Open access enables anyone to read and make use of research products at no cost and with limited copyright restrictions. This makes access to research results more equitable and allows us as authors and researchers to reach a wider audience.
We adopted the first commitment to making our research publications as openly available as possible more than ten years ago in 2010. Much has changed since then! We have rebranded our institutional repository as HARVEST and opened it up for all USask researchers to self-archive their own publications OA for free; we have become more aware of the importance of making more products of our research (such as protocols and research data) openly available as well; and we now more clearly acknowledge our professional role in advocating for a more sustainable publishing system. These are several of the revisions that we approved in our new Open Access Commitment. There is also an acknowledgement that not all research products are appropriate to be shared openly for cultural, privacy, or ethical reasons.
USask librarians and archivists are not alone in adopting such statements. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory at the University of Victoria tracks Canadian University Open Access Statements. Currently there are 14 university-level statements and 12 department or college-level statements, most of which are from libraries like ours!
To learn more about open access, please visit our guide.
Written by DeDe Dawson, associate librarian for science and scholarly communication at the University Library.