Canada

Open Access is gaining momentum in Canada, with ongoing and emerging initiatives in the areas of funders’ mandates, OA publishing, and repositories. 

OpenDOAR lists 63 Canadian OA repositories, the majority of which are hosted by universities or research institutions. DOAJ indexes 271 Canadian journals. 

The 2013 study by Science-Metrix estimated OA availability of articles at 49% for Canada

Enabling Environment:

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: 

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. 

Potential Barriers:

Not all major research funders have OA policies. A minority of universities (9) have institutional OA policies; only one of these is mandatory (Concordia University). 

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. 

Major Projects/Initiatives:

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. 

Thematic repositories:

  • 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:

There are 11 funders’ mandates in Canada requiring the deposit of outcomes and publications in OA repositories or OA journals arising from research they have supported:

Details of Key Organizations:

Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) 

Federal Research Funding Organizations: 

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:

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

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). 

 

(Modified on December 2013)

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