Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy Now in Effect

The following announcement is from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

(2008-02-04) On September 4, 2007, CIHR released its "Policy on Access to Research Outputs", which aims to improve access to research publications and biomolecular data. Under this new funding policy, recipients of CIHR grants awarded after January 1, 2008, must:

* ensure that all research papers generated from CIHR funded projects are freely accessible through the Publisher's website or an online repository within six months of publication;
* deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database (e.g., gene sequences deposited in GenBank) immediately upon publication of research results;
* retain original data sets for a minimum of five years (or longer if other policies apply); and
* acknowledge CIHR support by quoting the funding reference number in journal publications.

Currently, more than twenty research funding agencies around the world require supported research publications to be openly accessible. Most recently, the U.S. National Institutes of Health mandated open online access to its funded research through the National Library of Medicine's online archive, PubMed Central.

CIHR believes that greater access to research publications and data will promote the ability of researchers in Canada and aboard to use and build on the knowledge needed to address significant health challenges. Open access enables authors to reach a much broader audience, which has the potential to increase the impact of their research. In fact, evidence shows that open access publications are more often read and cited than closed access publications. From a Knowledge Translation perspective, this policy will support our desire to expedite awareness of and facilitate the use of research findings by policy makers, health care administrators, clinicians, and the public, by greatly increasing ease of access to research.

Adhering with the new policy - Open access publications
For journal publications, there are two ways to adhere with the policy:

1. Submit your manuscript to a journal that offers immediate open access (e.g., CMAJ, PLoS, BMC) or offers open access to the paper on its website within six months (e.g., NEJM).
2. Submit your manuscript to a journal that does not offer open access, but will permit you to archive the peer-reviewed manuscript in a central or institutional repository within 6 months of publication.

CIHR considers open access publishing fees to be an eligible grant expense.

The SHERPA/RoMEO database contains a searchable listing of journal publisher's copyright and self-archiving policies which will help researchers to determine journal's that adhere with CIHR policy.

Additional information and resources
CIHR has developed a suite of tools and resources that will help clarify this new policy and how it will affect grant recipients:

* CIHR Policy on Access to Research Outputs;
* Frequently asked questions;
* Flowchart for open access publications;
* Adhering with the CIHR Policy on Access to Research Outputs - Selected Journals.

For further information regarding this policy, please contact Geoff Hynes 613-952-8965, or e-mail: ghynes@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Ian Graham, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Knowledge Translation

Hat tip to Peter Suber on Open Access News

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