When one is active in an area (in this case Open Access) it's often difficult to see how important it is from outside. So I was delighted to get an internal email to all staff making it clear that it was MANDATORY for Wellcome grantees to publish their papers as Open Access. Here's excerpts from the mail:
As you may be aware, the Wellcome Trust's award terms and conditions require that all research papers arising from Wellcome Trust funded research must be made available on the PubMed Central website (http://ukpmc.ac.uk/) within six months of publication.
The Wellcome Trust have been monitoring compliance rates, and have been disappointed to find that these are currently very low. As a result of this, they intend to more actively monitor compliance, and in future will be contacting researchers who have not had articles published as Open Access papers.
The University of Cambridge has been given a grant to cover costs associated with Open Access publishing. If your journal charges for making your article available on PubMed Central, please refer to this website: http://www.bio.cam.ac.uk/sbs/funds/wt_claims.html for how to claim these costs back from my office.
Further information on the Wellcome Trust's Open Access policy can be found here: http://www.bio.cam.ac.uk/sbs/funds/wtinfo.html, or at the Wellcome Trust's website here: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/Policy/Spotlight-issues/Open-access/Guides-and-FAQ/WTD018855.htm.
and the claims site announces:
Claiming Open Access Charges
This page describes how to claim back costs charged by publishers for placing papers on the UK PubMed Central website. Initially, you will have to pay the publisher’s Open Access charges. You can then claim these costs back as follows:
- Fill out a form (Open Access request form) with the requested information.
- Please return the form and an internal invoice ...
Once we have this, the monies you have paid for Open Access charges will be re-imbursed to your account.
I have the privilege of being on the UKPMC advisory board and we've been thinking about how to make the policies and practices more widely known. UKPMC is doing roadshows (the first in Oxford last month) and I am sure they would welcome enquiries from institutions or individuals wanting more info.
We have to realise that Open Access will take hard work. It's not just building deposition systems and expecting them to get filled. It needs a commitment from the grant holder. It's simple:
- If you receive a grant you have to publish the results as Open Access.
If you don't want to, no-one is forcing you to apply for grants.
(Well, yes they probably are, so you had better get used to the practice of publishing Open Access)