Érudit contributes to the exploration and exchange of ideas on the development of scholarly publishing, the digital dissemination of research and culture, and the open science movement. Within this context, the Érudit team participates in studies and committees on these issues, and produces research documents.
In February 2021, we are pleased to release bilingual research notes on four major issues in our sector: copyright, open science, open access, and impact measures (French versions are available here). These four notes were prepared by the Consortium Érudit research team, with contributions from Marie Léger-St-Jean, an independent researcher, and under the supervision of Vincent Larivière, Professor at the Université de Montréal, Canada Research Chair on Transformations in Scholarly Communication, and Scientific Director of the Consortium Érudit. The project received financial support from the Secrétariat aux relations canadiennes of the Government of Quebec.
Notes are disseminated under a CC-BY-NC license and are available for sharing. All references for these notes are also available on our Zotero page. Please note that the English versions of these notes are offered for the moment without graphic design, which will come in the course of the month of February.
Open-Access Principles and Policies
Since 2015, Canada’s three research councils — 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) — have adhered to a Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. The results of subsidized research must be freely accessible within a maximum of 12 months, whether through a scientific journal or an institutional repository. The Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) followed suit in 2019. Meanwhile, in Europe, granting bodies united as cOAlition S and launched an initiative in Fall 2018, Plan S, that requires that all research be immediately published open access since January 2021.
What are the basic principles behind open access and how do these various policies attempt to follow them?
Copyright and Creative Commons Licenses
The online dissemination of scholarly journals has changed how copyright has been managed since the print era. Much confusion still surrounds copyright for digital scholarly publishing; scholars responsible for journals do not always have access to the resources needed to formalize their management of copyright.
What are the options available in terms of copyright management and what are the best practices in line with fair and sustainable open access?
Open access to scholarly research has become a priority for governments and funding bodies in recent years. France adopted a Plan national pour la science ouverte (Open Science National Plan) in 2018. The Politique de diffusion en libre accès des Fonds de recherche du Québec (Open Access Dissemination Policy of Québec’s Research Funding Agencies) came into effect in 2019. The Canadian federal government released a Roadmap for Open Science in 2020 as part of its National Action Plan on Open Government.
But what does it actually mean, to open up science?
Scholarly Impact Metrics
The value of academic research outputs is subject to increasing attention from governments and university administrators. Unfortunately, researchers remain ill-informed about the criteria of scholarly impact assessment. At the same time, the shortcomings of traditional metrics are bringing these measures under scrutiny. One response is the development of altmetrics that quantify the circulation of publications online via downloads, social media mentions, news stories, blog posts, etc., rather than tracking citations in peer-reviewed publications.
How do we measure scholarly impact?