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Wednesday, 12 September, 2007

Canada's new research policy a "victory for open access"

Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, gives two thumbs up to the new CIHR open access policy in a published in the Toronto Star and The Tyee.

The new policy - the first of its kind for Ottawa's three major research granting institutions that dole out hundreds of millions of dollars each year - will revolutionize access to health research by mandating that thousands of articles published each year be made freely available online to a global audience.

This marks an important step in the "open access" movement in Canada, which had been falling behind peer institutions in the United States, Europe, and Australia. It also places heightened pressure on the publishing industry to adapt their policies to permit greater access to publicly-funded research.
Despite his paean to the open access policy, Mr Geist, careful reader that he is, has nevertheless discovered a loophole that could allow staid publishers to undermine the new effort:
The policy is not iron-clad since publication in an online repository is conditional on the appropriate permission from the publisher. Accordingly, a researcher does not violate the grant requirements by not posting their work if a publisher refuses to grant them permission to do so. This leaves publishers with a measure of control...
You can read , if you're so inclined, on the CIHR website. Or just stick to , if you prefer.

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