Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Open Access Journals Support in Canada: new research project in planning

This is a report of a new research project just getting started, detailed description for linking from the Open Access Directory Research in Progress section.

Project Title: Open Access Journals Support in Canada
Status: early planning stages (August 5, 2009)

Investigators: Don Taylor, Simon Fraser University, Kumiko Vezina, Concordia University Library, Heather Morrison, Simon Fraser University

Background: there are several key opportunities where research appears highly desirable to move things forward. The cross-country Synergies project is helping many Canadian society publishers in the Social Sciences and Humanities to go online. When the original funding runs out in a few years, there will be a need to sustain support for these journals, and identifying an avenue for open access support can help to spur movement towards open access. The SSHRC Aid to Open Access Journals fund is relatively new, and potentially scalable to include more journals or disciplines, should libraries be able to commit to funding for OA rather than subscriptions. The SCOAP3 initiative, which Canadian libraries have committed to through CRKN, provides a model. That is, would Canadian academic libraries be willing to commit their current subscriptions monies towards an open access scholarly publishing system? The CRKN Alternative Publishing Models also provides something that we can build on.


Survey Canadian academic libraries and university presses (CRKN members plus any that wish to self-identify as active in this area) to determine current levels of university support for journal hosting and support services in Canada in general, and open access journals in particular. The Survey may be supplemented with additional research / follow-up, e.g. viewing journal sites to determine copyright of Cdn publishers (note PKP presentation from student at Telequam on this topic).

Basic questions:
  • What is happening already in this area?
  • What might universities be willing to commit to? (e.g., would Cdn libraries go for a SCOAP3-like model for Cdn academic publishers if such were proposed)?
  • Identify barriers (e.g., in the U.S., in some states it is against the law to pay for anything that you can get for free. Is this the case here, and if so, how can such barriers be overcome?)