Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications 2015

In alignment with the international movement towards open access, the federal government recently announced the new harmonized Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. The policy requires researchers receiving grants from CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC to make resulting peer-reviewed journal articles freely available online within 12 months of publication. The policy applies to NSERC and SSHRC funding awarded from May 1, 2015 onward. Requirements for CIHR grants remain unchanged from the previous CIHR 2008 Open Access Policy.


Researchers can meet the journal article requirement in one (or both) of the following ways:


  1. by depositing the peer-reviewed manuscript (post-print) or publisher pdf (if permitted) in an online repository that will make the manuscript freely accessible within 12 months of publication. UPEI researchers can fulfill this requirement by depositing their manuscripts in the University’s IslandScholar repository. The Library will help scholars manage permissions using the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher permissions.


  1. submitting the manuscript to an open access journal or to a journal that provides the option to publish open access, for an article processing fee. Researchers can include this publishing cost in their grant submissions. If the journal does not offer an open access option, authors can request to include the SPARC Authors’ addendum to retain rights to add a copy of the peer-reviewed manuscript to the institutional repository. UPEI’s Open Access & Dissemination of Research Output Policy also strongly encourages researchers to deposit a copy of the final, peer-reviewed manuscript into IslandScholar immediately upon publication, even if the article is freely available on the journal’s website.


In addition, CIHR grants also require the deposit of bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database immediately upon publication of research results. The original data sets must be retained for a minimum of five years. SSHRC has an existing Research Data Archiving Policy which states that research data collected “must be preserved and made available for use by others within a reasonable period of time”. The Robertson Library has committed to working with scholars to preserve data and research outputs for "as long as is necessary". A new website providing access to new supports and services will be launched in May 2015.


Current grant holders are also encouraged to conform to the requirements of the new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.


For guidance and assistance in meeting these requirements, contact Research Services and/or the Robertson Library.


Leslie Cudmore, Research Services,

Donald Moses, Robertson Library,