Dalhousie Researcher Response to the Tri-Agency Policy on Open Access Publications



Background: In 2015, the Tri-Council Agencies (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]) launched the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, which requires that all peer-reviewed articles resulting from research funded by their agencies after May 1, 2015, be made available in an Open Access (OA) repository within 12 months of publication. Purpose: This study concentrated on Tri-Council Agencies grant recipients to identify the following: their awareness of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications; their plans to comply (or not) with the OA requirement; where they deposited, or will deposit an OA copy of their research; and their reasons for selecting one option over another. Target Population: Two hundred and fifty-eight researchers at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) who have acquired funding from one of the Tri-Council Agencies since May 2015. Design and Methods: An anonymous, six-question online questionnaire was emailed to the target population. Results: Fifty-three respondents self-selected to make up our sample size (n=53). Reputation appeared to play the biggest role in the researchers’ OA selection. However, the publisher-imposed costs for some open access journals were also indicated as a major barrier. Conclusion: The issue of mandating grant recipients to publish in OA remains a provocative one for researchers. The results of this study will provide beneficial information for repositories looking to increase deposits by identifying barriers that researchers face, and the considerations that researchers must make to meet the OA mandates of their funding agencies.