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Scholarly Communication

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

The Tri-Agency Funding Policy came into effect May 1, 2015.  If you receive funding from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC, this page will help you understand how to comply.  

The policy requires all grant recipients to ensure that peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication.

The policy applies to all grants awarded by NSERC or SSHRC from May 1, 2015 and onward; and by CIHR from January 1, 2008 and onward.  The policy does not apply to individuals in receipt of graduate scholarships and fellowships.

How to comply with the policy

There are two options for complying with the Policy, and they are not mutually exclusive.

Option 1: Publish in an open access Journal

You can publish your results in a journal that offers immediate open access, or that offers open access within 12 months (often called an "embargo period").  

Note that publishing costs for open access journals are eligible expenses under Tri-Agency regulations.  Additionally, Libraries and Cultural Resources manages an Open Access Authors Fund that covers costs for eligible publications.

The Where to publish page in this guide contains tips on selecting a reputable open access journal.

Option 2: Deposit your work into an open access repository

If you wish to publish your results in a journal that does not offer an open access option, then you may deposit your manuscript into an institutional or disciplinary repository that will make your manuscript freely available.  Publisher policies vary on what version of your manuscript you may deposit.  The SHERPA/RoMEO database lists publishers' copyright and archiving publishers.  Be sure to carefully read any copyright transfer agreement you receive to ensure you understand the publisher's current policies.  You may want to negotiate different author rights prior to signing it.

The University of Calgary offers a free and easy way to comply with the policy via our institutional repository, PRISM.  If you would like to deposit your work into the repository, please contact us for help.

Many other institutional and disciplinary repositories can be found via the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).

Please note that making your work available via academic networking sites such as Academia.edu or ResearchGate does not satisfy the requirements of the Policy because these sites require a membership for full access to the site's content.  While you may post your manuscripts on your personal/departmental website (if permitted by the publisher), the Policy requires that they also be available in an open access journal or an institutional or disciplinary repository.

Other research funders' open access policies

Many other research funders, both in Canada and internationally, have adopted open access policies.  The SHERPA/JULIET database tracks these policies; you can search by funder or by country.

The Library can help

University of Calgary Library staff can provide assistance and consultation on compliance with open access policies, including:

  • Selecting a journal
  • Selecting a repository, and submission of content into PRISM
  • Obtaining copyright clearance from your publisher

Please contact us for assistance.