Create Change

Shouldn't the way we share research be as advanced as the Internet?

Digital Scholarship

Funders support sharing

Not surprisingly, governments and funding agencies around the world are recognizing that dissemination of research results is part of the research process itself. Many are implementing or exploring policies to facilitate the sharing of information and realize the benefits of digital scholarship. For example:

  • The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy requires that its funded investigators deposit their final peer-reviewed manuscripts in PubMed Central, NIH’s online digital archive, for free public access within 12 months of journal publication. NIH also allows grant funds to be used to pay journal publication fees. (See the Association of Research Libraries' guide to the policy.)

  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research requires that all research papers from its funded projects are freely accessible online within six months of publication and that bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data be deposited into a public database immediately upon publication of research results.

  • Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has endorsed the principle of open access and is moving to increase awareness, pursue discussions with major stakeholders, and gradually incorporate open access provisions in research support programs.

  • Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest private biomedical research funder, requires grantees to submit an electronic copy of the final manuscripts of their research papers into PubMed Central. It also provides grantholders with additional funding to cover publication fees charged by open access journals.

  • The Research Councils UK supports the principle that "knowledge derived from publicly funded research must be made available for public use." Several of its component funding councils have implemented policies asking or requiring their grantees to deposit journal articles and conference proceedings in open online archives when appropriate archives are available and copyright or licensing arrangements permit.

  • A 2007 paper from the European Commission [PDF] takes the position that "wider access to and dissemination of scientific information are necessary, especially with regard to journal articles and research data produced on the basis of public funding.

  • The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) expects the research results it funds “to be published and to be made available, where possible, digitally and on the Internet via open access” — either in discipline-specific or institutional open online archives following conventional publication or in a recognized peer-reviewed open access journal.

  • A 2004 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) “Declaration on Access To Research Data From Public Funding,” adopted by the US, Canada, and 32 other nations, pledges to work towards the establishment of access regimes for digital research data from public funding in accordance with the objective of openness.