Category Archives: OA Mandates

Consultation on the Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have officially launched a consultation with their communities on the draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.

The harmonized draft policy is modeled after the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) Open Access Policy, which remains unchanged and continues to be mandatory

The consultation document is now available for input until December 13, 2013.


NSERC and SSHRC invite post-secondary institutions, associations, organizations and individuals to provide their input on the draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy by visiting the NSERC Web site.

Institutional and organizational representatives are asked to consult their researchers and membership and report on the collective perspective. Individuals may also respond independently. Please indicate the section(s) of the draft policy being referred to, within your written feedback.

Responses should be sent electronically to
Please note that the consultation document is accessible online until December 13, 2013, at which time the consultation period ends.

NSERC and SSHRC would like to thank the groups and individuals who have provided advice and feedback through the development of the draft policy.
For more information, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions or contact

Articles and Responses

Stevan Harnad

University of California Faculty Senate Passes Open Access Policy


Professor Christopher Kelty, UCLA

Professor Richard Schneider, UC San Francisco

Professor Robert Powell, Chair, Academic Council

The Academic Senate of the University of California has passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge. "The Academic Council's adoption of this policy on July 24, 2013, came after a six-year process culminating in two years of formal review and revision," said Robert Powell, chair of the Academic Council. "Council's intent is to make these articles widely-and freely- available in order to advance research everywhere." Articles will be available to the public without charge via eScholarship (UC's open access repository) in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals. Open access benefits researchers, educational institutions, businesses, research funders and the public by accelerating the pace of research, discovery and innovation and contributing to the mission of advancing knowledge and encouraging new ideas and services.

Chris Kelty, Associate Professor of Information Studies, UCLA, and chair of the UC University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC), explains, "This policy will cover more faculty and more research than ever before, and it sends a powerful message that faculty want open access and they want it on terms that benefit the public and the future of research."

The policy covers more than 8,000 UC faculty at all 10 campuses of the University of California, and as many as 40,000 publications a year. It follows more than 175 other universities who have adopted similar so-called "green" open access policies. By granting a license to the University of California prior to any contractual arrangement with publishers, faculty members can now make their research widely and publicly available, re-use it for various purposes, or modify it for future research publications. Previously, publishers had sole control of the distribution of these articles. All research publications covered by the policy will continue to be subjected to rigorous peer review; they will still appear in the most prestigious journals across all fields; and they will continue to meet UC's standards of high quality. Learn more about the policy and its implementation here:

UC is the largest public research university in the world and its faculty members receive roughly 8% of all research funding in the U.S. With this policy UC Faculty make a commitment to the public accessibility of research, especially, but not only, research paid for with public funding by the people of California and the United States. This initiative is in line with the recently announced White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directive requiring "each Federal Agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to results of the research funded by the Federal Government." The new UC Policy also follows a similar policy passed in 2012 by the Academic Senate at the University of California, San Francisco, which is a health sciences campus.

“The UC System wide adoption of an Open Access (OA) Policy represents a major leap forward for the global OA movement and a well-deserved return to taxpayers who will now finally be able to see first-hand the published byproducts of their deeply appreciated investments in research" said Richard A. Schneider, Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication at UCSF. "The ten UC campuses generate around 2-3% of all the peer-reviewed articles published in the world every year, and this policy will make many of those articles freely available to anyone who is interested anywhere, whether they are colleagues, students, or members of the general public”

The adoption of this policy across the UC system also signals to scholarly publishers that open access, in terms defined by faculty and not by publishers, must be part of any future scholarly publishing system. The faculty remains committed to working with publishers to transform the publishing landscape in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to both the University and the public.

