The updated Canada Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Open Access Mandate has taken one step forward and one step back:
One step forward:
Grant recipients are required to
make every effort toensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely accessible through the Publisher’s website (Option #1) or an online repository (Option #2)
One step back:
as soon as possible and in any eventwithin six12 months of publication. Under the second option, grant recipients must archive the final peer-reviewed full-text manuscripts immediately upon publication in a digital archive?
But there is a simple way to fix and optimize it.
The archiving must always be done by the author, not the publisher (and preferably in the author’s institutional repository, never the publisher’s website, so the institution can verify timely compliance); and the deposit must be done immediately upon publication in every instance. (The length of the allowable embargo — though the shorter the better — is less important than the necessity of immediate, verifiable institutional deposit by the author. PMC Canada and others can then harvest automatically from the author’s institutional repositories.)
RECOMMENDED TWEAK TO OPTIMIZE CIHR OA MANDATE:
Grant recipients are required to archive the final peer-reviewed full-text manuscripts of their publications in their institutional repository immediately upon publication and must ensure that they are freely accessible within [X] months of publication.