“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!…”
Abstract: [University of Saskatchewan] is a publicly funded, medium-sized research intensive medical doctoral university in Canada. Like other academic libraries, we have been coping with the rising costs of Big Deal journal packages in the context of shrinking budgets and variable currency fluctuation between the Canadian and American Dollar. When faced with a need to cancel two Big Deal packages in order to balance our budget, we undertook a data-driven, principles-based approach. We discuss the context at [University of Saskatchewan], and the principles and steps we used to successfully determine which packages to cancel, and how to determine titles for re-subscription within a limited budget. We discuss how we compiled and used data that addresses scholarly (citation), pedagogical (downloads), and reputational (survey responses) concerns, and share the formula we developed. We also share some lessons learned and recommendations and ideas for future Big Deal assessment.
“Open access enables anyone to read and make use of research products at no cost and with limited copyright restrictions. This makes access to research results more equitable and allows us as authors and researchers to reach a wider audience.
We adopted the first commitment to making our research publications as openly available as possible more than ten years ago in 2010. Much has changed since then! We have rebranded our institutional repository as HARVEST and opened it up for all USask researchers to self-archive their own publications OA for free; we have become more aware of the importance of making more products of our research (such as protocols and research data) openly available as well; and we now more clearly acknowledge our professional role in advocating for a more sustainable publishing system. These are several of the revisions that we approved in our new Open Access Commitment. There is also an acknowledgement that not all research products are appropriate to be shared openly for cultural, privacy, or ethical reasons.
USask librarians and archivists are not alone in adopting such statements. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory at the University of Victoria tracks Canadian University Open Access Statements. Currently there are 14 university-level statements and 12 department or college-level statements, most of which are from libraries like ours!
To learn more about open access, please visit our guide.”