Open Access: Importance

Communicating the results of research, and making these results widely available, are the goals of research activity.  One way to support these goals is to publish scholarly articles in one of the increasing number of OA journals.  OA is gaining a toe-hold in the world of scholarly communication, with the rate of hybrid OA subscription journals alone increasing by 30% a year. 1

Growth in OA responds in part to requirements of funding bodies such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK, all of which require that the peer-reviewed results of publicly-funded research be available to the public within a certain period of time from the date of publication in a scholarly journal.  Some funding agencies permit a portion of research grants to be used to pay for enabling Open Access of scholarly articles.

Canadian Funding Requirements

In Canada, the recently announced Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications requires that recipients of CIHR, SSHRC, or NSERC grants make peer-reviewed articles resulting from funded research freely available after 12 months - either through an OA journal or self-archiving in an online repository.  This policy has been in place for CIHR funded research since January 1, 2008.  For SSHRC and NSERC funded research, this policy will take effect for grants awarded from May 1, 2015 and onwards.

Bo-Christer Björk and David Solomon (2014), "How Research Funders can Finance APSs in Full OA and Hybrid Journals," Learned Publishing 27:2 p.93.


Next: Open Access Publishers