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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 support our community's desire to share their work publicly and to improve our own processes to increase knowledge in the commons.

Currently, the library supports open initiatives by:

  • Managing repositories for 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, textbooks, and monographs
  • Offering consultations on author rights, grant compliance, ensuring researchers can share their works
  • Financially supporting outside initiatives like Coalition Publi.ca, Open Library of the Humanities, and ORCID to build an open research ecosystem
  • Allocate 1% of our acquisitions budget to support open initiatives, be that open content, infrastructure/software that supports open scholarship, or advocacy organizations which increase the access to scholarship
  • Developing an Institutional Research Data Management Strategy, in partnership with the Office of Research, to ensure research data is made publicly available whenever possible

The library endorsed MIT’s Framework for Publisher Contracts to support the transformation of a system of scholarly publication practices that are more than 300-years-old to one that is economically sustainable and ensures the widest possible readership for publicly funded research.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I care about making my work open?

The moral case:

  1. Open is good for society
    1. Provides public access to publicly-funded research
    2. Mobilizes knowledge
    3. Makes scholarship accessible regardless of the ability to pay
    4. Advances knowledge more quickly
  2. Open serves the mission of universities (knowledge creation and dissemination) and UofG’s mission and 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, Institutional Repository Support, etc.)
  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 have a fund for Article Processing Charges (APCs) – why?

The library does not have an APC fund. Instead we are focusing on supporting a sustainable scholarly communication system which is not reliant on authors absorbing the costs of publishing. We support alternative models such as a membership (like that 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. And in many cases authors are able to make their work available in a traditional toll-access journal, and deposit a preprint in a repository (such as Guelph’s Atrium) our institutional repository to make their work available and be compliant with any funding agency requirements.

While the library does not have an APC fund, some of our negotiated publisher agreements provide the following discounts to University of Guelph authors:

  • American Chemical Society Journals: $250 USD flat discount
  • Cambridge University Press Journals: 20% discount for U of G corresponding authors
  • Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Press) Journals: The regular OpenArticle fee of $3000 per article in subscription-based journals is reduced to $1500 per article
  • Elsevier: As per the new CRKN agreement, from January 2021 to December 2023, U of G corresponding authors are eligible for a 20% APC discount for both hybrid and gold Elsevier journals (Cell PressLancet, and some other society-owned journals are excluded). Authors must specify their U of G affiliation in the publisher’s journal workflow.
  • MDPI Journals: 10% discount
  • PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine: As of January 1, 2021, U of G authors can publish in PLOS Biology or PLOS Medicine without paying APC charges, as a result of our participation in the PLOS Community Action Publishing Program. Other PLOS journals are not included at this time.
  • Sage Journals: As of January 1, 2021, University of Guelph authors may publish their articles as open access in over 900 SAGE Choice journals (journals excluded from SAGE Choice) without paying Article Processing Charges (APCs). For most SAGE gold open access journals  download the title list of participating journals  (XLXS - 36kb), a 40% APC discount applies. The waiver or discount is automatically applied when authors indicate their U of G affiliation during the submission process.
  • Taylor & Francis: 25% for Open Select Journals only

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.


List of supported organizations

Initiative Type of Support

Annual Reviews - Subscribe to Open




Authors Alliance


Bioline journals




Coalition Publi.ca

content & infrastructure

Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)

advocacy & infrastructure







Directory of Open Access Journals






Library Publishing Coalition




MIT Press: Direct to Open ebooks


Ontario Library Research Cloud


Open Access Button


Open Book Publishers


Open Journal Systems


Open Library of the Humanities








Public Knowledge Project








Unpaywall Journals



How can I provide open textbooks to my students?

You can adopt/adapt openly available textbooks. The library 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. We can show you how. See Open Educational Resources for more information.

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. 

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

Talk to us. 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 & Academia.edu 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 into 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 our institutional repository. Both ResearchGate and Academia.edu 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. 


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