Empowering Wellcome to publish diverse research outputs | F1000
Empowering Wellcome to publish diverse research outputs: an F1000 case study

Empowering Wellcome to publish diverse research outputs: an F1000 case study

4 mins


Wellcome is an independent charitable foundation. It supports bold and ambitious discovery research with the potential to transform the way we understand life, health, and wellbeing.

Wellcome helps researchers from across a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines to focus on learning about our world, generating innovative and creative ideas to improve human health.

Alongside its commitment to this work, Wellcome is taking on three urgent healthcare challenges:

  • Climate change and health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Mental health

The challenge: a changing research landscape

The publications landscape has undergone a dramatic shift over the past decade. Researchers have challenged the restrictive copyright and paywalls of traditional academic journals, favoring technology and innovations that remove barriers to accessing and sharing research.

The traditional research article may have been the cornerstone of academic publishing in years past, but today a wider range of other research objects are increasingly important to researchers, funders, and policymakers alike.

These research objects include novel article types that give scholars the freedom to tell the full story of their work in the format that best communicates the research outcomes.

Back in 2016, Wellcome recognized that to embody one of their key principles—to “act boldly”—they needed to provide Wellcome-funded researchers with a pathway to publish all facets of their research quickly and openly.

To get the most out of their research investment and solve urgent global health issues, Wellcome wanted to provide a publication venue for their grantees that facilitated full access to research outputs and data. 

That’s where F1000 comes in.

Our solution: Wellcome Open Research

F1000 provides tailored open publishing solutions for organizations that want to do things differently.

With a Platform powered by F1000, research funders can maximize the use, re-use, and potential impact of their funded research. By offering a wide range of peer reviewed research article types, we enable publication at every stage of the research life cycle.

Wellcome chose to partner with F1000 to champion open research principles and ensure rapid access to all Wellcome-funded research. Together, we launched Wellcome Open Research in 2016, signaling Wellcome’s commitment to open publishing and new opportunities for researchers to diversify their research output.

Rather than simply publishing a single research paper at the end of a research project, Wellcome-funded researchers can now publish multiple research objects throughout the lifecycle of their project.

Some researchers may publish a Study Protocol before their project even begins and a Research Article after the fact. Others may take advantage of our more unique article types, including Software Tool Articles, Data Notes, or one of 10 other available options.

Moreover, research outputs published on Wellcome Open Research undergo post-publication, open peer review. As such, our innovative publishing model exposes more components of research to the rigor of the scientific process. Since every article is published with a unique digital object identifier (DOI), all research is citable no matter the format it takes. Plus, all research outputs (excluding Editorials) are indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, Europe PMC, Scopus, British Library, Crossref, and DOAJ after passing peer review. This ensures that researchers can expand their academic footprint and receive credit for all parts of their research project. Additionally, Wellcome can track the academic and societal impact of their investment through usage, citations, and an article’s Altmetric score.

With F1000’s technical and editorial support, Wellcome is well equipped to move with the changing research landscape to offer article types that enable real world impact and reproducibility.

The results: greater research impact for Wellcome-funded research

An F1000-powered Platform has enabled Wellcome to become changemakers in academic publishing. Today, Wellcome Open Research is the #1 publication venue for Wellcome-funded researchers.

In its first 5 years, Wellcome Open Research has published the work of over 7,700 authors from 2,437 institutions and 104 countries.

Perhaps most telling of Wellcome’s success in meeting the needs of today’s researchers is the breakdown of how researchers are publishing their work. 54% of the 1,183 articles published on Wellcome Open Research by the end of 2021 were in the form of one of our unique article types.

Furthermore, the Platform showcases the broad portfolio of quality research that Wellcome funds across climate change and health, infectious disease, and mental health. On average, Wellcome Open Research articles receive a total of 11 citations per article. Plus, we see even higher citation rates across our top 5 article types.

Tackling worldwide health challenges isn’t simple but telling the full story of a research project and its impact can be with F1000 and Wellcome Open Research. 

Are you a research funder looking to maximize the impact of your funded research?

Book a consultation today to learn more about our unique publishing solutions to support you on your open research journey.