Founded in 1936 by Sir Henry Wellcome, the Wellcome Trust‘s vision is “to achieve extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. In pursuit of this, we support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities.” As heard on the BBC just a few days ago, “One of the world’s largest research charities, the Wellcome Trust, is to support efforts by scientists to make their work freely available for all.” According to the BBC, “The Trust is to establish a free, online publication to compete with established academic journals.” It will be called eLife. Currently, private publishing companies control much of what is published in the major scientific journals, so the Wellcome Trust’s effort aims to force the publishing houses to increase free access. Free access would mean important articles would be freely available to all rather than to just the subscribers, which would better disseminate ideas and knowledge and hence accelerate discoveries.
The Trust’s funding focuses on “supporting outstanding researchers, accelerating the application of research and exploring medicine in historical and cultural contexts.”