Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

Update - The presidents of Canada's federal research granting agencies announce a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

Canada’s federal research granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) have announced a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access (OA) Policy on Publications, with the goal of requiring that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from agency-supported research be freely available, without subscription or fee, at the time of publication (immediate OA). The renewed OA Policy will be released by the end of 2025. Learn more

Policy Summary

Researchers awarded funding from January 1, 2008 onwards from CIHR are required to adhere with the following responsibilities:

  • ensure that all research papers generated from CIHR funded projects are freely accessible through the Publisher's website or an online repository within 12 months of publication;
  • deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database (e.g. gene sequences deposited in GenBank) immediately upon publication of research results;
  • retain original data sets for a minimum of five years (or longer if other policies apply);
  • and acknowledge CIHR support by quoting the funding reference number in journal publications.

Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications


CIHR believes that greater access to research publications and data will promote the ability of researchers in Canada and abroad to use and build on the knowledge needed to address significant health challenges. Open access enables authors to reach a much broader audience, which has the potential to increase the impact of their research. Only when research findings are widely available, enabling open scrutiny, will this evidence be translated into policies, technologies, health-related standards and practices, and new avenues of research that will benefit the health of Canadians and others. From a knowledge translation perspective, this policy will support our desire to expedite awareness of and facilitate the use of research findings by policy makers, health care administrators, clinicians, and the public, by greatly increasing ease of access to research.

Adhering with the policy – Open access publications

For journal publications, there are two ways to adhere with the policy:

  • Submit your manuscript to a journal that offers immediate open access or offers open access to the paper on its website within 12 months of publication.
  • Submit your manuscript to a journal that does not offer open access, but will permit you to archive the peer-reviewed manuscript in a central or institutional repository within 12 months of publication.

The SHERPA/RoMEO database contains a searchable listing of journal publisher's copyright and self-archiving policies which will help researchers to determine journals that adhere with CIHR policy.

Additional information and resources

A suite of tools and resources were developed to help clarify the policy and how it affects grant recipients:

For further information, please contact

Jointly administered by:

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