Consultation Results: Draft Tri-Agency OA Policy

Recently NSERC & SSHRC announced the results of their consultation on the draft OA Policy. From the 201 submissions received the responses were strongly supportive of the policy. A few common themes in the responses were:

  • Many respondents commented that the policy could influence where they publish and subsequently, could have an impact on their research careers.
  • The majority of researchers commented that the policy would impact their grant funds if they would be required to pay for publishing in open access journals.
  • Depending on respondents’ discipline or sector, some felt that the 12-month embargo period was too short while others felt it was too long.
  • Respondents commented that the policy could have implications for the sustainability of journals and scholarly associations.
  • Some respondents suggested expanding the policy’s scope to include other types of research results such as research data and monographs.
  • Several respondents mentioned the importance of optimizing repository systems to ensure that papers are easily searchable and accessible.
  • A few respondents questioned how compliance with the policy would be monitored.

Nothing new here it seems.

The final version of the policy is still set to be released in the fall of this year (2014).

Upcoming Consultation on Tri-Agency OA Policy


It looks like the long awaited harmonized Tri-Agency Open Access Policy is imminent. This brief announcement was posted on the NSERC website recently:

Upcoming Consultation on the Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and NSERC are developing a harmonized policy on access to research publications. From October 15 to December 13, 2013, NSERC and SSHRC will consult with a wide range of stakeholders in the research community on the draft consultation document, Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. The harmonized draft policy is modeled after the  CIHR Open Access Policy, which remains unchanged and continues to be mandatory. For more information, please contact

Hat tip to Ian for alerting me to this exciting news!

CFP: Interrogating Access Conference

The “Call for Papers” (CFP) for this interesting conference just came through on one of my listservs yesterday. It sounds like a unique event intended to bring together “a range of stakeholders in scholarship” to discuss the changing landscape of scholarly communication in Canada.

Text from the email:


Interrogating Access:  Current and Future Directions for Scholarly Research and Communications in Canada

Friday, February 14–Sunday, February 16, 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON

The scholarly enterprise is experiencing the impact of the digital revolution simultaneous with shifting paradigms of institutional, governmental and other supports to research brought on by a worldwide financial crisis and the current rise of neoliberalism. How are these forces affecting the scholarly ecosystem in Canada? What should those engaged in scholarship — researchers, librarians, post-secondary administrators, academic publishers, and funding agencies — anticipate for the future of scholarship in Canada? When access to resources, funding, employment, and dissemination are all in a state of flux, how should our scholarly support systems be restructured or re-visioned for the future?

Interrogating Access: Current and Future Directions for Scholarly Research and Communications in Canada is a conference designed to bring together a range of stakeholders in scholarship, particularly those working in the social sciences and humanities. Academic researchers and librarians, university and college administrators, scholarly editors and publishers, and representatives from funding agencies and scholarly associations are all invited to attend and participate to advance our mutual knowledge and understanding about current and future directions of the pursuit, support, and communication of Canadian scholarship.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association and author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (2011), will give the keynote address, providing context for the Canadian debate. Roundtables will focus on the issues of intellectual property, open access and the rise of digital initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

We seek paper proposals from Canadian stakeholders in the scholarly enterprise on topics such as:

• the research enterprise and financial supports for the scholar (e.g. research and dissemination)
• the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian research infrastructure (e.g. vetting and acquisition practices associated with libraries and archives; library collaborations and consortia; data collection, integrity and access provided by government, public and private entities; long- term preservation; independent versus partnered research)
• scholarly communications and academic capital (e.g. forms of measuring success and their strengths/limitations [metrics and altmetrics]; differentiated credit for outputs across fields; career advancement and scholarly outputs)
• scholarly publishing and dissemination (e.g. analysis of business models; external funding; paid and volunteer labour; acquisition, marketing, production, distribution, and discovery; contexts of publication [scholarly societies, scholar-led supported by libraries, or formal publishers]; consortia opportunities)
• peer review (e.g. established and alternative models [management and timing of the review process in the research lifecycle, blinded or open]; reliance on a gift economy of labour; credit for peer-reviewed vs. non-peer-reviewed publications)
• intellectual property (e.g. copyright and the researcher/creator, the publisher, the instructor, the librarian, the student; Access Copyright, commercial databases and alternative business models for providing access; data mining; open access)
• electronic publishing (e.g. relationship between print and electronic publishing models and reading practices; costs/challenges of conversion & archiving; licensing versus ownership; the ‘death’ of the monograph; publishing and academic status of electronic forms of scholarship such as blogs, websites, apps, etc.; the culture of free and open access and its effects on the dissemination of scholarship)
•new directions and initiatives

Please send proposals of 250-350 words, accompanied by a brief bio, by August 1, 2013 to:

Lisa Quinn, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (

This conference is co-sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University (with support of the Office of Research Services) and York University.

Organizers: Lisa Quinn, Acquisitions Editor, Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Janet Friskney, Research Officer, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University
Andrea Kosavic, Digital Initiatives Librarian, York University

Another OA Endorsement from CAUT

In the most recent CAUT Bulletin (May 2013) the president of CAUT, Wayne Peters, writes a strong endorsement of open access in his President’s Column: Open access publishing serves the public good.
From the first paragraph:
“Access to the results of academic scholarship and research is in a crisis today due in part to the proliferation of expensive, for-profit, scholarly journals. Most library budgets can no longer maintain extensive collections of periodicals, let alone acquire new ones. Consequently, the realm of accessible knowledge has declined as the work of the academy succumbs to commercial interests.”
CAUT’s policy on scholarly communications is here. This was first adopted in 2004 and recently re-approved (April 2013).

