How to Comply
Open Access publishing refers to scholarly research that is freely available, accessible, and reusable. The “Publications” clause housing the Open Access policy, is a non-negotiable term included in all grant agreements as of January 1, 2015. All research articles and their underlying data which arise from our funding, in whole or in part, must be made freely available at the time of publication. Here’s how to ensure your work complies with our policy and tips on navigating the process.
Want a quick start guide?
Step 1. Pick A Journal
Pick a journal to publish your research. Use the Journal Checker Tool to see how your journal stacks up.
Note: Some journals make it easier for authors to meet the Open Access requirements. Know the journal’s options for compliance BEFORE submitting.
Step 2. Submit Your Manuscript
When you submit your manuscript on the journal’s submission portal, please include the following standard language in the manuscript’s acknowledgment section:
“This work was supported, in whole or in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [Grant Number]. Under the grant conditions of the Foundation, a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License has already been assigned to the Author Accepted Manuscript version that might arise from this submission.”
Be sure to do the following:
- Include Your Grant Number
- You can find this on your Investment Document. Begins with “OPP” or “INV” followed by a series of numbers.
- Include a Data Availability Statement at the end of your article prior to submission.
- This is required even where there is no data associated with the article. The Data Availability statement should not refer readers or reviewers to contact an author to obtain the data, but should instead include the applicable details where the underlying data can be found.
- Retain Your Rights
- Don’t sign away copyright through the standard forms. Learn more about your Rights to Retention.
- Select a CC BY license or equivalent
- Upon acceptance select the CC BY license which allows users to build upon research without restriction while also ensuring that appropriate attribution is given. Learn more about CC BY licenses.
If you are transferred to another journal at the publisher or submit to another journal, ensure that the above information is included at the new journal.
Step 3. Upload your data to a repository
The data availability statement includes information about where the underlying data can be found. Upload your data at the time you submit your manuscript.
Deposit data in a repository already established for your research domain according to the recognized standards of your discipline. Required or suggested repositories are often identified within a journal’s author guidelines.
Gates Open Research Data Guidelines provide submission options based on data type.
Step 4. What happens when your paper is accepted
If the journal asks you to review your article prior to publication, double-check that your foundation grant number in the acknowledgment and data availability statement is included.
Payment of Fees. If your journal charges publishing fees, the foundation may pay them. If you receive an invoice, don’t pay it as we are unable to reimburse grantee authors. Instead, forward it to [email protected]. Learn more about what open access fees are eligible for funding support and how to have your open access fees paid please see the Payment of Publishing Fees page.
Repository Deposit. Most publishers will automatically deposit your article to PubMed Central, so your Open Access requirements will be met. The foundation will contact you if the journal doesn’t deposit your article and assist you in uploading your accepted manuscript to an open repository through their partnership with OA.Works.
Step 5. Your Open Access requirements are met when:
- Your article is freely available at the time of publication and licensed CC BY.
- Your article is available in an open repository.
- Your data is available in an open repository.
What if your chosen journal is a hybrid journal?
The foundation does not cover open access fees for hybrid journals. Only publication fees for Gold OA journals or journals committed to OA transformation will be paid. For further details on this rational read “Why Hybrid Journals Do Not Lead to Full and Immediate Open Access“.
You have several options available to you to obtain compliance with the foundation’s open access policy:
- Rights Retention: Publish your article in this journal, but do not select the open access route. No publishing fees will apply for this route. Upon publication, upload your accepted manuscript to an open repository with a CC BY license and you will be compliant. Please ensure that the following acknowledgement is included in your published article:
- “This work was supported, in whole or in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [Grant Number]. Under the grant conditions of the Foundation, a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License has already been assigned to the Author Accepted Manuscript version that might arise from this submission.”
- Alternative Funds: Locate funds from alternative sources, such as your institution or co-authors, in order to pay the open access fees.
- Other Options: Talk to the publisher about other options, such as fee waivers and transfers to full OA or transformative journals.
- Find Another Journal: You can use the Journal Checker Tool to identify a compliant journal for your work.