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Open Scholarship

CAUT Policy Statement

Open scholarship includes academic work that is made available to all users with no or minimal barriers to access, for any person to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, index, access through disability adaptation, or link to the full texts of materials, or use them for any other lawful purpose. Open scholarship may include but is not limited to publishing open access articles and books, creating open educational resources, and publishing open data.

Role of the Library
Librarians and archivists are well positioned to support and develop open scholarship initiatives. Permanent positions should exist, within institutions’ libraries and archives, that include open scholarship initiatives as part of their duties.

Academic libraries and archives should host publicly accessible repositories for publications, data, and other open scholarship initiatives, so that academic staff can both contribute to and easily access open scholarship that is in the hands of the academic community rather than private for-profit companies.

Open Scholarship in Appointment and Career Progress Decisions
Job postings and processes for appointment, renewal, tenure, promotion, and discretionary salary adjustments should include criteria which explicitly acknowledge open scholarship in diverse formats. Peer-reviewed open publications, research, and teaching materials should be considered on par with their subscription-based equivalents in appointments and career progress decisions. Associations should ensure that such criteria are enshrined in collective agreements. The role of open scholarship in appointment and career progress decisions is also described in the CAUT Policy Statement on the Evaluation of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities, and in the CAUT Policy Statement on Criteria and Procedures in Renewal, Tenure, and Promotion Decisions.  

Academic staff should retain copyright in their work to maintain its integrity, to ensure proper acknowledgement and citation, and to allow self-archiving in institutional or disciplinary repositories.

Academic staff should not bear any costs associated with producing or disseminating open scholarship. Institutions and funding agencies should provide access to funds for academic staff for fees associated with producing or disseminating open scholarship. Publishing with entities that require a publishing fee should be considered through the CAUT Policy Statement on Article Processing Fees.

Cost Saving
Administrations should not use open scholarship as a cost saving measure to reduce library expenditures or research budget allocations. Nor should they shift the costs of dissemination onto individual academic staff and their grants. Any savings from access to open scholarship should be reinvested in library acquisitions and scholarly communications initiatives.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2016;
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2023.