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.

Initiatives and Resources

CARL has asserted the value of open access in its Position Statement on Open Access (2013). CARL’s Institutional Open Access Policy Template and Toolkit (2020) is designed to support first efforts to create an institution-wide policy, but can also be helpful in developing faculty- or department-specific policies, or in expanding an institution’s existing policies. Together with CRKN, CARL developed Towards Open Scholarship: A Canadian Research and Academic Library Action Plan to 2025 (2023), a robust, multi-pronged open scholarship strategy to proactively champion equitable access to knowledge while serving the needs of the research community.

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.

Tri-Agency Policy Support

CARL fully supports the Tri-Agency’s decision to launch its Open Access Policy on Publications and 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. 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

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.