WHO is a member of and its open-access policy is in line with the principles of
1. Articles or chapters that are authored or co-authored by WHO staff or by individuals or institutions funded in whole or in part by WHO and published by external publishers:
From 1 January 2021, all WHO-authored and WHO-funded articles that are submitted for publication in peer-review journals must be published in an open-access journal or on an open-access platform.Such journals should be indexed by the and have an agreement with the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) to deposit the in PubMed Central (PMC) and to allow that content to be shared with . WHO will no longer support the costs of hybrid open-access publishing in subscription journals or publication in subscription journals with an embargo period, except in the following cases:
Where applicable, reasonable article processing charges (APCs) will be covered by WHO for articles published in open-access journals or on open-access platforms that are compatible with the above-mentioned requirements.
WHO invites external entities applying for project support from WHO to include such costs, where appropriate, in their applications. Applicants should not include the costs for APCs for hybrid journals in their grant applications unless the journals concerned meet the above-mentioned requirements, and holders of grants from WHO should not use their grants to pay for these costs. Applicants should also register for and provide their Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) identifier in their applications and link their published research outputs to their ORCID identifier.
WHO will include the open-access publication fees, where appropriate, in its applications to donors for project support.
Data sets should be deposited in an appropriate open data repository, with a persistent identifier, such as a DOI and under an open licence.
2. Publications published by WHO:
Since 12 November 2016, WHO publications have been published under the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 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 or a similar licence. WHO publications published prior to 2017 will not be reissued under the licence; however, WHO will continue to encourage their reuse for non-commercial educational and research purposes.
WHO publications are accessible through the Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS). Requests to use WHO publications for commercial purposes should be made using the tmtplay net:permissions form.