Open Access and the ASPP

Open Access and the ASPP

Open Access allows research outputs to be obtained free of charge to the reader on the internet. In 2011, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences signed the Berlin Declaration to demonstrate its commitment to Open Access.

The Federation is also the administrator of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP), a competitive funding program designed to assist with the publication of scholarly books. Under the program’s mandate to support books of advanced scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that make an important contribution to knowledge, the ASPP contributes 1.5 million dollars to the dissemination of Canadian research annually and has supported the publication of over 6,000 books.

In October 2013, the Federation embarked on a multi-year project to develop an Open Access policy for the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The initial phase focused on research and information gathering, including a scan of international and Canadian policy and practice, and informal discussions with several groups from Canada and around the world. The next phase focused on drafting a policy position followed by an open consultation period, which took place between May and September 2014. The responses received during the consultation period were synthesized, analyzed, and informed the policy.

The policy, adopted as of April 1, 2015, is based on the following principles:

  • The Federation supports Open Access; and
  • A dynamic Canadian scholarly publishing sector continues to be of utmost importance to the dissemination of Canadian research.

The policy states that the Federation will actively promote and facilitate Open Access publishing of ASPP-funded books.

As a national convenor of Canada’s humanities and social sciences community, the Federation will embrace the roles of promoter and facilitator of Open Access publishing projects for monographs, with a particular view to engage those that could include ASPP-funded books.

To encourage innovation and experimentation, the Federation will use its resources and networks to facilitate the participation of Canadian publishers, libraries and authors in promising, scalable projects that provide practical (i.e. financial or in-kind) support for Open Access monograph publishing.

To support the ongoing efforts of some Canadian publishers, the Federation will promote existing and future ASPP-funded Open Access books.

For more details, please consult the full policy.