Open Textbooks in BC

The government of British Columbia announced this week that it will partner with faculty, institutions, and publishers to create free online, open textbooks for the 40 most popular post-secondary courses in the province.
An open textbook policy is in development and could be in use at B.C. institutions as early as 2013-14.
Congratulations to BC on this very progressive direction!
See the news release for more.

Canadian Law Libraries Show Overwhelming Support for Open Access

The Council of Canadian Academic Law Library Directors recently approved and adopted a statement of principles supporting open access in legal scholarship. This follows a similar statement adopted in 2008 by the directors of American law libraries known as the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship.
Text from a press release:
“At its annual meeting in Calgary last month [May 2011], the Council of Canadian Academic Law Library Directors approved and adopted the “Calgary Statement on Free Access to Legal Information” as an official policy. Copies of the Statement, in both official languages, are now available at the links below. The Canadian university law library directors overwhelming[ly] support the principles of open access in scholarly publishing at our institutions and of free access to legal information in our society. We have adopted the Calgary Statement to promote awareness of these principles, in the belief that general application of these principles will benefit legal education, improve the dissemination of legal scholarship, promote free access to legal information and enhance access to justice.”
Calgary Statement on Free Access to Legal Information :
Déclaration de Calgary sur le libre accès à l’information juridique :

Andrew Waller Awarded OA Advocate of the Year

Andrew Waller, Open Access Librarian in the Scholarly Communication Centre at the University of Calgary, has been awarded BioMed Central’s Open Access Advocate of the Year Prize! Previously this prize has only been awarded to institutions, but the judges felt that Andrew’s commitment to promote OA justified an individual award. Here is some of the text describing his accomplishments:
“Andrew is responsible for the Open Access Authors Fund, which has covered over 170 articles for University of Calgary authors since the inception of the Fund in 2008. The Open Access Authors Fund was the first of its kind in Canada and only the sixth in the world. The Fund is one of several programs in the University of Calgary’s open access “suite” including: an institutional repository (the second largest university repository in Canada); an expansive digitization program; Open Access journals and monographs in the University of Calgary Press; and the Synergies project. Andrew has regularly written on and spoken about open access over the last several years. He is one of the people behind the Open Access Librarian blog and is a Canadian editor for the open access repository for library and information science, E-LIS. He is also Licensing and Negotiation Librarian in the Collections unit in Libraries and Cultural Resources. ”
See the other BioMed Central 5th Annual Research Award winners here.

Can wikis transform medical publishing?

The Canadian open access medical journal, Open Medicine, just announced a wiki version of a systematic review. See more about this interesting and innovative publishing experiment below.
From the press release:
OTTAWA, Tuesday, March 1—Today, Open Medicine ( is
pleased to announce the publication of a wiki version of a new
systematic review of second-line diabetes drugs. To the best of our
knowledge, Open Medicine is the only peer-reviewed medical journal using
wikis as a publishing platform. “Knowledge is dynamic and a wiki is a
publishing tool that truly reflects that,” says Anita Palepu, MD, editor
of Open Medicine. “Our hope is that this manuscript will evolve as our
knowledge evolves and, ultimately, be improved by contributions directly
from our readers to our authors.”
The systematic review is authored by a team of researchers affiliated
with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH;
Prior to publication as a wiki, this systematic review was peer-reviewed
to ensure it satisfied Open Medicine’s editorial standards. Access to
the wiki version will not be limited to health experts, but readers must
register, state their affiliations and complete a competing-interests
statement before they can contribute. Changes will be monitored by the
journal’s staff and substantive edits will be brought to the attention
of the review authors.
Systematic reviews can become rapidly outdated as new research is
published. Providing authors and readers with an updated document offers
several advantages, yet biomedical publishers have rarely done so. The
advantages include:
1) Changes to a wiki are publicly available as soon as they are made,
2) Wikis create a centralized document for easy editing,
3) Readers can track the changes that have been made to a document,
provided a form of post-publication peer-review;
For a more thorough discussion of the potential role of wikis in
biomedical publishing, see “Medical research and social media: Can wikis
be used as a publishing platform in medicine?” an editorial by the
editors at Open Medicine published in 2009 when the journal first
piloted a wiki.
Citation: McIntosh, B., Cameron, C., Singh, S.R., Yu, C., Ahuja, T.,
Welton, N.J., and Dahl, M. (2011) Second-line therapy in patients with
type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin monotherapy: a
systematic review and mixed-treatment comparison meta-analysis Open Med
To access the wiki version of this article, visit:

Digital Economy Consultation

The Government of Canada recently conducted a Digital Economy Consultation with Canadians aimed at creating a digital economy strategy for Canada. The Consultation Paper explains more fully the purpose of this strategy.
The consultation ran from May 10 – July 13, 2010, with more than 2000 Canadian individuals and groups participating. Of the top three ideas that emerged two were related to Open Access concerns:
* Open Access to Canada’s Public Sector Information and Data

* Improved Access to Publicly-Funded Data
Another related idea: Open Access to Canadian Research also received strong support.
See also:
The Canadian Library Association’s submission to this consultation.
And the Canadian Association of Research Libraries submission. Download file

New OA Madate from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF) has just announced a new OA mandate:
Open Access to Research Outputs Policy
The stated objective of this policy is “…to enhance access of our HSF-funded research to a broad audience.”
The HSF Policy Statement reads…
The Heart and Stroke Foundation requires that all researchers supported in whole or in part through the Heart and Stroke Foundation make their research outputs publicly available as soon as possible, but no later than six months after the final publication or availability of final results.
In this policy, HSF defines research outputs as peer-reviewed journal publications, research data, and the results of clinical trials that will not be published in peer-reviewed journals
The policy applies to all publications resulting from research that received funding from the HSF June 1, 2010 and onwards.
The HSF follows a similar policy adopted in 2007 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.