About WHO

WHO policy on open access

WHO supports open access to the published output of its activities as a fundamental part of its mission and a public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.

The new WHO policy on open access applies to all articles or chapters published in non-WHO publications that are authored or co-authored by WHO staff or produced by individuals or institutions funded in whole or in part by WHO.

From 1 July 2014, articles authored or co-authored by WHO staff will have to be published in an open-access journal or a hybrid open-access journal under the terms of a Creative Commons 3.0 intergovernmental organization (IGO) ported licence, or in a subscription journal that allows for the depositing of the accepted author manuscript in Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) within 12 months of the official publication date. Similarly, articles produced by recipients of WHO funding will have to be published in an open-access journal or a hybrid open-access journal under the terms of a standard Creative Commons licence or in a subscription journal that allows for the depositing of the article in Europe PMC within 12 months of the official publication date.

WHO will include the costs of open-access charges, where appropriate, in its applications to donors who support WHO’s work. It will also invite external entities applying for project support from WHO to include such costs, where appropriate, in their applications.

Any articles or chapters published before July 2014 that fall within the scope of the policy may also be deposited in Europe PMC.

WHO will continue to support free access to and downloading of its own publications via the WHO Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS) and encourage reuse for educational and research purposes.

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