UAlberta opens access to published research in Canada

E-journal hosting services encourage Canadian scholarly journals to break through the paywall barrier.


(Edmonton) University of Alberta Libraries is offering its open access e-journal hosting services to any Canadian scholarly journal, effective immediately.

“As the national landscape for scholarly communication shifts away from subscriber-driven business models, we believe it is the right time to expand our capacity and extend the offer of our existing infrastructure to all academic journals based in Canada,” said Gerald Beasley, vice-provost and chief librarian. Faculty, students and others at the U of A and beyond will also benefit from wider access to published research, he added.

U of A Libraries already hosts more than 30 scholarly journals using Open Journal Systems software. It has offered the free service for eight years, but had restricted it to publications with an editorial affiliation or strong historical link to the university.  

Extending the reach of this hosting service can benefit both the scholarly journals and the users of their content, said Leah Vanderjagt, digital repository services librarian for U of A Libraries, noting that the service will remain free of charge.

“The U of A is committed to supporting the infrastructure needed by researchers in Canada to make the transition to open access. Publishers of scholarly journals are a critical component of Canada’s research environment, and they require a stable infrastructure for open access,” Vanderjagt said.

The service offered by the university encourages Canadian scholarly journals to step out from behind paywalls so their material is more widely accessible to researchers, students and others referencing scholarly work.

“Open access provides scholarly publishers with an opportunity to offer wide availability for their content. Journal authors and their editors want people on the Internet to be able to access their material, download it, read it and cite it.”

Open access also makes research knowledge more widely available to policy-makers and to the world of business development, and can “stimulate or accelerate the translation of applied research to markets,” Vanderjagt added.

“Open access to published studies helps ensure that faculty researchers and students aren’t slowed in their work due to access restrictions, and in this highly digital world we observe, in general, stronger expectations of more open models of access to scholarly knowledge,” she noted.