The Information Policy Blog

The (unofficial) blog of the BCLA Information Policy Committee

Monthly Archives: May 2012

ACCC and Access Copyright reach agreement

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and Access Copyright have reached an agreement.

Save Library and Archives Canada May 2012 update


Changing Mandate

LAC is abandoning its commitment to acquire and maintain a comprehensive collection of Canada’s documentary heritage. LAC officials argue that a “representative” collection is all that is possible in the “digital age.”
LAC officials are considering cutting back on a central aspect of their mandate to receive from publishers two copies of all material published in Canada.
Lessened Collections

There have been no purchased acquisitions since 2009. The official 10-month moratorium, which ended in January 2010, has been followed by an unofficial “pause.”
There are many examples of important pieces of Canada’s heritage that LAC is not acquiring. Many of these pieces have been or will be bought by other national libraries and private collectors both inside and outside Canada.

Loss of Knowledgeable Staff

On April 30, 2012, it was announced that LAC would lose approximately 20% of its staff — a cut of 215 positions from 1065 to 850 staff…Prior to the April 30 2012 cuts, staff levels had already declined by more than 48 full-time positions since 2004.

Less Access

Reduced hours
Restricted access to archivists
Restricted resources for reference staff
Genealogy inquiries are by appointment only

Reduced Funding

By 2014-15, adjusted for inflation, LAC’s budget will be just 58% of what it was in 1990-91.

Decentralization of collections

Regional libraries and archives across Canada have been subject to a series of severe cuts over the past two decades. They do not have the resources to adequately house and preserve our nationally significant material.
This was made dramatically worse by April 30 2012 announcement of the elimination of the National Archival Development Program (NADP) which provides support for programming undertaken by provincial archival associations as well as grants to small and medium archives across Canada.

Limited Digitization

The changes and cuts are being justified by reference to digitization. A generous estimate is only 4% of the LAC collection has been digitized to date – a poor record that will be made

Department Closures

Announced closures or downsizing include the libraries of:

Agriculture Canada
Fisheries and Oceans
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Industry Canada
National Capital Commission
National Defence
Public Works and Government Services
Public Service Commission
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Transport Canada.

Details at:

AUCC Access Copyright Model License: beware hidden extra costs

The AUCC press release on the Access Copyright Model License states that the license “provides long-term certainty on price”. Does it really? Sections 14, Records Retention and Audit, and Section 15, Adjustments, clearly state that institutions that sign this license can be still liable for additional fees for use – and potentially also the costs of the audit.

Section 14 d states: “(d) If an audit conducted in accordance with this section reasonably determines that Royalties invoiced by Access Copyright have been understated in respect of any Royalties that ought to have been paid pursuant to this agreement by more than ten per cent (10%), the Licensee shall pay the reasonable costs of the audit”.

and Section 15 states: “Adjustments in the amount of Royalties (and audit costs if applicable) owed as a result of an audit under section 14, or as a result of an error or omission, shall be applied to the next invoice issued by Access Copyright to the Licensee, or, if this agreement has expired or has been terminated, paid or refunded within twenty (20) business days of receipt of notice of such adjustment(s)”.

Elsewhere, the Model License talks about copying no more than 10% of works in paper format or 20% of works in digital format. This is less than we currently have rights to under fair dealing and the vast majority of our electronic licenses. If institutions sign this license, they are giving up rights we already have through fair dealing (or by paying, sometimes quite substantial amounts, through electronic licenses)! In return, institutions take on the burden of what could be highly cumbersome audit procedures – and as the result of auditing, may have to not only pay more for use, but also for the costs of the audits if Access Copyright found that their royalty assessments were an “understatement”.

See also Ariel Katz’ analysis of the implications of the Georgia State University case for Canadians. In brief, 3 publishers sued Georgia State University for supposed copyright infringements with their e-reserves. 95% of the claims were ruled as non-infringing! Before we commit long-term to large payments to Access Copyright, let’s make sure we understand and use the rights that we currently have under fair dealing.

Be it resolved: resolution on Access Copyright and academic libraries in Canada

This resolution, proposed by the Information Policy Committee (moved by Heather Morrison, seconded by Nina Mittner) was passed by the British Columbia Library Association on May 12, 2012 at the Annual General Meeting, with no modifications, broad-based support and no opposition.

WHEREAS In 2011, over 30 Canadian universities and colleges opted out of licensing agreements with Access Copyright, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, due to both Access Copyright’s significant increase in per student fees as well as the introduction of what many considered to be intrusive and impractical monitoring requirements.


WHEREAS In January 2012, two universities, the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario entered into a voluntary licensing agreement with Access Copyright.


WHEREAS in April 2012, AUCC , one of the two recognized interveners in the Copyright Board of Canada hearings on
the Post-Secondary Tariff, entered into an agreement with Access Copyright on a ‘model’ license that it (AUCC) is recommending to its member institutions even though that model license still retains many of the factors that were objected to in the Tariff application.

WHEREAS in April 2012, AUCC withdrew its objection to the Post-Secondary Tariff


WHEREAS from a library perspective, one of the most troubling aspects of the deal signed with Access Copyright is that it gives Access Copyright additional rights that simply do not exist under Canada’s copyright legislation, specifically, defining copying to include “posting a link or hyperlink to a digital copy”, a definition not upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.


WHEREAS the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association “strongly urges universities and colleges, particularly those in Newfoundland and in Atlantic Canada, not to capitulate to Access Copyright’s unfair and unreasonable demands”.


WHEREAS The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is also condemning the agreement, advising
universities and colleges that “It‘s time to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes.”

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the British Columbia Library Association strongly urge universities and colleges,
particularly those in British Columbia, not to capitulate to Access Copyright’s unfair and unreasonable demands, but rather to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes. In particular, BCLA supports and applauds BC postsecondary institutions that have elected to opt out of Access Copyright and chosen alternative methods of supporting fair and balanced copyright at their institutions, and encourages all BC post-secondary institutions to opt out of Access Copyright. Any BC post-secondary institutions that choose not to opt out of Access Copyright are strongly encouraged, before signing, to strike out audit requirements that compromise the privacy of faculty, staff or students, and the clause which defines linking as copying, and to proactively negotiate a more reasonable rate. BCLA might pursue this Resolution through such means as sending letters to the Presidents of BC’s post-secondary institutions and educating BCLA members.

Acknowledgement: this resolution is based on the Open Letter: Access Copyright and Academic Libraries in
Canada crafted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association, dated February 12, 2012.

Be it resolved: save Library and Archives Canada

This resolution to save Library and Archives Canada, proposed by the Information Policy (moved by Carla Graebner, seconded by Shawna Kristin) was passed by the British Columbia Library Association on May 12, 2012 at the Annual General Meeting, without modification, with broad-based support and no opposition.

Rationale / purpose for resolution: Changes have been implemented at LAC that have far-reaching implications;
including reduced public access, decentralization of the national collection, elimination of specialist
positions, and reduced acquisitions

Action proposed: Support the CAUT campaign to save LAC and encourage BCLA members to write letters to
restore funding and mandate to LAC

Position’s relation to libraries and library service: LAC is Canada’s National Library. Any impact to it will have repercussions across the country in terms of collections, access, preservation and professionalization

Peer J: new OA journal in development from PLoS ONE publisher Peter Binfield – $99 lifetime membership

PLoS ONE’s innovative publisher Peter Binfield is leaving PLoS to start up a new OA journal with another innovative business model – with scholars paying $99 for a lifetime membership to cover their publications! Here is wishing Peter success! Details at:

Black Out Speak Out for nature and democracy in Canada – June 4th

Coordinated by a number of environmental groups – spread the word!

Open Access Policies on Scholarly Publishing in the University Context

By A. Christie Hurrell

Open access (OA) policies set guidelines – either voluntary or mandatory – for authors to make their published, peer-reviewed scholarly writings freely accessible online. Many universities around the world have developed OA policies for their institutions. Most of these policies involve archiving scholarly works in an institutional repository. This article outlines some of the factors prompting the development of OA policies, describes different types of OA policies, and outlines selected key stakeholders’ responses to them. The article is primarily designed to help librarians and other information professionals gain a basic understanding of OA policies in the university context, especially if they are to be involved with implementing o­r promoting an OA policy.

 The impetus for OA policies

The development of OA policies has been prompted by numerous factors. A major issue for academic libraries has been the ‘serials pricing crisis’ of the past two decades, whereby average costs of journal subscriptions have increased exponentially, partially due to the consolidation of journal publishers. [1] Since library budgets have not increased at an equivalent rate to journal prices, the purchasing power of individual academic libraries has decreased, forcing them to cancel subscriptions, to reallocate budget items to maintain subscriptions, or to negotiate licensing agreements whereby access is granted to “bundles” of journals at a lower per journal price. [2] Open access represents another option for libraries to provide access to their institution’s scholarly output without the need for expensive journal subscriptions or potentially inflexible license agreements. Institutional administrators and policy makers may also see benefits to OA. By providing free access to their scholarly writing, they may be able to increase the visibility and impact of their institution. If the resulting OA collection is stored in a single institutional repository, an institution also gains a complete and easily-accessible record of its research output that can be used for promotion, analysis, and evaluation purposes. [3] Finally, OA publishing can increase the impact of research by making it available to a wider audience, especially to scholars and others in low- and middle-income countries where large serials budgets do not exist. [4]

 Types of OA policies

There are two basic types of OA policies: voluntary and mandatory. The first type suggests or encourages researchers to make their work open access, while the second requires it. The Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable registry of policies developed by universities, research institutions, and funders. Currently, it lists 137 institutional mandates, 33 sub-institutional mandates, 1 multi-institutional mandate, and 14 voluntary policies – most of these developed by universities. [5] Since ROARMAP relies in individual institutions to self-register, it probably underrepresents the number of OA policies currently in existence. [6]

The first university-wide OA mandate was implemented in 2004 by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. [7] Since then, there has been a clear growth in OA policies. They exist on every continent; a full list of countries with OA policies can be seen on ROARMAP’s website (

Canadian funding agencies have also been active in developing OA policies. ROARMAP includes ten OA mandates developed by Canadian funding agencies, plus one proposed mandate. [8] Most funding agencies currently having OA mandates are involved in funding health and/or development research, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada’s major health funding agency [9].

 Library responses to OA policies

University library responses to OA policies have come primarily in the development, maintenance, and promotion of institutional repositories (IRs). IRs are web-based portals designed to collect, organize, and archive scholarly materials. [10] Due to their expertise in these areas, academic library staff are most often the ones leading the development of IRs, sometimes in conjunction with information technology specialists. [11] Libraries are also becoming involved with OA journal publishing: a 2007 survey of academic libraries by the Association of Research Libraries found that 44% of respondents were already offering publishing services, while another 21% were in the planning stages. Many of these services used open access models. [12] Canadian libraries have also been active in developing OA Authors’ funds, which provide subsidies for authors who wish to publish in OA journals that charge a publishing fee. A recent Canadian survey found that 12 out of 18 responding libraries maintained such a fund. [13]

Most major library associations in North America are involved in supporting and promoting OA initiatives. The Canadian Library Association’s Executive Council approved a position statement on OA in 2008. The statement encourages Canadian libraries to support and encourage OA policies, to raise awareness of OA among patrons, to support the development of OA both technically and financially, and to support and encourage authors to retain their copyright. [14] The Canadian Association of Research Libraries maintains a number of resources relating to OA, including tips on building an institutional repository, an OA bibliography, and links to recent OA-related news and events. [15] The Association of Research Libraries has developed SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of more than 800 institutions. SPARC focuses on education and advocacy around scholarly communications issues, including OA. It is also involved in incubating new business and publishing models that use OA principles. [16] The Association of College and Research Libraries has developed a Scholarly Communications Toolkit that is designed to help librarians learn about and effectively communicate numerous issues relating to OA, including authors’ rights, institutional repositories, journal economics, and publishing. [17] These resources have been developed, in part, because academic librarians have learned through experience that convincing faculty and administration to adopt an OA mandate and/or OA practices requires both evidence-based data on the advantages of OA, and strategic arguments that frame OA as a solution to a faculty/student problem, not just a library problem. [18]

 Researcher responses to OA policies

The research literature on OA policies shows that the baseline level of self-archiving among university faculty is approximately 15%, and that voluntary OA policies do not increase this level of activity, even in an institutional environment that is very supportive of OA. [19] However, a 2006 study of seven Australian universities showed that mandatory policies, coupled with an effective author support system (defined primarily as supportive interactions with library/IR staff) result in the majority of an institution’s scholarly output being archived in an OA format. [20] An international survey of scholarly authors carried out in 2005 found that the majority of respondents (81%) would willingly comply with an OA mandate, while only 13% would comply reluctantly, and 5% not at all. [21] Other studies show that OA mandates result in a higher citation impact, which is generally a huge motivator for academic authors. [22] These data seem to suggest that an OA mandate, coupled with effective author support systems, will result in a complete institutional collection, and mostly satisfied faculty.

However, not all of the research literature supports this conclusion. Some authors have raised compelling questions regarding the effectiveness of OA mandates, arguing that they may undermine the peer review process or interfere with tenure and promotion practices. [23] These criticisms reflect deeply-held value systems among various academic communities, and as such are not likely to be erased by simply enacting an OA mandate (especially if that mandate is not the product of a democratic process). In addition, more recent research on the results of OA mandates at institutions have found no solid evidence for an increase of faculty awareness of OA or an increase in self-archiving as a result of an OA mandate. [24] Increases in the number of items deposited in an IR may have more to do with the activities of library staff than of researchers themselves, these studies argue. [25] Certainly, depositing materials in an IR takes time and effort, especially if authors must negotiate with traditional publishers and/or co-authors over permission to deposit. The time and effort required to deposit materials is a barrier for authors, and for IR managers, who are often struggling with a lack of staff and resources. [26] As such, these studies, which take into account the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of academic authors, as well as the realities of today’s academic libraries, emphasize that the construction of university OA policies must be tailored to fit the specific needs of each institution, and must be marketed and enforced effectively.  In addition, librarians are urged to promote structural changes so that OA publishing is recognized in the academic reward system (e.g. tenure and promotion). [27]

 Publisher responses to OA policies

Traditional commercial publishers have had varying responses to the introduction of OA policies at universities. Institutions implementing OA policies must be aware of publisher policies, in order to assist authors who are required/requested to self-archive, but still wish to comply with the policies of their journal of choice. The SHERPA-RoMEO project, based at Nottingham University, provides a searchable database that allows authors or support staff to discover the policies of various publishers. [28] SHERPA-RoMEO uses a colour-coded system to categorize archiving policies of various journals. Over half of the journals included in the database allow authors to self-archive some version of their article, for more information on different types of publisher policies and embargo periods, see the SHERPA-RoMEO FAQ page. [29]
Commercial publishers are understandably concerned about the impact that OA policies may have on their bottom line. They have formed advocacy groups, such as the PRISM Coalition and the Association of American Publishers, to lobby for the traditional model of publishing. [30] However, these groups have focused their energies primarily on OA mandates enacted by funding agencies such as the US National Institutes for Health, arguing that such mandates represent government intrusion into the publishing marketplace. Their lobbying efforts in the US have resulted in the introduction of the Research Works Act, which would repeal government funders’ OA mandates, and have ignited much controversy among academics and OA advocates. [31] Major publishers, including Elsevier, eventually withdrew their support from the Research Works Act, and it was declared “dead” in the US House of Representatives in February 2012. [32] Publishers have been less concerned with repealing the OA policies of individual institutions.


The movement towards OA policies and practices has been steadily growing in Canada and internationally for a number of years, and there are now many policy statements, resources, and research evidence to assist librarians who are charged with developing and implementing OA-related initiatives in their institutions (see the Further Reading section below for some helpful links). However, for any OA initiative to succeed, librarians and others must carefully consider the specific culture, needs, and attitudes of their institution (or of various communities within their institution). Librarians are urged to research these issues in advance of launching any new initiative, so as to build support and buy-in for OA policies and practices from the ground up.


  1. Ray English and Larry Hardesty, “Create change: Shaping the future of scholarly journal publishing,” C&RL News, 2000,
  2. Alma Swan and Leslie Chan, “Why librarians should be concerned with Open Access,” Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook, 2009,
  3. Alma Swan and Leslie Chan, “Institutional Advantages from Open Access,” Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook, 2009,
  4. OASIS. “Open Access and Developing Countries.” Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook, 2010.
  5. E-prints, “About the Repository,” ROARMAP, n.d.,
  6. Open Scholarship. “Open Access Policies for Universities and Research Institutions.” Enabling Open Scholarship, n.d.
  7. “OA Self-Archiving Policy: Queensland University of Technology”, n.d.,
  8. E-prints. “Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies.”, n.d.
  9. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “Policy on Access to Research Outputs – CIHR”, 2007.
  10.  “Institutional Repositories – CARL – ABRC”, n.d.
  11.  Soo Young Rieh et al., “Census of Institutional Repositories in the U.S.,” D-Lib Magazine 13, no. 11/12 (November 2007),
  12.  Karla L Hahn, Research Library Publishing Services: New Options for University Publishing (Washington, DC: Association or Research Libraries, February 4, 2008),
  13.  Fernandez, Leila, and Rajiv Nariani. “Open Access Funds: A Canadian Library Survey.” Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 6, no. 1 (February 7, 2011).
  14.  Canadian Library Association, “Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries,” Canadian Library Association, May 21, 2008,
  15.  Canadian Association of Research Libraries, “Open Access – CARL – ABRC,” CARL-ABRC, 2012,
  16.  Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, “SPARC,” SPARC, 2009,
  17.  Association of College and Research Libraries, “ACRL Scholarly Communications Toolkit,” Scholarly Communication Toolkit, 2009,
  18.  Gavin Baker, “Open access: advice on working with faculty senates,” College and Research Libraries News 71, no. 1 (2010): 21-24.
  19.  Arthur Sale, “Comparison of content policies for institutional repositories in Australia,” First Monday 11, no. 4-3 (April 3, 2006),
  20.  Ibid.
  21.  Alma Swan and Sheridan Brown, Open access self-archiving: An author study (Southampton: Key Perspectives Inc., 2005),
  22.  Yassine Gargouri et al., “Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research,” PLoS ONE 5, no. 10 (October 18, 2010): e13636.
  23.  Erin McMullan, “Open access mandate threatens dissemination of scientific information,” Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology: The Official Journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society 28, no. 1 (March 2008): 72-74; Diane; Earl-Novell Harley, “The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices.,” Journal of Electronic Publishing 10, no. 2 (Spring 2007),
  24.  Sally Morris and Sue Thorn, “Learned society members and open access,” Learned Publishing 22, no. 3 (2009): 221-239.
  25.  Jingfeng Xia and Li Sun, “Assessment of Self-Archiving in Institutional Repositories: Depositorship and Full-Text Availability,” Serials Review 33, no. 1 (March 2007): 14-21.
  26.  Salo, Dorothea. “Innkeeper at the Roach Motel.” Library Trends 57, no. 2 (2008).
  27.  J. Xia et al., “A Review of Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate Policies,” portal: Libraries and the Academy 12, no. 1 (2012): 85–102.
  28.  University of Nottingham, “SHERPA/RoMEO – Home – Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving,” SHERPA-ROMEO, 2011,
  29.  University of Nottingham, “SHERPA/RoMEO – FAQ – Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving,” SHERPA-ROMEO, 2011,|&mode=simple&la=en#about.
  30.  Association of American Publishers, “The Association of American Publishers,” The Association of American Publishers, 2012,; Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine, “PRISM,” PRISM, 2007,
  31.  Richard Poynder, “Open and Shut?: Elsevier’s Alicia Wise on the RWA, the West Wing, and Universal Access,” Open and Shut?, February 8, 2012,

32. Howard, Jennifer. 2012. “Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Accessed March 29, 2012).

Further Reading

  1. E-prints, ROARMAP Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies,
  2. University of Nottingham, “SHERPA – JULIET – Research funders’ open access policies,”
  3. University of Nottingham, SHERPA/RoMEO – Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving,
  4. Canadian Library Association, “Position Statement on Open Access for Canadian Libraries,” Canadian Library Association,
  5. Canadian Association of Research Libraries, “Open Access”
  6. Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition,
  7. Association of College and Research Libraries, Scholarly Communications Toolkit,

IPC & SLAIS student partnership

The Information Policy Committee and students at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, The iSchool at The University of British Columbia have partnered to provide a valuable resource to information professionals.

The Information Policy Committee is proud to feature work researched and written by students participating in the iSchool’s Information Policy course.

The students created entries on a variety of current information policy issues for posting on a private class wiki. Synopses from select entries will be published in the BCLA Browser. The same entries will be posted in their entirety on the  IPC’s blog. Topics vary from GLBTQ resources in public libraries to Canada’s proposed copyright bill, C-11. These entries provide current information and analysis and allow you to quickly familiarize yourself with contemporary information policy issues.

Public Libraries and the Homeless by Kristy Brimacombe
Canadian Public Domain in 2012: the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations by Alison Dodd
Censoring Sexuality: GLBTQ Resources in Public Libraries by Chelsea Bailey
Censorship Issues in School Libraries  by Shannon Mills
Bill C-11: A Guide for Academic Instructors by Devin Soper