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York University Senate Policy on Open Access

At its meeting on June 25 2019, the Senate of York University approved an Open Access Policy, reinforcing York’s commitment to the democratization of knowledge by making its research widely accessible to citizenry and the global community. The policy establishes the expectation that York University researchers will submit their scholarly articles to the open digital repository at York University (Yorkspace, Osgoode Digital Commons) or its equivalent.

As a publicly funded institution, York University is committed to ensuring the greatest possible scholarly and public access to the scholarship and creative works produced by the University community. In addition to securing the public benefit of such access, this policy is intended to serve the interests of researchers by promoting the greater reach and preservation of works and establishing norms and expectations around rights of authors and users in the context of rapidly changing technologies and publishing practices. The University values and protects the academic freedom of its researchers. It is not the function of this policy to alter the rights or privileges of individuals defined by collective agreements.

The Senate Policy on Open Access supports:
• the development and provision of resources to help faculty members benefit from the increased visibility of their scholarship resulting from Open Access publication;
• the deposit of scholarship in an open access digital repository such as YorkSpace, the University’s institutional repository or the Osgoode Digital Commons;
• the researcher’s individual choice on where they can publish, alongside supporting decisions that encourage free access; and
• discipline- and field-specific conventions that encourage tailored choices regarding Open Access publications.

This policy does not, and is not meant to, address classes of work that lie outside the core forms of scholarship as defined in the context of this policy (see "definitions" section below). However, faculty members are urged to enhance the visibility and preservation of all research-related outputs and the democratization of knowledge by making these types of works, or excerpts of these works, available Open Access.

Open Access: Open Access (OA) refers to free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles, conference papers and books. Open Access content is open to all, with no access fees. In the context of this policy, Open Access refers to publishing scholarship in an open access publication (gold model) or ensuring the published work is made available through an open access repository (green model) such as YorkSpace.

Scholarship: In the context of this policy, scholarship is defined as research outputs typically presented in peer-reviewed scholarly articles, book chapters, and conference papers. Many products of faculty effort may not fall into this category: e.g. monographs and edited collections, newspaper and magazine articles, blogs and social media commentary, fiction and poetry, performances, artworks, ephemeral writings, lecture notes, lecture videos, software, or other such works.

Repository: A repository is an online database of open access works. Repositories differ from websites in that they are optimized for machine-readability and online discovery and indexing. Institutional repositories, such as YorkSpace, aim to host the research output of an institution, while disciplinary or central repositories aim to host the research output of a field.

This policy applies to scholarship and publications that are:

i. Subject to Tri-Agency funding and legislation that requires scholarship to be made available open access. Peer-reviewed journal articles resulting from Tri-Agency grants must be open access within 12 months of initial publication.

ii. Non Tri-Agency scholarship and publications except those where the faculty member or other researcher opts not to make their research available open access. Scholarly articles should be submitted to the repository as early as possible, ideally between the date of acceptance and the date of publication. If applicable, an embargo date can be set to meet publisher requirements.

Researchers that have chosen to publish their research in a fully open access journal (gold open access) through payment of an article processing charge are automatically in compliance with the Senate Policy on Open Access.

Researchers who publish in traditional subscription-based scholarly journals can comply with the Senate Policy on Open Access through the practice of self-archiving. This practice requires a researcher to keep a copy of their author accepted manuscript (aka postprint) so it can be deposited into a disciplinary or institutional open access repository (green open access). The author accepted manuscript is the last version of your accepted manuscript, including all changes made after peer-review before any typesetting or copyediting by the publisher. While publisher self-archiving policies vary by journal, most journals will offer self-archiving option to authors that will allow for their work to become openly accessible within 12-24 months of publication. More information on journal policies can be retrieved through use of the Sherpa-Romeo database.

To deposit a copy of your article in YorkSpace, please fill out our online YorkSpace mediated deposit form. The Libraries will contact you with additional information on next steps once your submission has been received. Authors can also process a deposit themselves by registering with YorkSpace and following our deposit instructions.

To seek assistance on locating alternative repositories for depositing your research, please contact the Libraries at

No, it won't. Faculty and researchers may choose to allow open access to their submitted articles right away, or may elect to embargo their articles, limiting access for a specified time period. Embargo dates can be set with your deposit to YorkSpace in order to meet publisher requirements. However, researchers are asked to submit revised versions of manuscripts as soon as possible following peer review and publication, unless prohibited by the publisher, so that the repository can host a closed version of the final manuscript until the embargo expires. Note: Tri-Agency grant recipients are still required to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication.

Exceptions to the Senate Policy on Open Access may be made for a particular work, or for a specified period of time, upon express direction in writing by an author or authors, and confirmed by the Dean of Libraries. However, the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications shall continue to hold as policy compliance is contractual upon receipt of funding. Researchers wishing to opt out of the policy are invited to report their decision and publication details to the Libraries through use of this Open Access Policy Exception Submission Form.

For more information on the Senate Policy on Open Access, including the policy’s full Senate-approved text and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Open Access Open Data Steering Committee website.