The Wellcome Trust is extending its open-access (OA) policy to include all scholarly monographs and book chapters written by its grantholders as part of Wellcome-funded research.
Since 2006, the trust's OA policy has required that all original research papers that it funds, in whole or in part, 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.
However, according to the trust, 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 OA policy.
Simon Chaplin, head of the Wellcome Library, explained: '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 grantholders.
As with its existing policy, the Wellcome Trust says that it will make funds available for the payment of publishers' OA monograph processing charges. These funds will be distributed in the same way as current OA funds, primarily via block grants to institutions.
Chaplin added: '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.'