University of Ottawa launches open access program

The University of Ottawa is the first Canadian university to adopt an “open access” program and provide free access to the university’s research online.

The new open access program includes a commitment to providing free access to scholarly research performed at uOttawa online at the uO Research repository, as well as providing funding to keep information at uOttawa open.

For example, some publishers charge a fee to researchers to give them the rights to make their work open. With the new initiative, uOttawa will cover those fees.

Along with helping researchers avoid the costs of providing open access to their work, the university is also providing a grant fund additional research into open access.

uOttawa has also become the first Canadian university to join the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) which is a commitment to support open access peer-reviewed scholarly journals, ensuring the articles are available to everyone.

Other COPE members include MIT, Harvard University and UC Berkeley.

 “I am proud that our university is the first one in the country to introduce a comprehensive open access program. Canada’s university has become Canada’s Open Access University,” said uOttawa president Allan Rock in a press release. “The fruit of our faculty’s contributions to academic research will now be more visible, freely accessible and shared with the world.”

This is not the first time uOttawa has participated in an open access initiative.

The Creative Commons Canada license was created in 2003 with support from the university and uOttawa was also responsible for founding Open Medicine and Aporia, two open-access peer-reviewed medical journals.