Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Policies and Guidelines

Open Access

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

Opening Up Canadian Research to the World: The New Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), are pleased to This link will take you to another Web site announce a harmonized policy on access to research publications. The This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications builds on the 2010 endorsement of open access principles by all three agencies and reflects the feedback we received from over 200 respondents through our online consultation in fall 2013.

NSERC and SSHRC researchers will be required to comply with the new policy for all grants awarded from May 1, 2015 onward. While CIHR-funded researchers will now refer to the new, harmonized policy, compliance requirements will not change for the health research community.

To learn more about This link will take you to another Web site the policy, and for answers to This link will take you to another Web site frequently asked questions and the This link will take you to another Web site Open Access Toolbox, please visit the tri-agency Open Access page on

In the coming months, we will be hosting an open access webinar series to elaborate on the policy and answer your questions. More details will be available on the This link will take you to another Web site tri-agency Open Access page in the coming weeks.

We encourage you to visit NSERC's Open Access page regularly for the latest information and updates on open access. Please send any questions or comments to

Open Access Consultation Results Available

Last fall, NSERC and SSHRC held an online consultation on a Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. We received 201 submissions from various individuals and groups from the research community, institutional libraries, scholarly associations, non-governmental organizations, publishers, and journals.  

Overall, the consultation revealed strong support for the principle of making the published results of Agency-supported research publicly available. There were a number of common themes raised in the responses, including the following:

  • Many respondents commented that the policy could influence where they publish and subsequently, could have an impact on their research careers. 
  • The majority of researchers commented that the policy would impact their grant funds if they would be required to pay for publishing in open access journals.
  • Depending on respondents’ discipline or sector, some felt that the 12-month embargo period was too short while others felt it was too long.
  • Respondents commented that the policy could have implications for the sustainability of journals and scholarly associations.
  • Some respondents suggested expanding the policy’s scope to include other types of research results such as research data and monographs.
  • Several respondents mentioned the importance of optimizing repository systems to ensure that papers are easily searchable and accessible.
  • A few respondents questioned how compliance with the policy would be monitored. 

You can view the full report of the summary of the consultation results, which reflects the feedback we received. 

We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback. The final version of the Open Access Policy will be announced soon.

Please send any questions or comments to


The Agencies would like to thank the groups and individuals who have provided advice and feedback through the development of the draft policy.