Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR): Open Access to Research Outputs

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has just announced their Policy on Access to Research Outputs. Fran├žais.

Under this new policy, as of January 1, 2008, grant recipients must make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed research articles are freely available as soon as possible after publication...by depositing the article in an archive, such as PubMed Central or an institutional repository, and/or by publishing results in an open access journal. A growing number of journals already meet these requirements and CIHR-funded researchers are encouraged to consider publishing in these journals...grant recipients are now required to deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data, as already required by most journals, into the appropriate public database immediately upon publication of research results.. Researchers are encouraged to make use of the SHERPA RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving service to determine whether publishers policies are compliant with the policy, and the policy clarifies that article processing fees for open access publishing are an eligible expense under the Use of Grant Funds.

Notable Quotes from the Press Release:
Timely and unrestricted access to research findings is a defining feature of science, and is essential for advancing knowledge and accelerating our understanding of human health and disease," stated Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "With the development of the internet it is now feasible to disseminate globally and easily the results of research that we fund. As a publicly-funded organization, we have a responsibility to ensure that new advances in health research are available to those who need it and can use it - researchers world-wide, the public and policy makers.

This open access policy will serve as a model for other funding agencies, said Dr. James E. Till of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto [Chair of the Task Force that developed this policy]. The policy will leverage taxpayers' investment by accelerating research and by fostering its broader application.

Strengths of this policy include strong support for immediate open access, and support for open access publishing, including economic support for article processing fees. Traditional subscription-based journals can easily comply with the policy through an enlightened self-archiving policy, as the vast majority of journals also do, and making this clear through the Sherpa Romeo list. Another area of strength is the expectation of no more than 6 months delay before open access.

Kudos to the CIHR, President Dr. Alan Bernstein and Task Force Chair Dr. Jim Till for yet another stellar example of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.

For further commentary, please see The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics.

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