Skip to main content
Becker Medical Library logotype
Library Quicklinks and Information

Public Access Policies: Foundations, Charities and Organizations

Funding Organization

Our foundation is teaming up with partners around the world to take on some tough challenges: extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and the failures of America’s education system. We focus on only a few issues because we think that’s the best way to have great impact, and we focus on these issues in particular because we think they are the biggest barriers that prevent people from making the most of their lives.

Policy

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to information sharing and transparency. We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated. We have adopted an Open Access policy that enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation, including any underlying data sets.

As of January 1, 2015 our Open Access policy will be effective for all new agreements. During a two-year transition period, publishers will be permitted to apply up to a 12 month embargo period on the accessibility of the publication and its underlying data sets. This embargo period will no longer be allowed after January 1, 2017.

Our Open Access policy contains the following elements:

  1. Publications Are Discoverable and Accessible Online.  Publications will be deposited in a specified repository(s) with proper tagging of metadata. 

  2. Publication Will Be On “Open Access” Terms.  All publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required. 

  3. Foundation Will Pay Necessary Fees.  The foundation would pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms. 

  4. Publications Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately.  All publications shall be available immediately upon their publication, without any embargo period.   An embargo period is the period during which the publisher will require a subscription or the payment of a fee to gain access to the publication. We are, however, providing a transition period of up to two years from the effective date of the policy (or until January 1, 2017).  During the transition period, the foundation will allow publications in journals that provide up to a 12-month embargo period.

  5. Data Underlying Published Research Results Will Be Accessible and Open Immediately.  The foundation will require that data underlying the published research results be immediately accessible and open.  This too is subject to the transition period and a 12-month embargo may be applied.

Effective Date

The effective date of the Gates Foundation Policy is January 1, 2015  for all new agreements. During a two-year transition period, publishers will be permitted to apply up to a 12 month embargo period on the accessibility of the publication and its underlying data sets. This embargo period will no longer be allowed after January 1, 2017.

Manuscript Version Required

All publications shall be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License (CC BY 4.0) or an equivalent license. This will permit all users of the publication to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and transform and build upon the material, including for any purpose (including commercial) without further permission or fees being required.

The foundation will pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms.

Data

Data underlying the published research results must be immediately accessible and open. This is also subject to the transition period and a 12-month embargo may be applied.

Global Health Data Access Principles

Embargo Period

During a two-year transition period from the start of the effective date, publishers will be permitted to apply up to a 12 month embargo period on the accessibility of the publication and its underlying data sets. This embargo period will no longer be allowed after January 1, 2017.

Repository

The repository for publications is yet to be specified.

The repository for data is public-access repositories. When relevant public access repositories are not available for a given dataset, prospective grantees should propose alternatives for access.