CARL has created this Institutional Open Access Policy Template and Toolkit to help prepare those wishing to engage in this activity on their campus.
The tools included in this toolkit are 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.
Starting in 2003, institutions and funders worldwide have adopted open access mandates or policies that promote openly sharing research outputs as a means of expressing support for – and engagement with – open access. According to the ROARMAP registry of open access mandates and policies, there are currently 795 institution-wide open access policies worldwide.1 Within universities and other research institutions, these policies are typically adopted by a governing body that includes significant representation from the faculty, frequently the Senate.
The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory at the University of Victoria maintains a list of existing open access policies at Canadian institutions. As of mid-2019, there are ten policies or statements at the institution level, seven by librarian groups, and two at the faculty or department level. In the Canadian landscape, the launch of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications has been the catalyst for several institutional policies (most mention it explicitly). The Tri-Agency policy mandates that articles resulting from research funded by the three largest federal funders (CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC) must be made available via fully open access no later than 12 months after publication.
In addition to those currently engaged in developing their first institution-wide open access policy, others establishments who adopted a policy in years past are now considering updates (for example, to include more types of research outputs than originally mandated).
CARL has created this suite of tools to help prepare those wishing to engage in this activity. The tools included in this toolkit are 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. CARL recognizes that this policy, in the global context, is a baseline policy based on the Canadian community’s current needs. Open policy practices are evolving quickly (for example to strengthen commitments to author rights retention and to require the deposit of research data in open repositories), and it is our expectation that we will need to revise the policy template in response to shifting norms and expectations.
Studies have shown that “opt-out” policies2 achieve the highest level of open publications3 (as opposed to those that merely encourage open access). CARL therefore encourages institutions to adopt policies that are as broad and ambitious in scope as your community will allow. For instance, some institutions may wish to mandate deposit of all scholarly outputs. CARL nevertheless recognizes that implementation of any policy by an institution must take into account the institutional context and culture, existing policies and collective agreements. (The Sections of a Typical Policy & Supporting Documentation portion of this toolkit presents alternate text that you may wish to consider for your institution.)
All contents are openly licensed so that you may use them freely and adapt them to your context.
We recommend reading through the Beginning the Journey section for some tips on approaching the process, as well as the Lessons Learned for some experienced insight from individuals at Canadian institutions who have undertaken this process.
CARL wishes to recognize the work of Joy Kirchner and Lise Brin, who led the creation of this policy template and accompanying toolkit. Thanks as well to the following individuals who played a key role in developing this tool: Guylaine Beaudry, Jonathan Bengtson, Gwen Bird, Donna Bourne-Tyson, Richard Dumont, Mark Robertson, Diane Sauvé, Martha Whitehead, and Elizabeth Yates.
1 http://roarmap.eprints.org, retrieved July 12, 2019.
3 Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe; Boivin, Jade; Gargouri, Yassine; Larivière, Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2016) Estimating open access mandate effectiveness: The MELIBEA Score. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) 67
This work, the CARL Institutional Open Access Policy Toolkit, was developed by members of the CARL Advancing Research Committee and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.