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Open Investment Evaluation Criteria

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Open access is a core value of McLaughlin Library. Our Open Investments Strategy Committee (OISC) is responsible for managing and strategically investing the open access budget. OISC evaluates investments based on the following criteria:

Governance & Sustainability 

We support:

  • organizations or business models that seek to shift scholarly communications away from commercial or “closed access” models of for-profit publishing and scholarly infrastructure   
  • models of investment that are economically sustainable while also ensuring the widest possible access to scholarly and curriculum materials
  • viable long-term actors that have the potential for creating lasting positive impact on the scholarly communications ecosystem

Indigenization, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (IEDI)  

We support:

  • organizations that espouse principles of IEDI through their values, their operations, and/or their outputs 
  • investments that mobilize open scholarship from equity-deserving scholars located in all parts of the world, including those from the Global South 
  • investments that mobilize U of G’s decolonization and reconciliation goals, as outlined in the University’s Indigenous initiatives strategy


We support freedom from surveillance online, including the unnecessary collection and harvesting of our users’ data.

Accessibility (A11Y)

We support:

  • an open scholarship ecosystem that is inclusive and provides equal access to everyone, especially people with disabilities  
  • organizations that develop products with the consideration of disabled users in their designs

Technical Considerations

We support investments that:

  • meet the technical requirements needed to effectively maintain principles of open scholarship 
  • effectively integrate or complement the library’s existing technical infrastructure to ensure that upkeep of our systems is sustainable  
  • support open scholarship infrastructure through the use of persistent identifiers, open standards, and open-source software, as applicable

Pricing & Licensing 

We support:

  • investments that offer transparent and equitable pricing models and, where costs may increase, they are predictable and justifiable    
  • investments that are affordable and economically sustainable within the library’s broader acquisitions budget
  • models of investment that are economically sustainable while also ensuring the widest possible access to scholarly and curriculum materials
  • organizations that have a stated commitments to open licensing

U of G Considerations

We support:

  • investments that help to mobilize the mission or strategic goals of key campus stakeholders, especially those that seek to create a more open and equitable information ecosystem for everyone.   
  • investments that benefit the U of G community  
  • a healthy balance of investments, including a combination of investment types (content, infrastructure, and advocacy); a variety of open scholarship types (open access research, open data, and open educational resources); and a mix of content that supports a variety of disciplines  

Note: the evaluation criteria above do not apply to transformative agreements. Transformative agreements are agreements made with publishers that allow us to retain our subscription access to their content, while also subsidizing (or paying outright) for all U of G authors to publish open access within their publications. The OISC provides analysis, evaluation, and input on transformative agreements using other venues, and the funding for these investments falls outside of OISC’s scope. 

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: lib.a11y@uoguelph.ca