Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) which is Canada’s health research granting agency, has released a new policy which mandates that the research that it funds must be made open to the public. The policy states that as soon as possible after publication, peer-reviewed research papers must be made publicly available. There can be exceptions made but future requests for funding will include a review of a researcher’s track record of making their research publicly available.
With 700 million dollars of research funding in 2006, CIHR funds over 10000 researchers in the health field and so this is not a minor policy announcement and could set a precedent in Canada.
This policy will allow taxpayers to access the results of research which they helped fund as is already the case in several other countries around the world.
Hopefully this policy will spread to the other research granting councils in Canada namely SSHRC ($300 million/year) and NSERC ($900 million/year).
More information on the change at the TheStar.com.