Open Access is gaining momentum in Canada, with ongoing and emerging initiatives in the areas of funders’ mandates, OA publishing, and repositories.
As of May 2015, OpenDOAR lists 72 Canadian OA repositories, the majority of which are hosted by universities or research institutions. DOAJ indexes 260 Canadian OA journals. The 2013 study by Science-Metrix estimated OA availability of articles at 49% for Canada.
Currently, ROARMAP registers 27 OA policies.
The Berlin Declaration has been signed by 11 Canadian organizations, including six institutions, one research funder (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and other organizations including library associations and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Canada has signed the 2013 G8 Science Ministers Statement that includes a statement on “Expanding Access to Scientific Research Results”.
National research funding agencies:
- The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has had an OA policy in place since 2008, requiring researchers to make their peer-reviewed publications accessible within 12 months. The current policy was revised and became mandatory in December 2012.
- The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has had an OA policy since 2006 focused on awareness-raising, education and promotion.
- The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has endorsed the Global Research Council Action Plan towards Open Access to Publications (2013).
- November 2013: NSERC and SSHRC are currently holding public consultations on a draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy that would require federally funded peer-reviewed journal publications to be made freely available within one year of publication. The draft policy is modeled after the CIHR Open Access Policy, which remains unchanged and continues to be mandatory.
- CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC consider the cost of publishing in open access journals to be an eligible use of grant funds.
SSHRC offers financial support for scholarly journals, including OA journals, through its Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunity.
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) maintains a list of institutional repositories in Canada (currently listing 44). There are approximately 90 universities in Canada. Some institutions and other organizations are collaborating to create regional or other collective OA repositories; thus a majority of university-based researchers in Canada, including those in smaller institutions, have access to OA repositories for journal articles.
The CARL website also lists 14 member libraries that provide author funds for OA. University libraries are active in raising awareness of OA and organized numerous events during Open Access Week 2013.
Not all major research funders have OA policies. Absence of a national central repository or infrastructure that would harvest metadata records from the network of institutional and other repositories. Lack of appropriate systems to enable tracking and reporting of statistics on research outputs and OA.
Insufficient awareness and understanding of OA amongst individual researchers, in particular regarding institutional repositories, the option of self-archiving, and copyright issues.
Concerns about costs of Gold OA. Concerns about the impact of OA on scholarly society journals and small, non-profit publishers.
Public Knowledge Project
The Public Knowledge Project is dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. It operates through a partnership among the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, the Simon Fraser University Library, the School of Education at Stanford University, and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. The partnership brings together faculty members, librarians, and graduate students dedicated to exploring whether and how new technologies can be used to improve the professional and public value of scholarly research. A major part of PKP work focuses on open source software and tools that support OA to information.
Open Data (data.gc.ca)
Building on the successful open data pilot launched in 2011, the Government of Canada’s next-generation open data portal was launched in June 2013. Open Data is about offering government data in machine readable formats to enable citizens, the private sector, and non-government organizations to leverage it in innovative and value-added ways.
The Open Data Pilot is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to open government, which is being pursued along three streams: open data, open information and open dialogue, and aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians.
- CIHR is partnering with the National Research Council’s Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information and the U.S. National Library of Medicine to support PubMed Central Canada, an online archive for peer-reviewed health and life sciences research publications. It builds on PubMed Central (PMC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature
- International Development Research Centre (IDRC): IDRC Digital Library provides the international research community with access to a current and comprehensive collection of research results and documents generated by IDRC-funded projects, IDRC funding recipients, and IDRC staff about a wide range of subjects related to international development.
- Library and Archives Canada: A multimedia digital collection of the documentary heritage of all Canadians. A national treasure of inestimable value, it spans the entire history of Canada, and comprises materials in all media from all parts of the country, as well as records and publications of Canadian interest from outside the country
National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:
In February 2015, Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) unveiled a harmonized Open Access policy. It is modeled after the CIHR OA policy which has been in effect since 2008.
There are 11 other funders’ mandates in Canada requiring the deposit of outcomes and publications in OA repositories or OA journals arising from research they have supported:
- Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance (CBCRA)
- Canadian Cancer Society (CCS)
- Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF)
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR)
- Fonds de la recherché en santé de Quebec (FRSQ)
- Genome Canada
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF)
- International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
- Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)
- National Research Council Canada (NRC)
- Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OCR)
Details of Key Organizations:
Federal Research Funding Organizations:
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
- Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives
In addition to the specialised depositories of the health organisations (see Funders’ Mandates above) the following have developed thematic repositories:
International Development Research Centre (IDRC): IDRC Digital Library provides the international research community with access to a current and comprehensive collection of research results and documents generated by IDRC-funded projects, IDRC funding recipients, and IDRC staff about a wide range of subjects related to international development.
