Open Access

Publication Guidance  


Before you submit your manuscript, please make sure you are familiar with the CME publishing process and Open Access policies in accordance with KCL and the funders, Wellcome and EPSRC (UKRI). Funded authors are expected to maximise the opportunities to make their results available for open access.  

In general, for authors to comply with their funder policies they will need to:  

  • Acknowledge the source of funding with the funder name and grant number.  
  • Include a data accessibility statement (even if there is no data involved). 
  • Include the Rights Retention Statement on your submitted manuscript.  
  • Be sure to select a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY).  

As submitting a manuscript is not always a linear process, please read this document in full before starting. There are some processes that authors have to do at the point of submission or at the point of acceptance, depending on the publisher workflows. However, as a general guideline, follow the steps below.  


Steps to follow:


1) Statement in the publication 

Research conducted at the Centre that has used resources supported by the core award must state: 

 “This work was supported by funder 1 [grant number]; funder 2 [grant number], etc. and by core funding from the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering [WT203148/Z/16/Z]. For the purpose of Open Access, the Author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. 

If the research has been supported by other funders or other grants from Wellcome and EPSRC, please add them as specified (funder 1 [grant number]; funder 2 [grant number], etc. ). Else, delete as appropiate.  

As well as in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript, it is recommended that this text is also included in any cover letter that accompanies the submission. 


2) Data Access 

All research articles supported in whole, or in part, by Wellcome must include a data accessibility statement (even if there is no data involved), explaining how other researchers can access any data, original software or materials underpinning the research. This is in line with their data, software and materials management and sharing policy 

Please follow the Guidance on what to include in data and software availability statements and exemplars of good practice 

For questions, contact: 


3) Choosing the journal 

Use the Journal Checker Tool to check if your preferred journal enables you to comply with our policy and, if so, which route you should use. However, this can sometimes be inaccurate, if you are unsure about the journal you wish to publish in, please email 

There are 3 publishing routes you can follow to comply with Wellcome’s policy, although the preferred ones are A and C: 

  • Route A: Publish in a fully Open Access journal or platform (for example, eLife, PLOS Biology or Wellcome Open Research). Using this route, the publisher takes responsibility for making the Version of Record for the article freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication, under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY). This route may make steps 2 and 3 much easier. Wellcome are willing to fund fair and reasonable article processing charges (APCs) for papers published via this route where the journal:  

Read about how to get open access funding to cover open access publishing costs for research papers.  

  • Route B: Publish in a subscription journal and take responsibility for depositing the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) at the time of publication. You can still publish in any subscription or hybrid journal that does not have transformative status by self-archiving your AAM with a CC BY licence in an institutional or subject repository as well as Europe PMC. Under Route C, the author will need to manually deposit the AAM in Europe PMC at the time of publication, under a CC BY licence (see steps 2 and 3). All submitted manuscripts must include the Rights Retention Statement informing the publisher of your intent to deposit – see Step 5. By applying a CC BY licence (or CC BY-ND, if approved), you retain the right to deposit the AAM in Europe PMC and any repository. This route ensures that you can continue to publish in a subscription journal and comply with Wellcome’s OA policy. Use the author manuscript submission system – Europe PMC plus – to deposit your AAM so that it is automatically deposited in PMC as well. When complying by this route, no Article Processing Charge (APC) is payable to the publisher.  


  • Route C: Publish in a subscription journal through a transformative Read and Publish Deals that are available to you via KCL.  This includes:  
    • Transformative agreements. The website: Publisher Agreements | Research support | King’s College London will let you know if a transformative arrangement for your preferred journal is available to you through your organisation, for example, Springer Compact, Wiley OA Agreement, Sage, Brill. 
    • Transformative journals. If your journal is not part of one of KCL’s Read and Publish deals, your APC still may be covered by the block grants if your journal has received Transformative Journal status from either Plan S (for Wellcome’s funded papers) or Jisc (for UKRI funded papers).   
    • Important! For your paper to be included in one of KCL’s Read and Publish Deals, it must have a King’s corresponding author. 
    • Under this route, the publisher takes responsibility for making the Version of Record for the article freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication, under a CC BY licence. This route may make steps 2 and 3 much easier. 
    • The Wellcome provides KCL with a block grant (as do UKRI, BHF, and CRUK) to cover Article Processing Charges (APCs). The block grants are administered by the Open Research Team in Libraries and Collections (email: 

