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SFU Open Access Policy

In January 2017, SFU Senate endorsed the Open Access Policy (OAP) acknowledging the commitment of SFU faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows to share the products of their SFU research with the broadest possible audience. To satisfy the policy requirement in one easy step, SFU researchers can provide an electronic copy of the finalized text of their published articles to the Simon Fraser University Library. The Library will make the articles available to the public, taking into consideration requirements for access delay.

The SFU Open Access Policy complements pre-existing funder open access requirements, such as the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.  

If you have feedback or questions about the policy or would like to arrange a meeting, please contact oa-policy@sfu.ca.

Hear Dr. Daniel Laitsch explain why he supports open access publishing at Simon Fraser University.

Policy

Preamble

Simon Fraser University's goal to be Canada's most engaged research university invites us to find ways of sharing the research output and creative work of the University with the wider community. The University is, therefore, committed to making accessible and preserving the products of research with the broadest possible community, including other scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and the public at large.

Scholarly journals remain the primary means of disseminating research results in most academic disciplines, however, most do not allow public access. Depositing these articles in an open access repository would provide such access, while simultaneously showcasing this work to the world, increasing its impact, creating a collective archive of SFU's research output, and making more visible the products of our work.

In keeping with this commitment to increased access, faculty members, students, and post-doctoral fellows, comprising a group referred to here as "university authors*," adopt the following policy:

Policy

As university authors at Simon Fraser University, we commit to share the products of our work with the broadest possible audience. To do so, we agree to archive and disseminate the scholarly articles we author by depositing these with the University.

We commit to deposit all scholarly articles authored or co-authored while we are university authors at SFU, although this policy does not cover any articles published before the adoption of this policy, any articles for which the author entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy, or any articles published after we leave the university.

To facilitate the archiving of our work, we grant Simon Fraser University the non-exclusive permission to archive, preserve, reproduce and openly disseminate, in any medium, all scholarly articles authored by us, provided that the articles are properly attributed to the authors, and that it is done for non-commercial purposes.

We agree to freely provide an electronic copy of the final version of each article no later than the date of Its publication to the Simon Fraser University Library. The Library will make the article available to the public, taking into consideration requirements for access delay.

While we believe the open dissemination of research is an ethical imperative, we also recognize that university authors maintain full control of their intellectual property, and in some cases may not be able to share their work in an open access repository, individual university authors may obtain a waiver in these cases.

This policy is aspirational and intended to encourage open access to scholarly work. While the University expects authors to participate, no University sanctions will result from failure to comply. This policy is to be read and interpreted in a manner consistent with University policies related to academic freedom and intellectual property.

The VP Research, in consultation with the University Librarian, will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to Senate periodically.

The policy will be reviewed after three years and a report presented to Senate.

*We respectfully acknowledge that many members of SFU staff also author academic papers.  These are also welcome for deposit.  

Depositing 

To satisfy the policy requirement in one easy step, SFU researchers can provide an electronic copy of the finalized text of their published articles to the Simon Fraser University Library. The Library will make the articles available to the public, taking into consideration requirements for access delay.

Submit the finalized text of articles via the Summit deposit form no later than the date of publication.  The Library will manage any embargo periods required by your publisher. Public access to the article will be automatic following the embargo end date.

FAQs and definitions

Supporting the policy

What do I have to do to support and comply with the SFU Open Access Policy?

You must deposit a copy of all scholarly articles (any version containing the finalized text) in SFU’s Institutional Repository, Summit no later than the date of publication.  In some cases this may require you retain your copyright:  

  • If you are unsure about what rights to retain, contact the University Copyright Officer, before signing any agreement with the publisher.
  • If the publisher is requiring you to sign a copyright agreement that does not allow self-archiving (deposit into the SFU Institutional Repository), the SFU Library has an author addendum that can be used to amend the agreement.
  • If you are not able to secure the rights to deposit, you can obtain a waiver.

This policy does not cover articles published prior to the adoption of the Open Access Policy. However, SFU researchers are welcome to deposit materials published prior to 2017.

