Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

  1. What is open access (OA)?
  2. Why is open access important?
  3. How do I know if a journal is open access?
  4. How can I make my article available open access?
  5. What is an institutional repository, and do we have one?
  6. What are the advantages of depositing my research in a repository like oURspace?
  7. How much will it cost to make my research available open access?
  8. My preferred publisher has asked me to sign a contract that doesn’t meet the Tri-Agency requirements. What can I do?
  9. Are open access journals and open textbooks peer reviewed?
  10. I’ve been warned about “predatory” open access publishers. What do I need to know to avoid falling prey to one of these?
  11. How will publishing in an open access journal affect how I am evaluated against my tenure and promotion criteria?
  12. Where can I learn more about journal impact factors, and other measures of research impact?
  13. What are some common misconceptions about open access?

Questions about Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publication

  1. When do I need to start making my research available open access in order to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publication?
  2. Do I have to make my book available open access if it is supported by Tri-Agency funds?
  3. I am applying for funds to host a conference. Will I have to make the proceedings available open access?
  4. I’m a graduate student holding a graduate scholarship/fellowship. Does the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications apply to me?
  5. What are my options for meeting the Tri-Agency requirements to make my journal article available open access?

Other Usefull Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications FAQs, from the agencies themselves.

Questions and Answers

  1. What is open access (OA)?

    The multinational Budapest Open Access Initiative offered this definition in 2002, and it is still accurate and widely cited:

    “By ‘open access’ to [peer-reviewed research literature], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

  2. Why is open access important?

    Open access serves the public good by making possible “the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.” (Budapest Open Access Initiative)

  3. How do I know if a journal is open access?

    The SHERPA/RoMEO database is a good starting place for locating publishers’ copyright and editorial policies. It is advisable, however, that grant recipients also closely consult the journal home page and any contracts that they are asked to sign in order to verify they will be able to meet the requirements of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. Contact the journal’s editorial staff if you are uncertain.

  4. How can I make my article available open access?

    There are two ways to make your article available open access:

    1. Publish your journal article in an open access journal
    2. Publish your journal article in a non-open access journal that allows you to deposit a copy of your publication in repository within one year of publication date (some journals allow this by default; in other cases, you may need to add an “author addendum” (see related question/answer below).
  5. What is an institutional repository, and do we have one?

    Yes! The University of Regina has an institutional repository called oURspace, where you can deposit research that you wish to make freely available (provided that you have the copyright permissions required). James Holobetz is the oURspace Administrator and can provide advice/assistance.

  6. What are the advantages of depositing my research in a repository like oURspace?

    Depositing your research in oURspace makes it widely available to scholars and lay people around the world. It also ensures that your research is available in perpetuity, regardless of future software changes. Finally, it meets the requirements of most funding bodies with open access requirements, including CIHR/NSERC/SSHRC.

  7. How much will it cost to make my research available open access?

    That depends. Often times, research can be made open access at no additional charge, if:

    1. You publish in an open access journal that does not have article processing charges (APC)
    2. You publish in a regular journal that allows deposit of your research in an institutional repository within twelve months (there is no charge associated with using oURspace or most other subject/institutional repositories). Some journals, however, may charge an article processing charge (APC) for you to make your research available open access. This varies widely among disciplines and journals--check when you are submitting to your preferred journal to learn more about their policies. APCs are allowable expenditures from Tri-Agency grants and many other funding sources.
  8. My preferred publisher has asked me to sign a contract that doesn’t meet the Tri-Agency requirements. What can I do?

    Traditionally, authors have signed their copyright ownership over to the publisher upon acceptance of their journal articles. Many publishers still present authors with a contract asking that they sign away their author rights, but some choose not to do this (either from personal beliefs, or because of funder mandates for open access). If a publisher asks you to sign over your copyright and you are unwilling or unable to do so, look at the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) web site for further information about adding an author addendum to the contract, as well as a useful template (PDF 177 KB).

