Forwarding from the Wellcome Trust. This position statement is now
online at the WT site,
A position statement by the Wellcome Trust in support of open access
The mission of the Wellcome Trust is to "foster and promote
research with the aim of improving human and animal health."
The main output of this research is new ideas and knowledge, which the
Trust expects its researchers to publish in quality, peer-reviewed
The Trust has a fundamental interest in ensuring that neither the terms
struck with researchers, nor the marketing and distribution strategies
used by publishers (whether commercial, not-for-profit or academic)
adversely affect the availability and accessibility of this
With recent advances in Internet publishing, the Trust is aware that
there are a number of new models for the publication of research results
and will encourage initiatives that broaden the range of opportunities
for quality research to be widely disseminated and freely accessed.
The Wellcome Trust therefore supports open and unrestricted access to the
published output of research, including the open access model (defined
below), as a fundamental part of its charitable mission and a public
benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.
Specifically, the Trust:=20
As part of its corporate planning process, the Trust will continue
to keep this policy under review.
- =B7 welcomes the establishment of
free-access, high-quality scientific journals available via the
- =B7 will encourage and support
the formation of such journals and/or free-access repositories for
- =B7 will meet the cost of
publication charges including those for online-only journals for
Trust-funded research by permitting Trust researchers to use contingency
funds for this purpose;
- =B7 encourages researchers to
maximize the opportunities to make their results available for free and,
where possible, retain their copyright, as recommended by the
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), the Public
Library of Science, and similar frameworks;
- =B7 affirms the principle that it
is the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in
which a researcher's work is published, that should be considered in
funding decisions and awarding grants.=20
Definition of open access publication1
An open access publication is one that meets the following two
- 1. The author(s) and copyright
holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual
(for the lifetime of the applicable copyright) right of access to, and a
licence to copy, use, distribute, perform and display the work publicly
and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any
reasonable purpose, subject to proper attribution of
authorship2, as well as the right to make small numbers of
printed copies for their personal use.
- 2. A complete version of the work and
all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated
above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately
upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is
supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government
agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open
access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term
archiving (for the biomedical sciences, PubMed Central is such a
1. An open access publication is a property of individual
works, not necessarily of journals or of publishers.
2. Community standards, rather than copyright law, will continue to
provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and
responsible use of the published work, as they do now.
The definition of open access publication used in this position statement
is based on the definition arrived at by delegates who attended a meeting
on open access publishing convened by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
in July 2003.