With the growing number of transformational agreements, it may be that the open access fee is covered automatically or that a discount might apply. Please ask for help choosing a journal by emailing: 


4) Making your publication Open Access 

Open Access is the free and open availability of research outputs online. Typically, those outputs are made available either on the publisher’s website or by deposit in online institutional or subject repositories. It would be useful to familiarise yourself with Open Access at King’s and how to comply with the Wellcome and the EPSRC (UKRI) policies. However, an outline of the combined requirements follows. 

  • If you chose Route A or C in step 1: 
    • The publisher takes responsibility for making the Version of Record for the article freely available from Europe PMC at the time of publication, under a CC BY licence 
    • If you select EPMC plus it will then be automatically uploaded to PMC. 
    • If not, then the article will need to be manually uploaded to PMC. 
  • If you chose Route B in step 1: 
    • The author should make the publication freely available through PubMed (PMC) and Europe PMC (EPMC) at the time of the official publication date.  
    • If you select EPMC plus it will then be automatically uploaded to PMC.  
    • If not, then it will need to be manually uploaded. 

Costs associated with open access publication should be split proportionately between the funders of the research in line with their relative contributions, as agreed by the paper’s authors. Where Wellcome has been the clear lead funder on a piece of research conducted at a Centre, then Wellcome will meet the full costs of open access publication. Additionally, where there is no mechanism to claim costs from the other funders concerned, then you can use Wellcome funding to cover these costs. However, where a researcher based at a Centre appears as a co-author on a paper resulting from research that has been led by other institutions and primarily funded by others, then we would expect the main funders of the research to meet the majority of any open access costs. Where such funds are not available, Wellcome funding may be used to help ensure these papers are available in open access form. 

For more information or questions regarding Open Access please visit Open Access at King’s information or contact 


5) Making your publication Openly Licenced 

The publication should be Openly Licenced. Published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY). As an exception, and only with prior agreement from the Wellcome, the publication may be under a CC BY-ND licence. 

  • If you chose Route A or C in step 1: 
    • Check if the publisher takes responsibility. Generally, this is the case, but some publishers like T&F do not default to CC BY licence and leave it to the author to select. 
  • If you chose Route B in step 1: 
    • The author should make the publication Openly Licenced. 
    • To ensure you (or anyone supported/associated with the grant) can comply with our policy, you must apply a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) public copyright licence to all Author Accepted Manuscripts arising from submissions to peer-reviewed journals that report original research. 
  • Request an exception to the CC BY licence (if required). 
    • As an exception, you can ask for individual articles to be published under a Creative Commons No-Derivatives licence (CC BY-ND), so that your research cannot be used to create derivatives works without your permission. 
    • To apply for this exception, you should complete a CC BY-ND exception form. You will need to have your request approved before your paper is submitted for publication. The process is estimated to take 10 days.  
    • If the request is approved, amend the text in step 5 so instead of “CC BY it states, “CC BY-ND. 

IMPORTANT! For PhD students publishing, if there’s a likelihood of publication prior to completion of the PhD thesis and the student is intending to include this in whole or in part within their final thesis (even an image/figure), then please contact to ensure the student retains the rights to do this without compromising the final thesis or otherwise considering a delay to publication altogether. 

CAUTION! Please note that if you sign a copyright transfer agreement that asserts the publisher has copyright over all versions of your paper, it is in direct conflict with the Rights Retention Strategy. Signing it will breach your funder requirements. 


6) After publication 

Deposit your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in Pure within three months of acceptance to ensure REF eligibility. 

For questions, contact: