CARL Member Libraries Quantify Their Investments in Open Scholarship

July 22, 2020. – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has released a report detailing its academic member institutions’ financial contributions to the development and sustainability of the infrastructure and services that underlie open scholarship.

In recent years, CARL has been working towards a vision of an open, sustainable, and innovative scholarly communication system, governed and managed by the scholarly community. Having a clear understanding of current investments is crucial for advancing this vision, setting targets for future investments in open, and identifying opportunities for coordinated, collective action. 

Investments in Open: Canadian Research Libraries’ Expenditures on Services, Staff, and Infrastructures in Support of Open Scholarship was written by Kathleen Shearer, the lead researcher on the underlying study. One of the survey’s main findings is that the total, aggregate spending on open by the 28 responding libraries during the 2018-2019 fiscal year was $23 million CAD, with an average spend per institution of $827,086. Individual libraries spent between 0.88% to 7.23% of their total budget on open scholarship (average of 3.09%). The report further breaks down these investments into categories, including salaries for local services, advocacy, article processing charges, publisher memberships, and investment in hosting services for open access journals, monographs and repositories.

Canadian research libraries have already demonstrated the value of collective action and funding through projects like Portage, Canadiana, and Coalition Publica, and have also been significant supporters of open scholarship services both individually and collectively through the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS).

Jonathan Bengtson, CARL President and University Librarian at the University of Victoria, stated: “The potential of digital scholarship is only just beginning to be leveraged. Now that we have a better understanding of our current investments in open, CARL will work with its members and the broader community to increase and prioritize future investment to benefit Canada’s scholars.”

> Full report – ENGLISH (PDF)
> Full report – FRENCH (PDF)


CARL is the voice of Canada’s research libraries. The Association’s members include Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries and two federal institutions. Enhancing research and higher education are at the heart of its mission. CARL develops the capacity to support this mission, promotes effective and sustainable scholarly communication, and advocates for public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.

For more information, please contact:
Lise Brin, Program Officer
lise.brin@carl-abrc.ca
(902) 318-4485