Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Draft Policy on Access to CIHR-Funded Research Outputs

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has released its Draft Policy on Access to CIHR-Funded Research Outputs. Comments are requested by November 24, 2006.

This is a strong policy - kudos to CIHR! Highlights include a strong open access mandate for peer-reviewed journal articles, with no more than a 6-month publisher-imposed delay, a recommendation that researchers consider retroactively archiving their most important articles, an indication that a researcher's track record of providing access to research outputs will be considered in the future when considering requests for funding, and a requirement to deposit research data into the appropriate public database immediately on publication.

When considering your own response, it may be helpful to consult Peter Suber's Ten Lessons from the Funding Agencies Open Access Policies, in the August 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Update October 12 -

Peter Suber's Comment, from Open Access News (please see OA News for the links):

Comment. Kudos to the CIHR for this exemplary policy.

1. The policy is an unambiguous mandate. It applies to all research funded in whole or in part by CIHR. It applies to both peer-reviewed journal articles and data files. (Although it requires some kinds of data-sharing and merely encourages others, it may be the strongest data-sharing policy by any funder to date.) It makes reasonable exceptions for royalty-producing publications like monographs. It lets grantees choose between OA journals and OA repositories, and in the latter case, between institutional and disciplinary repositories. The only condition on eligible repositories is that they be OAI-compliant. The policy uses the dual deposit/release strategy (requiring immediate deposit and permitting delayed OA release, in this case limiting embargoes to six months). And it takes a grantee's past compliance into account when evaluating new funding proposals. With one exception the policy embodies all the most important lessons from the funding agency open access policies. The exception is that CIHR doesn't offer to pay article processing fees for grantees who choose to publish in fee-based OA journals.

2. The CIHR has called for comments on its new draft. Responses are due by November 24, 2006.

3. For background, the CIHR announced that it was considering an OA policy and called for public comments back in April 2006. In June it released an update on where it stood in the process and in August (in a document dated June) it released a summary of the public comments.

4. If the CIHR draft counts as a policy, and the new OA policy in Austria counts as a mandate (it deliberately positions itself between a request and a requirement), then the CIHR policy is the seventh OA mandate to be adopted this month. There are the four new mandates from the RCUK, the expansion of the existing mandate at the Wellcome Trust, the Austrian policy, and now the CIHR. This is unprecedented momentum.

Comment by Stevan Harnad:

Stevan Harnad on Open Access Archivangelism reports that the CIHR proposal is 99% optimal - please see Stevan's blogpost for substantive details.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

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