The presidents of Canada's federal research granting agencies announce a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

Canada's federal research granting agencies – 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) ("the agencies") – are announcing a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access (OA) Policy on Publications ("OA Policy"), with the goal of requiring that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from agency-supported research be freely available, without subscription or fee, at the time of publication. The renewed OA Policy will be released by the end of 2025.

The agencies are committed to increasing the dissemination of research results and accelerating knowledge mobilization by ensuring peer-reviewed articles resulting from agency-funded research are freely and immediately available.

UNESCO considers a publication to be immediate OA if its content is universally and freely accessible, at no cost to the reader, via the Internet or otherwise; the author or copyright owner irrevocably grants to all users, for an unlimited period, the right to use, copy, or distribute the article, on condition that proper attribution is given; it is deposited, immediately, in full and in a suitable electronic form, in at least one widely and internationally recognized open access repository committed to open access.

Open Access publishing is one practice within the broader umbrella of Open Science, and momentum for OA has been growing as research funders and institutions worldwide update their policies to require immediate OA. The upcoming Policy revisions will ensure the agencies remain aligned with other research funders in Canada and globally. This announcement is aligned with Canada's Chief Science Advisor's Roadmap for Open Science, the G7 Science and Technology Ministers' Communiqué (May 12-14, 2023), and with international best practices like the UNESCO Recommendations on Open Science.

Over the coming year, we will engage with a wide range of partners within the research community (e.g., researchers, research libraries, federal and provincial partners, scholarly associations, and publishers) to identify the key features of an effective, comprehensive, sustainable and equitable immediate OA Policy for peer-reviewed articles, and the incentives and supports required for the Policy's successful implementation.

Our partners are essential to the success of the OA Policy update and we will work closely with them during this process. As a first step, the agencies invite members of the community to complete a short, online survey to help inform the updating of the OA Policy. The agencies will continue to consult over the next year, as we revise the Policy to immediate OA for publications, as one component of advancing Open Science practices in Canada.

Sincerely,

  • Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC
  • Ted Hewitt, President, SSHRC
  • Michael Strong, President, CIHR