Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Elsevier and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have entered into an agreement which ensures authors publishing in Elsevier journals are compliant with the Gates Foundation open access policy.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Open Access policy applies to all funded agreements issued from 1 January 2015 onwards. The policy contains provision for an initial two-year transition period, meaning that during 2015 and 2016 an embargo period of up to 12 months can be used for articles and therefore both gold and green open access options are available to authors who publish with Elsevier during this transition period.

From 1 January 2017 onwards articles must be published gold open access to comply with the policy. This requirement applies to research supported in whole, or in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gold open access

  • Elsevier provides open access (OA) publishing options which enable authors to be fully compliant with the Foundation’s policy. Specifically, authors can choose to either publish their article in an open access journal or in one of over 1600 established journals with an open access option. This includes journals published by The Lancet.
  • The corresponding author will be given a choice of two Creative Commons licenses. The Gates Foundation policy states that its grant recipients are required to publish under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.
  • Elsevier will deposit the final published journal article in PubMed Central (PMC) on behalf of authors. The version that appears in PMC will have a CrossMark® identifier and link back to the authoritative version of record on ScienceDirect.
  • A publication fee must be paid in order to publish an article gold open access. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will pay Elsevier directly from a central fund. The Gates Foundation will not reimburse researchers directly but will only pay the publishing fees directly to Elsevier. See the Gates Foundation website for more details. Elsevier's open access publication fees range from $500 - $5,000 USD and are journal specific. Specific pricing information can be found on the journal homepage.

Green open access

  • During the 2015-2016 transition period authors can choose to publish their research as a subscription article and Elsevier will provide public access to the accepted manuscript automatically after expiry of the journal’s embargo period via the CHORUS service.
  • Authors are also able to self-archive their accepted manuscript if they wish; further details are available here.
  • Please note: The maximum embargo period permitted by the Gates Foundation is 12 months, so authors will need to check the specific embargo details for the journal in which they wish to publish to ensure this green open access option is available to them. Click here to see our embargo period list

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