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Open Access > Funding Agencies

This guide offers basic information on open access.

Open Access policies of granting agencies in Quebec and Canada

Starting May 1st, 2015, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) require researchers to publish in open access the articles resulting from research funded by these agencies. Equally, since 2008, the researchers whose activities are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) must publish their articles in open accessOn February 27, 2015, the NSERC, the SSHRC, and the CIHR published the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

In Quebec, all researchers receiving funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) since April 1st, 2019, must also publish in open access the articles resulting from it. The final version of the FRQ's open access policy for the dissemination of research has been published on April 15, 2019.

Here are some highlights of these open access policies:

  • These policies only applies to articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
  • The authors have two options to make their articles available in open access within 12 months of publication:

Option 1 (also called the gold road): The article is available free of charge on the journal’s website. The journal can be an open access journal or a subscription journal that makes some individual articles freely accessible to the readers (these are commonly known as hybrid journals). Although this is often the case, open access journals do not always require a financial contribution from the author in order to publish the article. Several business models exist, yet the articles are always available free of charge to readers. To find an open access journal, consult the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). As for hybrid journals, the author usually pays in order to make his article available in open access. However, libraries often have to maintain their subscription to the journal so they still have access to all of the published articles.

The policy states that "The cost of publishing in open access journals is an eligible expense under the Use of Grant Funds."

Option 2 (also called the green road): The authors publish an article in an academic journal and self-archive a copy of the article in an open archive (ex.: or institutional repository (PolyPublie). Many publishers do allow archiving of peer-reviewed articles (the final manuscript or the version formatted by the publisher). Some articles can be archived only after the embargo period expires. Authors must read their contracts, or the authors guidelines typically published in an editor's website, to be aware of their publisher's self-archiving conditions. As for articles submitted in PolyPublie by Polytechnique's authors, the library will validate self-archiving conditions and required embargos. The Sherpa/Romeo website is a good starting point, because it includes a summary of archiving permissions and links to publishers' policies.

  • Special case: The CIHR grant holders are also required to "deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database and to retain original data sets for a minimum of five years".

For more information on the Tri-agency open access policy, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions and Toolbox sections accompanying the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

For more information on the FRQ's Open access policy, please consult the Open science section from their website.


About the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

Other policies

International directory of research funders' open access policies: