Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Preview of the CLA statement on OA

Heather Morrison, CLA Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, May 21, 2008.  Excerpt:

Today, the Canadian Library Executive approved a Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries, as follows. The wording may not be exact. The final wording will be posted on the CLA [Canadian Library Association] website.

CLA Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries

Whereas connecting users with the information they need is one of the library's most essential functions, and access to information is one of librarianship's most cherished values (from the 2005 CLA Resolution on Open Access), therefore CLA recommends that Canadian libraries of all types strongly support and encourage open access.

CLA encourages libraries of all types to:

  • support and encourage policies requiring open access to research supported by Canadian public funding, as defined above. If delay or embargo periods are permitted to accommodate publisher concerns, these should be considered temporary, to provide publishers with an opportunity to adjust, and a review period should be built in, with a view to decreasing or eliminating any delay or embargo period.
  • raise awareness of library patrons and other key stakeholders about open access, both the concept and the many open access resources, through means appropriate to each library, such as education campaigns and promoting open access resources.
  • support the development of open access in all of its varieties, including gold (OA publishing) and green (OA self-archiving). Libraries should consider providing economic and technical support for open access publishing, by supporting open access journals or by participating in the payment of article processing fees for open access. The latter could occur through redirection of funds that would otherwise support journal subscriptions, or through taking a leadership position in coordinating payments by other bodies, such as academic or government departments or funding agencies.
  • support and encourage authors to retain their copyright, for example through the use of the CARL / SPARC Author's Addendum, or through the use of Creative Commons licensing.

Many thanks to CLA President Alvin Schrader, the CLA Executive, and all of the members of the CLA Open Access Task Force.

Comments.  Kudos to the CLA for this enlightened statement, and to Heather for breaking the story.  Many organizations have called on their governments to mandate OA for publicly-funded research, but the CLA is first I've seen to regard embargo periods as a temporary compromise, justified only to help publishers adapt during a transition period.