New Policy Improves Access to Research Publications


Canada’s top three research-funding agencies recently announced a new harmonized open-access policy. The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications requires all peer-reviewed journal publications funded by one of the three federal granting agencies — 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 — to be freely available online within 12 months. The policy applies to all grants awarded starting May 1, 2015.

These practices are critical to supporting research innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing, and will help ensure that publicly-funded research is widely available.

“Reliable open access to Canadian research that has been funded by taxpayers increases the impact of this important work,” says Rebecca Graham, chief information officer and chief librarian at the University of Guelph. “This policy will increase Canadian contributions to scholarly research and help make Canadian-funded work accessible to a broader network of researchers and the global community.”

Options for researchers to comply under the harmonized policy are consistent with the principles of academic freedom and preserve the author’s right to choose the journals in which to publish his or her work (subscription-access or open-access journals). University of Guelph authors who prefer a subscription-based journal can self-archive for open access in a repository such as the Atrium.

The McLaughlin Library’s Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication team supports University of Guelph researchers in a variety of ways, including information management, data curation, research dissemination, author rights and open-access support. Librarians are available to assist researchers in navigating this change and help them comply with the harmonized policy.

John Livernois, interim vice-president (research), says researchers and the public will significantly benefit from this shared knowledge.

“Having all three granting agencies aligned will be helpful to our publication processes. We look forward to working with the library team to integrate these new guidelines into our practices.”

For guidance and support related to the harmonized policy, contact the Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication Team at