    Asking a publisher to sign an author addendum can feel a little daunting the first time, but it helps to keep in mind that publishers are increasingly encountering these documents in order to publish research funded by major granting bodies, both in Canada and around the world.

  9. Are open access journals and open textbooks peer reviewed?

    OA journals and textbooks are just like for-purchase journals and textbooks: some of them are peer reviewed and some aren’t. Authors and researchers should verify the quality of any journal or publisher before submitting and publishing with them. Resources on this site will help, and your subject liaison librarian may also be able provide advice.

  10. I’ve been warned about “predatory” open access publishers. What do I need to know to avoid falling prey to one of these?

    Much has been made of predatory publishers of open access journals, but the fact is that predatory journals have always existed, and likely always will.  CARL has published a document for researchers that outlines identifying and avoiding these types of publishers http://www.carl-abrc.ca/uploads/SCC/predatory_pubs_primer-e.pdf (PDF 425 KB).  The University of Manchester (UK) provides a useful guide to investigating the credibility of unfamiliar titles.

    Additional resources are available from Jeffrey Beal, a librarian at Auraria Library, University of Colorado, who maintains a comprehensive list of criteria which authors may use to identify potential predatory publications, as well as lists of potential, possible, or probably predatory scholarly open access publishers and journals.

  11. How will publishing in an open access journal affect how I am evaluated against my tenure and promotion criteria?

    Open access publishing need not have any impact on your tenure and promotion success. You can still publish in high-quality journals, either traditional journals that allow you to deposit a copy of your work in a repository after 12 months, or in a respected open access journal in your field.

  12. Where can I learn more about journal impact factors, and other measures of research impact?

    Journal impact factors and other measures (including immediacy index, cited half-life, Eigenfactor score, etc) can most reliably be obtained from the database Journal Citation Reports (note: available to U of R faculty/staff/students only—you will need the use your Novell login if you are off-campus).

    Impact factors are not without their detractors, and should at the very least be used with an awareness of their limitations. Per O Seglen’s widely cited article, “Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research” (BMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7079.497) outlines areas for consideration.

    To learn about additional tools for assessing impact, including the new field of “altmetrics,” start with the article “From bibliometrics to altmetrics: A changing scholarly landscape” (Roemer & Borchardt, College and Research Libraries News 2012 (73.10).

  13. What are some common misconceptions about open access?

    This web page from MIT, as well as this article from The Guardian (UK) set the record straight on some misconceptions that surround open access.

FAQs specific to the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publication

  1. When do I need to start making my research available open access in order to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publication?

    This is a two-part answer. CIHR had an open access policy prior to the introduction of the new harmonized Tri-Agency Policy, specifying that all CIHR-funded research from January 2008 forwards must be made available open access, and this continues to apply. SSHRC and NSERC did not have a prior policy; therefore, research funded by grants awarded May 1, 2015 and onwards must be made available open access.

  2. Do I have to make my book available open access if it is supported by Tri-Agency funds?

    No, at this time the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publication only applies to journal articles and some CIHR data.

  3. I am applying for funds to host a conference. Will I have to make the proceedings available open access?

    No, at this time the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publication only applies to journal articles and some CIHR data.

  4. I’m a graduate student holding a graduate scholarship/fellowship. Does the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications apply to me?

    No. While the Agencies encourage all authors to make their research widely available, recipients of graduate scholarships and fellowships are not required to adhere to the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

  5. What are my options for meeting the Tri-Agency requirements to make my journal article available open access?

    There are two ways to meet the Tri-Agency requirements:
       a. Publish your journal article in an open access journal
       b. Publish your journal article in a non-open access journal that allows you to deposit a copy of your publication in repository within one year of publication date (some journals allow this by default; in other cases, you may need to add an “author addendum” see related question/answer above).        

Other lists of Frequently Asked Questions that may be useful:

  1. Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications FAQs, from the agencies themselves.

Still have questions? E-mail the Library Open Acccess Team for further assistance.