Report From Canada: “Catching Up On Open Access”
The days of the traditional, subscription-based scholarly journal seem to be numbered. Around the world, research funders are adopting ever-more expansive policies requiring the researchers they fund to make the results of their work freely accessible to the public. Canada, once a leader in this area, risks falling behind its peers unless it moves to keep pace with the latest developments.
Canada’s three federal research-funding agencies – the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – adopted a joint open access policy in 2015. The policy requires grant recipients to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Tri-Agency funding are made publicly available to read for free within 12 months of publishing. Researchers may opt to make their published research accessible either through an online repository (essentially a free digital archive hosted by an institution or an organization) or by publishing in a journal that offers content without a direct cost to readers. But the landscape of scholarly publishing has evolved significantly in the eight years since the Tri-Agency decision, and the open science movement has gained steam. Now, many in the scientific community say Canada’s open access policies are due for a rewrite.
“The policy was ahead of its time in 2015, but now it’s a bit dated,” says Michael Donaldson, director of strategic initiatives at Canadian Science Publishing. “They need to start thinking about a new policy that is more in line with some of the international policies that have come out in the past few years.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.