Open access to health research publications: CIHR unveils new policy

    OTTAWA, Sept. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research (CIHR) unveiled a new policy to promote public access to the results
of research it has funded. CIHR will require its researchers to ensure that
their original research articles are freely available online within six months
of publication.
    "Timely and unrestricted access to research findings is a defining
feature of science, and is essential for advancing knowledge and accelerating
our understanding of human health and disease," stated Dr. Alan Bernstein,
President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "With the development
of the internet it is now feasible to disseminate globally and easily the
results of research that we fund. As a publicly-funded organization, we have a
responsibility to ensure that new advances in health research are available to
those who need it and can use it - researchers world-wide, the public and
policy makers."
    In developing its policy, CIHR struck a broadly representative national
task force of leading researchers, chaired by Dr. James Till of the Princess
Margaret Hospital. CIHR consulted widely with Canadian researchers and
stakeholders in government, research, publishing and the library communities.
CIHR also looked to the experiences of funding agencies in other countries who
have established similar policies. The consultation process was thorough and
carefully planned in order to preserve academic freedom while promoting the
value of public access.
    "This open access policy will serve as a model for other funding
agencies," said Dr. James E. Till of the Princess Margaret Hospital in
Toronto. "The policy will leverage taxpayers' investment by accelerating
research and by fostering its broader application."
    Under this new Policy, which will apply to all grants awarded after
January 1, 2008 that receive funding in whole or in part from CIHR, grant
recipients must make every effort to ensure that their peer-reviewed research
articles are freely available as soon as possible after publication. This can
be achieved by depositing the article in an archive, such as PubMed Central or
an institutional repository, and/or by publishing results in an open access
journal. A growing number of journals already meet these requirements and
CIHR-funded researchers are encouraged to consider publishing in these
    Additionally, grant recipients are now required to deposit
bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data, as already required by
most journals, into the appropriate public database immediately upon
publication of research results.
    This policy builds on other important initiatives to promote openness and
transparency of CIHR-funded research such as the registration of clinical
trials and randomized controlled trials.
    The policy on Access to CIHR-funded Research Outputs is available online

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health,
more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

    Ce document est également disponible en français.

For further information:

For further information: David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, (613)
941-4563, Cell: (613) 808-7526,

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