On “Require Open Access to Results of Research Funded by Canadian Taxpayer” by Heather Morrison et al.

On “Require Open Access to Results of Research Funded by Canadian Taxpayer” by Heather Morrison et al.

The “Require Open Access to Results of Research Funded by Canadian Taxpayer” report was developed by Heather Morrison, Leslie Chan, Michael Geist, Stevan Harnad, and Christian Vandendorpe, among others, for the Government of Canada. It preempts the “Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications” by ~5 years, although it is a clear precedent of that policy. Morrison et al. make direct recommendations in “Require Open Access”: primarily, they suggest that all funded research should be required to be deposited in institutional repositories. It is no surprise, then, that Harnad is one of the compilers, as this is also the argument he makes in the article “Optimizing Open Access Policy.”

The report builds on the 2008 CIHR “Policy on Access to Research Outputs,” and lauds the early accomplishments of this document. Morrison et al. are very clear, however, about the CIHR policy loophole regarding corporate publishers. That is, the CIHR policy allows researchers to opt-out of the policy if they are bound to (or have negotiated) strident publisher copyright. In response to this, Morrison et al. state: “This is neither justified nor necessary” (n.p). The authors acknowledge that the contributions of corporate publishers are important, but that there are other stakeholders involved as well who have rights to the research content in question: “No one contributor to the process should have exclusive rights to the final report; an open access requirement is reasonable and fair to all.” (n.p.)

Overall, this report emphasizes the necessity of mandating open access instead of merely encouraging or requesting it.

 

Works Cited

Harnad, Stevan. “Optimizing Open Access Policy.” The Serials Librarian 69 (2): 133 –41. DOI: 10.1080/0361526X.2015.1076368

Morrison, Heather, et al. 2010. “Require Open Access to Results of Research Funded by Canadian Taxpayer.” Submission to Industry Canada Digital Economy Consultation. http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/028.nsf/eng/00352.html

 

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