Making U of G Research Articles Open to Everyone

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Last updated: June 4, 2024 10:20 EDT
The entrance of the McLaughlin Library with text that reads open at U of G. The open access logo is located on the left of the graphic in orange.

At the University of Guelph, our researchers publish over 2,800 academic articles each year, and we want to open that research up. Academic research is often locked behind the paywalls of academic publishers. How can we change that? 

Open Access (OA) means research outputs, like academic articles, are free and available to everyone. At the library, we’re committed to open access, and invest in open initiatives by allocating a part of our acquisitions budget to support open content, infrastructure, and advocacy organizations. “Open is a strategic investment. When we make our content open, we are exposing it to people who likely would not have had access otherwise, that includes potential partners in the community, in industry, and in the government – it can dramatically increase our impact and our name recognition,” said Ian Gibson, Acting Associate University Librarian, Research. 

Read & Publish (R&P) agreements, sometimes known as transformative agreements, are one of the ways we support OA at U of G, in the way of negotiating with publishers. Our R&P agreements include both U of G reader access to paywalled collections while also ensuring research articles written by U of G authors are available OA, meaning they are free to read by anyone in the world. 

As an author, choosing OA publishing is important for a variety of reasons, a major one being it helps with reproducibility. “When researchers share their datasets, code, and research instruments as part of publishing in the open, this indicates that their work is rigorous and trustworthy. This transparency means the impact of research persists beyond the life of an experiment or funding cycle, aiding in subsequent applications for grants and tenure and promotion,” said Ali Versluis, head, Research & Scholarship. Openly depositing datasets and other research products raises the profile of U of G researchers and facilitates increased citations. 

Some of our more prominent Open Access Read & Publish Agreements are: 

  • Elsevier: U of G corresponding authors may publish OA at no charge in Elsevier Core Hybrid and Core Hybrid Specialty Journals. 
  • Oxford: U of G corresponding authors may publish OA at no charge in eligible Hybrid Journals, and at a 10 per cent discount on Oxford’s Fully OA Journals. 
  • Cambridge University Press Journals: U of G corresponding authors may publish OA at no charge in Cambridge Hybrid and Gold Journals. 
  • Sage Journals: U of G corresponding authors may publish OA at no charge in over 900 Sage Choice Journals and in most Sage Gold OA Journals at a 40 per cent article processing charges (APCs) discount. 
  • Wiley: U of G corresponding authors may publish OA at no charge in over 1,600 Wiley Journals without paying APCs. 

So, what’s the impact of these R&P Agreements? 2023 data shows U of G authors saved nearly $500K in Article Processing Charges when publishing through just three of our agreements. 

Through our R&P Agreements, we’re working to provide U of G researchers with the opportunity to reallocate funds usually spent on APCs back into their research. Learn more about how we decide how to distribute the library’s OA budget by viewing our Open Investment Evaluation Criteria

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