Christine Jewell, University of Waterloo Library
Do you follow developments in the Open Access (OA) movement? If so, you’ll have heard the exciting news on the Canadian front. This past October, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) together launched a consultationon a harmonized open access policy.
The consultation document, entitled the Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy, is modeled after the CIHR Open Access Policy that has been in place since 2008. The CIHR policy states that peer-reviewed journal articles must be freely accessible within 12 months of publication. The CIHR policy remains in effect throughout the consultation process. The proposed policy would apply to CIHR grants as well as SSHRC and NSERC grants awarded after September 1, 2014. More information and answers to frequently asked questions are posted on the NSERC website.
The consultation stage of the proposal will end on December 13th. NSERCC and SSHRC are calling for individual as well as collective responses to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
dissemination. In the traditional structure of scholarly communication, these benefits are not optimally realized. The scholarly community – indeed humanity – has an increasing need for swift communication of knowledge. The Internet can help enable this. Reform is imperative in a communication structure that impedes the realization of such benefits.
- Publishers are growing increasingly accommodating. Of the 1350 publishers in the RoMEO database, 71% have policies that permit the author to archive their pre-prints, post-prints, or both (coded yellow – preprints only; blue – post-prints only; green – pre-prints and post-prints).
When an author archives a pre-print or post-print article to a subject or institutional repository, it is called Green OA. With Green OA, the peer-review process happens elsewhere and the author takes the action to make the deposit. The Tri-Agencies recognize deposit in a repository as satisfying the free accessibility requirement.
- Gold OA is the type that happens via journals, either open access journals or journals that offer an open access option. More publishers are offering an open access option to their authors, with a fee paid by the author. The Tri-Agencies recognize the fee as eligible for grant funding.
- Researchers have started taking advantage of leverage available to them. An author is not obliged to sign away all rights to his/her work. Simply scratching out parts of an agreement deemed unnecessarily restrictive is an option, as is insertion of desired rights. Key rights include such things as the right to share a published article with colleagues (even colleagues not affiliated with an institution that subscribes to the jour
nal); the right to post a version of an article on a personal web site or a subject or institutional repository; and the right to reuse portions in a subsequent work.
To assist the author with customizing a publisher’s agreement, SPARC provides an author’s addendum that can be completed and submitted along with the publisher’s agreement. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) provides a SPARC Canadian Author Addendum.
It may be pertinent here to make note of yet another distinction within OA. While open access is always free access in the sense of free of price barriers, the Budapest, Bethesda and Berlinstatements call for the removal of permission (i.e., copyright and licensing restriction) barriers as well. To distinguish these types of open access, Peter Suber borrowed from open source software terminology to coin “libre” and “gratis” for the scholarly communication context. In practice, open access articles are typically only gratis, or free of charge to the reader. Libre OA, less common, goes a step further and removes at least some permission barriers (thus permitting e.g. unrestricted reproduction, distribution, public display, and creation and distribution of derivative works). Funding agencies typically require only gratis OA.
Options for UW Faculty
Green OA is another avenue. After consulting the RoMEO database, an author might choose to submit to a journal that is listed there as allowing archiving the post-print to a repository.
Having completed an upgrade in the repository software application, the Library is about to embark on an expansion of UWSpace to contain additional document types, including faculty research. Posting to UWSpace would meet the Tri-agencies’ proposed requirements. So stay tuned! We’ll have updates on the UWSpace development in the near future.