Does depositing in another repository or publishing in an open access journal mean I don’t need to deposit my article with SFU?

You must still deposit in the SFU repository. Fortunately, under most arrangements, if you retain the right to deposit in one place, you can deposit in any other website of your choice without any further effort.  The SFU Open Access Policy does require that a copy containing the finalized text of all scholarly articles be placed in Summit, SFU’s Institutional Repository, even if they are accessible elsewhere.

When and how do I submit my articles to Summit, SFU’s Institutional Repository?

Scholarly articles should be submitted to Summit via the deposit form no later than the date of publication.  The Library will manage any embargo periods required by your publisher. Public access to the article will be automatic following the embargo end date.

How do I get a copy of the finalized text of my article?

You can request a clean copy of the finalized text of an article from the publisher following all revisions. If you would like help obtaining a clean copy, please contact oa-policy@sfu.ca 

Impact of policy on scholarly publishing environment

Does this policy limit academic freedom? Might it harm those in tenure processes who need to show publication in specific journals?

Because you are free to publish in the journal of your choice, the policy will have no impact on the tenure or promotion review process.

The Open Access Policy waiver option protects authors who need to publish in journals with policies that are inconsistent with SFU’s Open Access Policy.

Relation to other open access policies

How is the SFU Open Access Policy related to the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy? By complying with one, do I comply with the other?

This policy complements the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy which requires peer-reviewed journal articles from Agency funded research by faculty members be deposited in an institutional or disciplinary repository and made openly available within 12 months of publication. 

SFU authors depositing their scholarly articles in SFU’s Institutional Repository, Summit, with an embargo period of 12 months or less will be fulfilling their obligations under the Tri-Agency OA Policy.

By reserving sufficient rights to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy when entering into a publication agreement, authors will already have reserved sufficient rights to comply with SFU’s policy.

If authors comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy by depositing in SFU’s Institutional Repository, Summit, they will at the same time comply with SFU’s Open Access Policy.

For more information about complying with the Tri-Agency Open Access policy please see The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy: How the Library Can Help.

Do other institutions have Open Access policies?

There are similar policies in place at hundreds of institutions worldwide, including Concordia University, Harvard University, MIT, and the University of California system. See a worldwide list of various kinds of open access policies. 

Scope of the Policy

What kind of works does the SFU Open Access Policy apply to?

While all products of research are welcome, only scholarly articles fall within the Policy.  Files with the following extensions are currently accepted in Summit: pdf, txt, zip, mp4, mp3, mov, html, htm, xls, xlsx, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg, ppt, pptx.

What version of the paper is submitted under the SFU Open Access Policy?

The Policy specifies that a copy containing the finalized text of scholarly articles be deposited in SFU’s Institutional Repository, Summit. 

Does the SFU Open Access Policy apply to articles I’ve already written?

The Library welcomes older submissions, however, the Policy applies only to scholarly articles published after the adoption of the policy.  If you require assistance to add your previous work to the repository, please contact summit@sfu.ca or your liaison librarian. 

Does the SFU Open Access Policy apply to co-authored papers?

Yes, scholarly articles authored or co-authored by SFU faculty or graduate students are included in the Policy. If there are multiple SFU authors, only one copy of the paper needs to be submitted.

Does the SFU Open Access Policy apply to post-doctoral fellows, staff, and others doing research at SFU?

The Library welcomes submissions from everyone in the SFU community, however, the policy only applies to SFU faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and students, collectively referred to as ‘University authors’. 

The policy applies if one or more co-authors are a ‘University author’.

Obtaining a waiver

If I cannot deposit the article for some reason, can I opt out of the SFU Open Access policy?

SFU will grant a waiver of the Policy for any given article to any university author who requests and provides a rationale. Some reasons why a university author might opt out are:

  • Publisher restrictions on posting articles to institutional or subject repositories and does not accept an author addendum
  • Retractions following the publication

If you are unsure of the rights you retain as an author, contact the University Copyright Officer (copy@sfu.ca)

The opt-out waiver only applies to SFU’s Open Access Policy.  Other funder or publisher requirements will still apply. 