Library and Archives Canada: A multimedia digital collection of the documentary heritage of all Canadians. A national treasure of inestimable value, it spans the entire history of Canada, and comprises materials in all media from all parts of the country, as well as records and publications of Canadian interest from outside the country.
Past and Future OA Related Activities:
- 11-14 August 2015: 5th International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference: Scholarship, Technology and Community; Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
- 28-29 May 2015: 3rd International Open Data Conference (IODC); Ottawa, Canada.
- 27-28 January 2015- "Sustaining Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Production", Whistler, BC, Canada.
- 30 January 2015- Scholarship(at)Western & Open Access: What's in it for me?", Western University, Canada.
- 28-29 October 2014: Open UBC Week; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- 16-21 August 2014: World Weather Open Science Conference; Montreal, Canada.
- 11 July 2014: Open Source Cancer- Hackers and Biodigital Rituals of Sharing; Toronto, Canada.
- 16-25 May 2014: Open Culture- Participatory Practice in Art and Science; Toronto, Canada.
- 21 March 2014: eTextbook in eLearning Conference; Montreal, Canada.
- 20 March 2014: Open Access in Canada: Towards a Common Policy for Federal Funding Agencies; RCUK International Open Access Meeting, London.
- 15-16 February 2014- "Interrogating Access: Current and Future Directions for Scholarly Research and Communications in Canada", Waterloo, Ontario.
- 18 February 2014- " Open Access Publishing, Author Rights and Funding Mandates", University of British Columbia.
- 18 February 2014- "Your UBC Research: Make it Open Access via cIRcle!", University of British Columbia.
- 25 October 2013- Open Access colloquium at the University of Guelph.
- 23 October 2013- Symposium "Designing Open Access Policy", University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
- There are Open Access week events at universities throughout Canada during October each year, including seminar and panel discussions. For Open Access Week 2010 CARL and McGill University jointly produced an advocacy video.
- 2011 OA week events are planned at Athabasca University, University of Toronto, Concordia University Montreal and a radio programme Le kidnapping de la science, organised by Steven Harnad is being broadcast in French on Radio Canada October 24 2011.
List of Publications
Open Access Blog "Confessions of a Science Librarian" by John Dupuis maintains a list of resources on Open Access in Canada.
Calgary Statement on Free Access to Legal Information urges all Canadian law schools, courts, legislatures, and governments to commit to electronic publication and urges faculty members to use Creative Commons licensing for their scholarship.
Fernandes, L and Nariani, R (2011) Open Access funds: a Canadian Library Survey Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice Vol.6 (1) 2011.
Geist, M Canadian universities too closed minded on open access. Monday October 19, 2009. Blog.
Greyson, D et.al (2010) Open Access in Canada: A Strong Beginning, In Feliciter. Canadian Library Association: 60-63.
Moore, Gale (2011) Survey of University of Toronto Faculty Awareness, Attitudes and Practices Regarding Scholarly Communication: A Preliminary Report (Toronto: University of Toronto).
Morrison, H (2008) Open Access. Chapter 6 of Scholarly Communication for Librarians. In Scholarly Communication for Librarians. Chandos: Oxford.
Morrison, H (2009) Dramatic Growth of Open Access The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics blog, website content, December 31, 2009.
Morrison, H (2009) Canada, let's fix the open access policy loophole BEFORE we harmonize Journal of Poetic Economics blog, website content, February 08, 2009.
Morrison, Heather (2005-2013) Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series: quarterly series of key data illustrating the growth of open access, with additional comments and analysis. Available in open data and blogpost (commentary) editions.
Open Access Archivangelism blog by Stevan Harnad
Sale, A et.al (2010) Open access mandates and the Fair Dealing button In R. Coombe and D. Wershler (eds.) Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Toronto: University of Toronto Press).
Science-Metrix (2013) published three reports on the availability of open access scientific literature and data, including Proportion of Open Access Peer-Reviewed Papers at the European and World Levels—2004-2011
Shearer, Kathleen (2011) Comprehensive Brief on Open Access to Publications and Research Data (Commissioned by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).
Shearer, Kathleen (2010) A Review of Emerging Models in Canadian Academic Publishing (University of British Columbia Library).
Shearer, Kathleen (2011) Comprehensive Brief on Open Access to Publications and Research Data (Commissioned by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).Back to top