What is Open Access?
Open Access is a growing international movement that uses the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. It encourages the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society.
Open Access is the principle that all research should be freely accessible online, immediately after publication, and it’s gaining ever more momentum around the world as research funders and policy makers throw their weight behind it. (From: International Open Access Week)
Short videos explaining Open Access
- View short video (~3 min) explaining open access
- A quick introduction to the concept (1 min)
- What is Open Access? (8 min)
For more information including an FAQ, visit What is open access (OA)?
Consider publishing in Open Access Journals:
- Directory of Open Access Journals
- PubMed Central
- BioMed Central
- Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Open Access Journals are free to users, but all publishing has a cost. Thus, there are a number of business models to support Open Access publishing: http://library.mcmaster.ca/scholarly-communication/open-access#who
Some research funding agencies have mandate OA deposit of research. For example, Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) Policy on Access to Research Outputs requires grant recipients to make their peer-reviewed publications freely accessible online within twelve months of publication. For a summary of additional Canadian funding agencies' policies, visit SHERPA/ JULIET (search Canada)
NRC Research Press 2014-2017 License Agreement notes that researchers at Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CKRN) member institutions (including McMaster) can make their published articles open access for the reduced fee of $1500 per article. Their regular fee for open access option is $3000.
The Health Sciences Library is not able to provide funds to support author fees for open access publishing.
What are the Publishers Copyright Policies & Self Archiving?
SHERPA/RoMEO - can help find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement; consult their colour guide to determine publisher's open access and archiving permissions
Wish to retain more control over copyright? Consider adding the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum to your publication or author agreement.
"The SPARC Canadian Author Addendum enables authors to secure a more balanced agreement by retaining select rights, such as the rights to reproduce, reuse, and publicly present the articles they publish for non-commercial purposes. It will help Canadian researchers to comply with granting council public access policies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Policy on Access to Research Outputs. The Canadian Addendum reflects Canadian copyright law and is an adaptation of the original U.S. version of the SPARC Author Addendum."
View a short video from SPARC details how authors can retain key rights
Know your Copy(rights) as an author - a McMaster presentation - December 2013
What is PubMed Central Canada?
PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) provides free access to a stable and permanent online digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed health and life sciences journal articles, including the research outputs of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant recipients.
- is part of the PubMed Central (PMC) International network and a starting point for exploring Canadian health research
- is a partnership between the National Research Council's Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine
- allows you to browse, search and download articles
How to submit a manuscript to PMC Canada
At this time, PMC Canada can only accept submissions from CIHR funded Principal Investigators. If you are a CIHR funded Principal Investigator, and you do not yet have a PMC Canada Manuscript Submission System Account, please contact the CIHR Help Desk.
Last updated February 2015