To obtain a waiver, complete the SFU Open Access Policy waiver form.  

Legal aspects

Is SFU taking the rights to my writing?

All rights to the work remain with the author. Under the SFU Open Access Policy, authors then grant specific non-exclusive permissions to SFU, such as the right to make the article available in Summit, SFU’s Institutional Repository, and to migrate the work to newer formats as they develop for purposes of preservation.

If your article arises from Tri-Agency funded research awarded after May 1, 2015 (SSHRC, NSERC) or January 1, 2008 (CIHR), you must retain sufficient rights to comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.

What will be done with the articles?

What will SFU do with the articles?

SFU will continue to operate its Institutional Repository, Summit, to make available the scholarly articles provided under the SFU Open Access Policy. To aid in discoverability, materials in the repository are assigned metadata and optimized for discovery via search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. Summit also provides a persistent URL for each deposited object and secure replicated storage, ensuring that its contents will continue to be available to readers in the future.

More information

Who will be responsible for interpreting SFU's Open Access Policy?

The VP Research, in consultation with the University Librarian, will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to Senate periodically.

Can SFU delay access to my article / Can I place an embargo on my article?

When submitting an article to Summit, SFU’s Institutional Repository, University authors may stipulate an embargo period in cases where a publisher requires a delay before posting.

Who should I contact if I have feedback or questions about SFU's Open Access Policy?

If you have questions about making your work openly available, your liaison librarian is an excellent contact to discuss open access publishing and related SFU supports.  

If you have feedback or questions about the SFU Open Access Policy contact oa-policy@sfu.ca.

Definitions

Open Access
Publications that are free to read on the Internet. Readers can download, copy, and distribute an Open Access publication, as long as credit is given to the authors.

Research/institutional Repository
An online collection of the scholarship of an institution’s researchers. Institutional repositories both preserve the intellectual output and allow for wide distribution. SFU’s institutional repository is Summit. Institutional repositories are also called research repositories.

Subject Repository
An online collection of publications in a particular subject area. The repository collects, preserves and provides open access to the publications. Examples include arXiv, RePEc, and PubMed Central. Subject repositories are also called disciplinary repositories.

Finalized Text (can refer to versions of an article, such as Post-print, Version of Record, Author Accepted Manuscript, Post Peer Reviewed Manuscript)
Terms used to describe any copy of the accepted version of an article after peer-review, that includes the final version of the author’s text, with revisions having been made

Author Addendum
A legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s copyright transfer agreement and allows you to keep rights to your article(s). E.g. SPARC Canadian Author Addendum.

University Authors
For the purpose of the Open Access Policy at SFU, university authors include current faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and students.  We respectfully acknowledge that many members of SFU staff also author academic papers.  These are also welcome for deposit.  

Adapted from the following:

History

In September 2015, an Open Access Advisory Committee was struck to write and recommend a university-wide Open Access policy as well as to review policies relating to SFU Central Open Access Fund. In February 2016, Senate Library Committee reviewed the draft policy and gave its support for the Committee to go forward with broader campus consultations. Members of the Committee hosted a series of town hall meetings at each SFU Campus location to introduce the draft policy, answer questions, and hear discussion and feedback. The draft policy was revised based on the community consultation feedback and the final policy draft was sent to Senate and approved in January 2017.

Open Access Advisory Committee members

  • Juan Pablo Alperin, Assistant Professor, Publishing Program
  • Gwen Bird, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries (Chair)
  • Rebecca Dowson, Digital Scholarship Librarian, SFU Library
  • Dan Laitsch, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
  • Kris Magnusson, Dean, Faculty of Education
  • Tanya Procyshyn, Graduate student and GSS Representative
  • Nicole White, Head, Research Commons SFU Library
  • Vance Williams, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • Brady Yano, Undergraduate student and SFSS Representative