Access to Research Results: Guiding Principles

As the Government of Canada’s principal funders of research and scholarship in the higher education sector, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) actively promote a collaborative, vibrant and innovative research enterprise in Canada. Making research results as widely available and accessible as possible is an essential part of advancing scholarship, promoting intellectual inquiry and critical analysis, and applying knowledge to ensure that practical solutions are found to challenges facing Canadians.

CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC are committed to a shared approach for improving access to publicly funded research in keeping with internationally recognized best practices, standards and policies for funding and conducting research. The following principles guide the Agencies in promoting access to research results:

Advance Knowledge

The advancement of knowledge depends upon peer review to ensure excellence, as well as long-term preservation to ensure that research can be built upon by others.

Minimize Research Duplication

Broad dissemination increases the effectiveness of public investments in research by reducing the potential for unnecessary duplication.

Maximize Research Benefits

Publicly funded research should be as accessible as possible in order to maximize the economic, social, cultural and health benefits for Canadians.

Promote Research Accomplishments

Improving access to research results will better promote the accomplishments of Canadian researchers throughout the world.


For more information on funding agency policies, programs and other activities that promote access to research results, visit the following Web sites:

* While CIHR-funded researchers will now refer to the harmonized policy, compliance requirements will not change for the health research community.

** SSHRC’s Policy on Open Access continues to apply to all grants awarded by those agencies before May 1, 2015.