CIHR Proposes Optimal OA Self-Archiving Mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 03:21:36 +0100

CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research] has proposed a 99.99%
optimal Self-Archiving Mandate:

        CIHR grant and award holders must:

        [1] [self]-archive [all]
            (1a) final peer-reviewed published articles or final
            peer-reviewed full-text manuscripts
            (1b) in an appropriate [OAI]-compliant digital
            archive, such as PubMed Central, or an institutional
            (1c) immediately upon publication.
            (1d) A publisher-imposed embargo on open accessibility of
            no more than 6 months is acceptable.


        [2] submit their manuscripts either
            (2a) to a journal that provides immediate open access to
            published articles (if a suitable journal exists),
            (2b) to a journal that allows authors to retain copyright
            and/or allows authors to archive journal publications in an
            open access archive within the six-month period following

There is only one unnecessary and confusing clause in CIHR's policy: (2b).
(2b) is redundant with [1]! (2b) says the author must publish in a journal
that allows [1]. But that is already implicit in [1] -- it is not a
sub-option of [2]. [1] is the requirement to self-archive immediately
(and to set access as Open Access within 6 months). Alternative [2] is
to publish in an Open Access journal. That covers all the alternatives!
(2b) is completely redundant.

So (2b) should simple be dropped.

That's all, really. There are still a few things minor changes that
would make the policy simpler, clearer, and more systematic and coherent.
In order to encourage a uniform practice that will generalize and apply
to all fields, whether or not funded by CIHR, it would be best if CIHR's
uniform rule consisted of just these 5 components:

    I. must deposit final peer-reviewed manuscript (or published version)
    II. immediately upon publication
    III. in the author's own IR

    IV. access to deposit must be set as Open Access within 6 months

    V. where possible, publish in a suitable OA journal

This way, everything gets deposited immediately, and access is OA within
6 months. The IR should be the preferred default locus, from which PubMed
Central or other archives can harvest, but direct deposit elsewhere
can be allowed as an option if the researcher has no institutional IR yet.


(CIHR also requires making research data and materials for reasonable
requests: Might as well recommend -- but not require -- that they are
self-archived too, wherever possible!)

Bravo CIHR!

Stevan Harnad

On Wed, 11 Oct 2006, Geoffrey Hynes wrote:

> Please note that a public consultation has been launched to seek comments on
> CIHR's proposed Policy on Access to Research Outputs.
> CIHR wishes to consult widely and we would appreciate your assistance in
> bringing this initiative to the attention of other individuals and
> organizations.
> Details on this policy initiative and information on submitting comments can
> be found at the following web sites:
> English:
> <>
> French:
> <>
> Comments or questions on the draft policy should be sent by e-mail to
> <> or by mail to the
> address below.
> Consultation on the Access to Research Outputs Policy
> Canadian Institutes of Health Research
> 160 Elgin Street, 9th Floor
> Address Locator 4809A
> Ottawa, ON, K1A 0W9
> Canada
Received on Thu Oct 12 2006 - 15:21:05 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:32 GMT