Open Access

Open access is a model of scholarly communication that promises to greatly improve the accessibility of results of research. In general terms, scholarly research that is published in open access is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions (although it does require that proper attribution of works be given to authors).

CARL is committed to open access as a means of broadening access to scholarly materials. The Association has signed two important international declarations on open access.

CARL has asserted the value of open access in its Position Statement on Open Access. In addition, CARL’s Open Access Backgrounder (2010) describes the basic means of achieving open access, explains who benefits from it, and highlights some international and Canadian open access initiatives.

Initiatives and Resources

The basic what, why and how of open access are outlined in the CARL Open Access flyer, which was prepared for authors who are unfamiliar with open access.

Institutional Open Access Policies

A large number of institutions (or specific departments thereof) worldwide have adopted open access policies or mandate that either require or strongly recommend that faculty make their research publications available in open access, often specifying that it be uploaded to their local institutional repository.

  • ROARMAP is the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies, and contains records of institutional (as well as funder and organizational) mandates that can be searched.
  • A table of Canadian institutional open access policies and mandates has been assembled by Elizabeth Yates at Brock University, and can be edited by representatives of institutions to reflect their local mandate.

Tri-Agency Policy Support

CARL fully supports the Tri-Agency’s decision to launch its Open Access Policy on Publications. CARL aims to foster a smooth implementation of the policy by engaging and informing researchers on the benefits of enabling free and broad access to their research findings. To that end, the following efforts have been made:

In addition to the above, CARL is also working towards providing updated information to SHERPA-JULIET, which maintains a list of research funding organizations’ open access policies from around the world.

Related Initiatives

General Resources on Open Access

  • Open Access by Peter Suber (MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series, 2012) is a concise introduction to open access available freely in PDF, HTML, ePUB and Mobi. The author, Peter Suber, is a leading voice in the worldwide open access movement.
  • Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) offers a full suite of resources for librarians, authors, publishers, editors, and others who would like to learn about and to help transform the scholarly communication ecosystem.
  • Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS) provides an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it.
  • Enabling Open Scholarship aims to further the opening up of scholarship and research through the growing open access, open education, open science and open innovation movements.

Publishing in Open Access

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • SHERPA RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher’s policies regarding the self- archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories.
  • SHERPA/JULIET maintains a list of funding organizations’ open access policies from around the world.
  • The Open Citation Project – Reference Linking and Citation Analysis for Open Archives has assembled a bibliography of studies on the effect of open access and downloads (‘hits’) on citation impact.