Sunday, October 29, 2006

Response to CIHR Consultation on Access to Research Outputs

Here is my response to the CIHR Consultation on Access to Research Outputs:

Re: Canadian Insitutes of Health Research Draft Policy on Access to Research Outputs

Kudos to CIHR for your Draft Policy on Access to Research Outputs. As an open access advocate who follows policy developments and has participated in policy consultations around the world, I consider this policy to be exemplary, with elements that I hope will be a role model for future policy makers.

It is heartening to see that CIHR is requiring immediate deposit of peer-reviewed research articles funded by CIHR. In my opinion, the provision for up to a maximum 6-month publisher-imposed delay is more than generous. If I were to suggest one improvement to this policy, I would suggest not permitting any delay at all. This is reasonable given that the research is conducted using public funds, and there are many open access options – from publishing to archiving – available to researchers today.

The CIHR is a leader in requiring deposit of research data immediately on publication; an important step that will lead to more rapid advances in research.

CIHR’s suggestions that researchers consider retroactively archiving important articles, and that a researchers’ track record might be considered in future grant applications, are welcome innovations that other policy-makers might wish to consider in their own policy developments.

This policy will make the research made possible by Canadian taxpayer dollars more readily available to Canadians, as well as to everyone around the globe. Students and faculty members at smaller and more remote colleges will have more access to researchers, as will high school teachers and students, and professionals outside of the major research centres, among others.

Canadian researchers will benefit from increased impact and visibility.

Once again, congratulations on a well thought out policy.

This is an open letter, which will be published on my scholarly blog.


Heather Morrison
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

Information about the CIHR Consultation can be found at:

Here is a link to the draft policy:

Comments are due November 24, 2006

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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