Abstract:  Since the early 2010s, more than half of peer-reviewed journal articles have been published by the so-called oligopoly of academic publishers – Elsevier, Sage, Springer-Nature, Taylor & Francis and Wiley. These publishers are now increasingly charging fees for open access journals, especially given the rise of funder OA mandates. It is worthwhile to examine the amount of revenue generated through OA fees since many of the journals with the most expensive article processing charges are owned by the oligopoly. This study aims to  stimate the amount of article processing charges for gold and hybrid open access articles in journals published by the oligopoly of academic publishers, which acknowledge funding from the Canadian Tri-Agencies between 2015 and 2018. The Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications mandates that all funded research for Canadian Institute of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grantees be made available as OA. To comply, grantees will often use grant funds to pay OA fees, or APCs. During the four-year period analyzed, a total of 6,892 gold and 4,097 hybrid articles that acknowledge Tri-Agency funding were identified, for which the total list prices amount to $USD 25.3 million ($13.1 for gold and $12.2 for hybrid). 

Open Science is Critical for Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – University Library | University of Saskatchewan

“Indeed, USask [U of Saskatchewan] researchers produce critically important research that could meaningfully advance the SDGs, especially in the Signature Areas of Research. But the results of research can only reach their full impact and potential if everyone everywhere has access to them: to build upon them and apply them in real world contexts. Unfortunately, many of the products of USask research are inaccessible, locked behind expensive publisher paywalls (in the case of publications), or simply not shared at all (in the case of all other products of research such as protocols, data, and working papers or reports). Making the products of research accessible is what Open Science is all about!…”

Open Carefully – Pursuing Open with an Ethic of Care – LibCal – University of British Columbia

“Open practices offer so much: reduced financial burden in accessing materials, broader availability of research for more kinds of scholars, and unparalleled opportunities to make learning materials relevant and contextual for learners. But in a moment where teaching and learning professionals are focusing on pandemic-era questions of care, where does open fit in? Is open “enough,” or are there ways to expand our understanding of openness to embrace a broader vision of access, inclusion, and care-centred pedagogy?

In this talk, Dr. Brenna Clarke Gray discusses the accessibility, ethical, and care-centred concerns that emerge in open practice, and offers some solutions for approaching the work with an ethic of care.”

Canadian Copyright, Fair Dealing and Education, Part Five: Open Textbooks Saving Students Millions of Dollars – Michael Geist

“Adjacent to open access publication of research is the growth of open educational resources and open textbooks, which has been actively encouraged and supported by governments who recognize the benefits of investing in textbooks that can be freely copied, adapted, and distributed with no further licensing costs. The model typically involves an upfront payment for the creation of the materials (often through grants) with the stipulation that the licence that accompanies the resulting works will fully permit free and open use. Copyright lobby groups rarely acknowledge the emergence of these materials, which involve significant public expenditures to create and result in a long-term cost savings for educational institutions and their students. 

For example, the Ontario Government has provided funding for post-secondary institutions to create virtual open access resources. eCampusOntario’s Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS) funding engaged Ontario’s post-secondary sector and resulted in the creation of hundreds new virtual educational resources. Other initiatives include Open Education Alberta (run by the University of Alberta), which offers 39 high-quality open educational resources through a partnership with five universities, three colleges, and four other educational institutions as well as BC Campus, which features hundreds of open textbooks. By August 2022, a total of 267,924 British Columbia students were using open textbooks. In 2020/21, 43 educational institutions across the province had replaced course materials with an open textbook – a practice known as adopting. Since 2019, there has been a 70% increase in the number of open textbook adoptions across B.C.

One of the clearest benefits are the cost savings for students. During 2020/21, around 9,000 students at the University of Saskatchewan used open textbooks instead of commercial texts, saving them about $800,000 collectively. Since the University launched its open textbook initiative in 2014, students have saved more than $2.5 million at that one university alone. Investments in the area continue as the University of British Columbia’s 2021/22 budget committed $2.5 million in future years to expand existing learning enhancements, technology tools, and open educational resources….”

Canada’s Federal Science Libraries Network to join the transformative agreement between the Microbiology Society and Consortia Canada | Microbiology Society

“The Microbiology Society is pleased to announce Canada’s Federal Science Libraries Network (FSLN) has joined the successful Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and four Canadian consortia from 2023.


The Publish and Read model will allow affiliated researchers of seven government departments to publish an unlimited number of Open Access (OA) articles in hybrid and fully OA titles, as well as having full read access to the Society’s journals portfolio. This effectively makes it the first publisher deal covering both academic and government consortia in Canada….”

New Publishing Initiative Provides Open Access to Canadian Research | SSP Society for Scholarly Publishing

“Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) announced a new transformative open access publishing agreement that will provide open access to new research conducted by Canadian scientists. This three-year agreement is an essential first step to a “made in Canada” approach to the publication of open access research, and will enable Canadian authors to publish with CSP, a Canadian not-for-profit publisher, with fewer barriers….”

Researchers at participating CRKN member institutions can now publish free open access in select CSP journals | Canadian Research Knowledge Network

CRKN and Canadian Science Publishing (CSP) are pleased to announce a new transformative open access publishing agreement that offers unlimited open access publishing in five CSP journals, and a 25 per cent discount on article processing charges (APCs) in 14 additional CSP journals, for corresponding authors from participating CRKN member institutions.

Open Scholarship Award Ceremony | Library

“Established in 2016, the University of Ottawa Library Open Scholarship Award recognizes faculty members and instructional staff who demonstrate excellence in supporting and practicing open scholarship. Open scholarship encompasses all aspects of open access, open data and open educational resources in both teaching and research….”

Canadian policy: Data management requirement takes effect in March

“Canadian institutions are preparing for a research data management policy developed by three major federal granting agencies to go into effect this March. The policy of the Tri-Agency Council, comprising the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), asserts that “research data collected through the use of public funds should be responsibly and securely managed and be, where ethical, legal and commercial obligations allow, available for reuse by others.” Dryad would be pleased to assist any Canadian institution seeking a solution to help support their affiliated researchers with this policy….”

CRKN Announces Transformative Agreement with Wiley | Canadian Research Knowledge Network

CRKN has signed a two-year, read-and-publish transformative agreement with Wiley. This cost-neutral agreement removes article processing charges (APCs) for authors publishing in Wiley hybrid journals at participating CRKN institutions, and is expected to result in the publication of over 4,000 articles as open access over the period of the agreement. Any corresponding authors affiliated with participating CRKN institutions, with articles accepted for publication in Wiley journals during the term of the agreement, will have their APC waived.

As the US Public Domain Expands, 20-Year Pause for the Canadian Public Domain Begins – SPARC

“Festivities are planned on January 19 to recognize Public Domain Day and embrace the possibilities of new works freely available from 1927.

In the United States, the recent declaration of the federal year of Open Science and the White House memo unlocking publicly funded research outputs has buoyed the open community and its outlook on knowledge sharing.

However, the celebration will be muted in Canada where librarians and educators are assessing the impact of a vast expansion of the copyright term. 

Canada’s copyright protection for artistic works was extended as 2022 came to a close from life of the author plus 50 years—to life of the author plus 70 years. The change was the result of international trade negotiations in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requiring Canada to bring its terms closer to that of the U.S….”

News from Canada on CDL — Readers First

“While Canadian copyright laws differ from those in the United States somewhat, but the description of the uses of CDL and its legal support are similar across borders and welcome to see. ReadersFirst salutes the growing international advocacy for a practice that is fair, based on standard library practice, and valuable for preservation and content sharing, especially of out-of-print materials.”