Wednesday, October 01, 2008

National Cancer Institute of Canada adopts open access mandates

Kudos to the National Cancer Institute of Canada on the adoption of a leading-open Open Access Policy!

Open Access policy

Effective July 2009, all researchers supported in whole or in part through the NCIC are required to make their published results of NCIC supported work publicly available. Researchers are encouraged to make their work publicly available as soon as possible, but must do so no later than six months after the final publication date.

Archives such as PubMed Central, researchers’ host institution websites, and/or open access journals are all acceptable ways to make research findings publicly available.

The NCIC appreciates the importance of publishing research results in the most widely read and respected scientific journals. In no way is this policy designed to compromise the ability of any researcher funded through the NCIC to publish in these journals. Nor is the NCIC open access policy designed to operate in a manner that in any way violates copyright law. Increasingly, however, many publishers are supportive of open access and have policies in place to allow open access without infringing their copyright.

NCIC believes strongly, however, that unrestricted public access to research findings is a crucial part of upholding the values and responsibilities of the NCIC as a granting agency and of the NCIC’s funders, the Canadian Cancer Society and The Terry Fox Foundation, both of whom are supported in turn by donations from the public. Major funding bodies around the world have progressively adopted open access as a means of increasing the public availability and transparency of the research they fund. Open access allows for broader dissemination of knowledge and ultimately promotes research advancement, crucial to the NCIC’s mission to reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality of cancer.

As part of this policy, the NCIC will provide support for any charges levied by publishers that are required to comply with this open access process. Such charges may be included as legitimate research expenses (fully justified as with all other expenses) in the budget of a research grant submission.

For more information about the NCIC’s open access policy please refer to the provided Open Access FAQs or contact us at

Comments: strengths of this policy include encouragement for immediate OA, the 6-month embargo, commitment to paying for open access publishing, and the definition of public accessibility as open access, defined in the FAQ as The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in a digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.. This is libre open access, and a great model for other funders to follow.

Thanks to Jim Till and Peter Suber.

This post is part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement series.