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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 2014

CAUT supports tri-agency’s draft open access policy

CAUT is applauding Canada’s three research granting councils on their draft open access policy that calls for research supported by public money to be available in open access formats.

“We are delighted the agencies have taken a step forward on open access,” said CAUT executive director James Turk. “Their policy guidance related to open access is consistent with the original spirit of the movement to allow for faster and broader dissemination of papers and contribute to the global progress of knowledge.”

The agencies have suggested September 2014 as a start date for all publicly-funded research to be available in an open access format. Open access is the faculty and librarian driven movement to make all academic literature freely available via the internet for anyone to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, link and index.

Turk said the draft policy addresses author freedom to choose a publication venue, an issue of concern for many in the academic community. The policy distinguished two components of open access, either through a publisher’s website or an online institutional or discipline-based repository.

In its brief on the draft policy, CAUT endorsed this approach and also proposed a number of changes to strengthen the policy. Foremost among these is that the proposed embargo period from the date of a paper’s publication to its release into open access be reduced from 12 to six months with a view to its eventual elimination.

CAUT also endorsed making the cost of publishing in open access journals an eligible grant fund expense and called for funding initiatives directed at national support for institutional digital archives and support to aid scholarly societies currently dependent on journal subscriptions to make the transition to open access.