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.

WHO’s policy on open access applies to:

  • all publications published by WHO  CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO;
  • articles or chapters published in non-WHO publications that are authored or co-authored by WHO staff CC BY 3.0 IGO or CC BY-NC 3.0 IGO;
  • articles or chapters published in non-WHO publications that are authored or co-authored by individuals or institutions funded in whole or in part by WHO CC BY 3.0 IGO or CC BY-NC 3.0 IGO.

Publications published by WHO

WHO publications published after 11 November 2016 are issued under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Intergovernmental Organization ( CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO) licence. This licence allows for any non-commercial use, without the need to obtain permission from WHO. Adaptations and translations are also permitted, as long as the adapted work is published under the same licence.

WHO publications are accessible through the Institutional Repository for Information Sharing, IRIS; http://apps.who.int/iris/

WHO publications published prior to 2017 will not be reissued under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence; however, WHO will continue to encourage their reuse for non-commercial educational and research purposes.

Use of WHO Publications for Commercial Purposes

Requests to use WHO publications for commercial purposes should be made using the permissions form.

Articles or chapters published in non-WHO publications that are authored or co-authored by WHO staff

Since 1 July 2014, external journal articles authored or co-authored by WHO staff have to be published in an open-access journal or a hybrid open-access journal under the terms of a Creative Commons 3.0 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.

Articles or chapters published in non-WHO publications that are authored or co-authored by individuals or institutions funded in whole or in part by WHO

Since 1 July 2014, articles produced by recipients of WHO funding 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 includes the costs of open-access charges, where appropriate, in its applications to donors who support WHO’s work. It also invites external entities applying for project support from WHO to include such costs, where appropriate, in their applications.

 

Related resources

Frequently asked questions

for recipients of WHO funding

PDF

Europe PubMed Central

WHO funders page on the Europe PMC open science platform

Institutional Repository for Information Sharing

IRIS