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Scholarly Communications: Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

A collection of Open Access Week events and resources for 2020.


This page will assist researchers whose work is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Tri-Agency has harmonized its open access policy for publications. Below are links to resources and information about how OCAD University Library Services can assist you in meeting the requirements of the new policy.

Researchers: What You Should Know

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have released a harmonized Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. Grant recipients are required to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publication arising from Agency-supported research is freely available within 12 months of publication.

  • This policy applies to all grants awarded May 1, 2015 and onward
  • The policy does not apply to scholarship and fellowship awards

For more information, see this FAQ on the Tri-Agency policy at

How to Comply with the New Policy

There are two ways for Tri-Agency Grantees to comply with the new policy:

1. Depositing in an Online Repository (Green Open Access):
Grant recipients can deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscript into an institutional or disciplinary repository that will make the manuscript freely accessible within 12 months of publication. OCAD University's Open Research repository is available for this purpose. Contact Chris Landry, Scholarly Communications Librarian  at for assistance in depositing or consult our deposit guide for self-deposit. All that you require are your OCAD U credentials.

2. Publishing in an Open Access Journal (Gold Open Access):
Grant recipients can publish in a journal that offers immediate open access or that offers open access on its website within 12 months.Publishing in an open access journal, or a traditional journal with an open access option, will make researchers' articles freely accessible upon publication fulfilling the Tri-Agency Policy compliance requirements. For a list of open access journals consult the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or consult Think-Check-Submit, a guide to selecting the right journal for your research. Some open access journals require an article processing charge.

If a Tri-Agency grantee chooses to publish in a traditional subscription based (non-open access) journal, the article must be made open access within 12 months of publication to meet Tri-Agency Policy compliance. Some journals allow the author to self-archive (in a repository, see above) or pay a fee to make the article open access. Sherpa/RoMEO is a helpful database of publisher and journal copyright policies for all kinds of journals. But be sure to read your individual publishing contract carefully to ensure you retain the rights to self-archive.

The Tri-Agency Open Access and Open Data Policies