SPARC : Introduction of FASTR – US Congress

By Heather Joseph
Executive Director, SPARC
February 14, 2013

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), introduced today in both the House and the Senate, represents an important step forward in the legislative progression toward the goal of Open Access to publicly funded research. Based on the framework laid out by the highly successful NIH Public Access Policy, (as well as the previously-proposed Federal Research Public Access Act) the bill proposes terms and conditions that fully enable digital reuse of publicly funded research articles – as well as calling for their timely, barrier-free availability.

FASTR hones in on federal science agencies, applying to only those with annual extramural research expenditures of $100 million or more. The bill calls for manuscripts of journal articles resulting from publicly funded research to be made freely available online to the public through a digital archive maintained or designated by the agency that permits free public access to those manuscripts, enables their robust reuse, and ensures their interoperability and long-term preservation.

For more see:

Impact of Sharing Knowledge

At Open-Access Meeting, Advocates Emphasize the Impact of Sharing Knowledge
Jennifer Howard | Wired Campus | November 11, 2011

“Impact, not ideology, was the watchword at the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference, held here on Wednesday and Thursday at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The 260 high-level researchers, fund providers, and open-access advocates who attended didn't waste time bashing publishers who keep research behind paywalls. (Some commercial publishers, including Elsevier, attended.) Instead they focused on the benefits of putting research-in the humanities and social sciences as well as in the sciences-quickly and freely into the hands of scholars, students, innovators, and the general public.”

For more see:

Yale Law Library leads in open access

Daniel Sisgoreo | Yale Daily News | November 2, 2011

“An online access project has given Yale Law School faculty broader readership than ever before.

The Law School Library added roughly 3,000 faculty-published scholarly articles from legal journals to an open access database on its website over the past year – giving it the largest online repository of its kind. The efforthas made Yale a leader among institutions seeking to increase the amount of academic content that is freely available to the public.

The database has generated more than 300,000 downloads from visitors worldwide in the last 12 months alone, and law librarians at Yale said they hope the University's progress will encourage other law schools to implementsimilaropen access initiatives.”

For more on the story see:

Celebrating Open Access Week – October 18-24, 2010

Please feel free to forward to faculty who may be interested.
All event details are available at:

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries, in partnership with McGill University Library produced an advocacy video on the issues of open access.

The roughly one minute animated video explains the concept of open access to students and faculty in a simple and fun format. The video is available in both French and English, can be placed on websites, displayed on monitors in libraries during open access week, and is available for free and is licenselicensed under a Creative Commons license. It can be viewed at

Funding Agency Panel: Opening up Access

Free webcast sponsored by OISE library, U of Toronto on Monday, October 18th, 2010 from 12:00 – 1:30pm EST

Canada’s granting agencies have undertaken varying strategies toaddress open access. Panelists from CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC willshare their agencies’ approaches to open access. Agencies with anopen access mandate will describe their process and address issues thatthey encountered along the way. Those without a mandate will sharehow their agency views open access and describe initiatives that have beenundertaken to support open access

A Critical Theory of the Open: A Dialogue Between John Willinsky and Andrew Feenberg

Free webcast sponsored by the Simon Fraser University Library and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Thursday October 21, 2010, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Pacific Time. This event will be webcasted live at

The theme of this event is A Critical Theory of Open in the Digital Era: Sous les pavés, la plage. Stepping for a moment beyond the open access question of the right to free online journal articles, Andrew Feenberg and John Willinsky will explore, in dialogue, issues surrounding the larger concept and spirit of open, as it tends to infuse seemingly utopian Internet developments, while drawing on their shared interest in the Critical Theory traditions of the last century.

The Case for Open Data and eScience – Establishing a University Data Management Program at John Hopkins

Free webcast sponsored by BC Research Libraries Group on Friday, October 22, 9:30-11am at UVic, Harry Hickman Building, Room 116. RSVP:

Faculty at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) associated with community-wide eScience projects identified data curation as one of the most important repository-related services. In response, Johns Hopkins University established a university data management program and a service model to support data curation as part of an evolving cyberinfrastructure featuring open, modular components.

Let me know if you have any questions.