At the forefront of open access research
In December 2009, the University of Ottawa became the first Canadian research-intensive university to adopt a comprehensive access program that supports free and unrestricted access to scholarly research.
The University is at the forefront of Canadian efforts to make publicly funded research freely available online. The initiative has many champions on the uOttawa campus. University librarian Leslie Weir has been working on the program for some time backed by such luminaries as intellectual property law Professor Michael Geist. Together with uOttawa researchers, they have already participated in many significant open access projects including the Canadian Creative Commons license, which ensures authors retain the right of attribution and that their work is accessible. Another significant initiative is the launch of Open Medicine, a Canadian open access general medical journal spearheaded by Professor Claire Kendall from the Department of Family Medicine.
Although in its infancy, the open access program has been enthusiastically received by the academic community. “Open access is reshaping the rules of research,” explains Michael Geist who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. “Researchers are increasingly choosing to publish in freely available, open access journals posted on the Internet, rather than in conventional, subscription-based publications.”
Open access research can be easily accessed by anyone, anywhere, without the barrier of costly journal subscription or association membership fees. Broad dissemination of knowledge and research without access barriers is a great benefit to society as a whole.
By François Rochon
Published: August, 2010