarly monographs and book chapters available through PubMed Bookshelf and Europe PMC as soon as possible, with a maximum embargo of six months.
The Wellcome Trust is collaborating with OAPEN. OAPEN will automatically add open access Wellcome Trust-funded books in PubMed Bookshelf and Europe PMC to its collection. This is another method of increasing the reach of open access books, without any further action being needed from authors or publishers.
14. Why is the Trust requiring CC-BY licences for journal articles and not for books?
We believe that making the outputs of our funded research accessible means removing as many of the barriers to re-use and dissemination as we can. In the case of journal articles – especially in the sciences – there are some kinds of use, such as translation, or data and text mining, which add value to the content but which are made sustainable only if their cost can be recouped, and for this reason our open access policy for journal articles specifies a CC-BY (Creative Commons attribution-only) licence.
For books, however, the current state of the market is rather different. Exclusive rights to develop and market secondary products such as print-on-demand hard copies or fully-functional ebooks will help publishers keep down the costs of providing open access versions of books. This may change over time as the market develops, but for the time being maintaining a preference for CC-BY licences while allowing more restrictive licences, such as non-commercial and/or no-derivatives licences (i.e. CC-BY-NC, or CC-BY-NC-ND), is likely to be more productive.
15. Can you explain the difference between the different Creative Commons licences?
Creative Commons have developed a number of licences. The three most used licences – the attribution (CC-BY), the attribution, non-commercial (CC-BY-NC), and the attribution, non-commercial, no-derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) – are summarised below:
- A work made available under the CC-BY licence allows anyone to copy, distribute, transmit, adapt and make commercial use of the work. In all cases, the work must be attributed in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
- A work made available under the CC-BY-NC licence allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the work. In all cases, the work must be attributed in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Further, you may not use this work for commercial purposes. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
- A work made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND licence allows anyone to copy, distribute and transmit the work. In all cases, the work must be attributed in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Further, you may not use this work for commercial purposes and you may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.