McMaster supports international declaration on open access


McMaster has taken a significant step in support of open access publishing of scholarly research.

The University is now a signatory to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, a major international statement meant to encourage researchers to make their scholarly articles publicly available online, free of financial or legal barriers.

The McMaster University Senate passed the motion to sign the Berlin Declaration in March 2015; McMaster University president Patrick Deane added his name to the list of signatories on behalf of the University earlier this month.

The motion was brought to Senate by Nicholas Kevlahan, Senator and Chair of McMaster’s Department of Mathematics & Statistics, in partnership with Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian.

Kevlahan says that by signing the Berlin Declaration, McMaster is underscoring the importance of publishing open access.

“When scholarly knowledge is created, it needs to be made widely available so that it can be criticized and improved upon, and potentially lead to the generation of new knowledge,” says Kevlahan. “Publishing open access enables this kind of broad dissemination of research results to take place without many of the traditional barriers that prevent access to scholarly literature. I encourage the McMaster community to learn more about the benefits of open access and consider publishing their research results on an open access platform.”

There are currently 507 signatories to the Berlin Statement which include a number of top academic and research institutions from around the globe.

“The Open access movement continues to gain momentum worldwide,” says Lewis. “McMaster University Library is pleased to support the signing of the Berlin Declaration and is committed to creating opportunities to continue the conversation around open access within the McMaster community and to providing researchers with the resources they need to explore the world of open access publishing.”


Funding agencies are also increasingly adopting open access publishing policies, including Canada’s Tri-Agency which recently introduced a policy requiring scholarly articles arising from publicly funded research be published in an open access journal or repository within 12 months of publication.

More about open access:

New online tools to help researchers comply with Tri-Agency policy on open access

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