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Canadian Universities Support Publication in and the Launching of Open Access Journals

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Doors Open Toronto 2017 - University of Toronto - The Daniels Building, May 26, 2017 | © Courtesy of wyliepoon.

As Open Access journals gain in recognition across scholarly communities, Canadian universities voice increasingly vocal support for Open Access journals.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

While the Budapest Open Access Initiative was launched in 2002, had Canadian co-signatories, such as representatives of the Universities of Montreal and Quebec, and obtained early support from the Open Society Institute, as part of its broader commitment to open frameworks, the 2009 reconfirmation of its and Berlin Declaration’s endorsement by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has provided a decisive impetus to Canadian universities for their institution-level approval of Open Access policies, such as by York University. In recent years, a growing number of Canadian universities encourage researcher staff and faculty members to publish in Open Access journals and deposit research papers and other output in institutional digital repositories, even though in many cases without making these policies mandatory.

Nevertheless, CARL’s efforts to provide background information on Open Access, its benefits and local and global support initiatives seem to be bearing fruit. This is especially the case after the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) have launched their tri-agency policy guidelines for the promotion of publication in Gold and Green Open Access in 2016. This tri-agency policy explicitly requires that research grant recipients publish in either Open Access manuscript repositories or peer-reviewed journals the article processing charges for which are eligible for funding by these bodies. Global Open Access initiatives, such as DOAJ and Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, provide important tools for the identification of recognized open access journals and publishers.

On the heels of these initiatives, Canadian universities, such as Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary, increasingly question the viability of purchasing bundled digital journal access from international consortia, due to stagnant library budgets and rapidly rising subscription costs. This increases the attractiveness of open access journals as alternatives to paywall-based journal publishing and access models. Across a variety of academic fields, open access journals supported by Canadian universities, library consortia and research institutes, such as East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, an online-only journal that has replaced a previously published print-based title, have been launched in recent years. In April 2016, Canadian Science Publishing has launched FACETS, an interdisciplinary, Open Access, scientific mega-journal. In May 2017, Ryerson University’s Center for Fashion Diversity and Social Change has founded Fashion Studies, an Open Access journal seeking to reach out to both academic and non-academic audiences.

This indicates a growing momentum behind the adoption of Open Access by Canadian academic institutions.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Doors Open Toronto 2017 – University of Toronto – The Daniels Building, May 26, 2017 | © Courtesy of wyliepoon.

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