Open Scholarship Support

As part of our Strategic Priorities the Library is positioning itself to be the hub of open initiatives on campus. We are eager to both support our community's desire to share their work publicly, as well as to improve our own processes to increase knowledge in the commons.

Currently, the Library supports open initiatives through

  • Managing repositories for both data and publications to help researchers make their work publicly available, ensure compliance with Tri-Agency requirements for public access, and preserve it for the future
  • Offering technology to facilitate the publishing of open access scholarly journals
  • Offering consultations on author rights, helping to ensure the ability to share, as well as grant compliance
  • Financially supporting outside initiatives like Coalition, Open Library of the Humanities, and ORCID to build an open research ecosystem

Moving forward, and to directly address the systematic issues of inequality in the scholarly communication ecosystem, the Library will also

  • Dedicate 1% of our acquisitions budget to support open initiatives, be that open content, infrastructure/software that supports open access, or advocacy organizations which increase the access to scholarship
  • Create a dedicated position – Open Educational Resources Librarian – to support OER adoption and creation within the UofG community
  • With the Office of Research, develop an Institutional Research Data Management Strategy, to ensure research data is as publicly available as possible



Why should I care about making my work open?

The moral case:

  1. Open is good for society - provides public access to publicly-funded research; mobilizes knowledge; makes scholarship accessible regardless of the ability to pay; advances knowledge more quickly
  2. Open serves the mission of universities (knowledge creation & dissemination) - and UofG’s mission & core values specifically #ImproveLife 

The business case:

  1. Governments and research funders are increasingly requiring open (for all types of research outputs, including publications and data)
  2. Open takes full advantage of the internet’s capabilities (the ability to disseminate knowledge widely and to make the content accessible)
  3. Open works (we have a number of services available to support your work   OA Journal Hosting, Online Exhibition Support, and Institutional Repository Support)
  4. Open has impact (research shows that openly available works gets more citations than those behind paywalls)
  5. Open  is sustainable, unlike the current commercial ‘paywalled’ publishing system which puts an undue cost burden on universities
  6. Open infrastructure allows for scholarly communication to be owned by the community


I notice you don't mention supporting Article Processing Charges (APCs) – why?

At the moment we are not supporting APCs for two reasons. The first is that to truly change the scholarly publishing models, we need to look at a sustainable funding model which is not reliant on authors absorbing the costs of publishing. Possible alternative models include memberships like those offered by the Open Library of the Humanities. Continuing to pay at the article level, especially to journal publishers with 40% profit margins, is neither sustainable for a university with our research output, nor in-line with sound financial governance. The second reason is that, in many cases, authors are able to make their work available in a traditional toll-access journal, and deposit a preprint in our institutional repository to both make their work available and be compliant with any funding agency requirements.

While the library does not make funds available for APCs, the following discounts are available to University of Guelph authors as part of negotiated agreements:

  • American Chemical Society Journals: 25% discount
  • Cambridge University Press Journals: 20% discount
  • Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Press) Journals: The regular OpenArticle fee of $3000 per article is reduced to $1500 per article for CRKN members. Please contact for details.
  • Sage Journals: 40% discount (some exclusions apply, please contact for details)
  • MDPI Journals: 10% discount

How do you decide which organizations to financially support?

We focus on supporting organizations which work within three areas: advocacy, content, and infrastructure. Here is a (growing) list of organizations which we support.


Initiative Type of Support



Authors Alliance


Bioline journals





content & infrastructure

Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)

advocacy and infrastructure





Directory of Open Access Journals




Knowledge Unlatched


Library Publishing Coalition






Open Access Button


Open Book Publishers


Open Journal Systems


Open Library of the Humanities










Public Knowledge Project







How will having an OER Librarian help me?

The OER Librarian is available to meet with you to discuss the texts you are using in your courses and determine if there are viable options for you that would also save students' money on course materials. The Library already spends over $5M on ebooks and digital journals which can be linked from your syllabi. As well, a number of publishers, like eCampusOntario and OpenStax, have created open textbooks and other teaching resources that you can use to create the content you require.


So I want to make my work openly available – where do I start?

The Library can help you do this with previously published work, and help you retain your rights moving forward. Contact us to get started! 


I keep getting invitations to submit to journals I've never heard of which promise quick turnaround times. What should I do?

Talk to the Library! We can help you evaluate the journal and the publisher to make sure you feel it is the best venue for your work. Some

 questions to ask yourself about the journal:

  • Have a look at the editorial board – are the names familiar?
  • Is the scope of the journal logical?
  • Does the journal have an archiving policy?
  • Is it indexed in places like Web of Science, PubMed, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?
  • Evaluate a recent issue – would you be proud to have your work alongside it?
  • What kind of peer review is done on the work?


ResearchGate & are great – why can't I just use these?

Both of those sites are privately held companies with no mandate to preserve your research, nor to ensure it is available to others moving forward. We appreciate they may function as solid discovery tools, but loading your own content in to those sites comes with a variety of concerns, not the least of which is intellectual property laws. To create a true record of your scholarship, and know that the content you have made available will remain that way in the future, reach out to the Library to discuss your options, including making your work available in the our Institutional Repository. Both ResearchGate and require readers to create an account – something many researchers are not comfortable doing, especially in these days of personal data collection, whereas our Institutional Repository does not require readers to login to view UG authored materials.