CIHR Open Access Policy

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Please note that PubMed Central Canada is temporarily unavailable, until further notice. This is the result of a cyber-attack on the National Research Council.

Please check the National Research Council website for updates on this situation.

Policy Summary

Researchers awarded funding from January 1, 2008 onwards from CIHR are required to adhere with the following responsibilities:

  • ensure that all research papers generated from CIHR funded projects are freely accessible through the Publisher's website or an online repository within 12 months of publication;
  • deposit bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data into the appropriate public database (e.g. gene sequences deposited in GenBank) immediately upon publication of research results;
  • retain original data sets for a minimum of five years (or longer if other policies apply);
  • and acknowledge CIHR support by quoting the funding reference number in journal publications.

CIHR Open Access Policy


CIHR believes that greater access to research publications and data will promote the ability of researchers in Canada and abroad to use and build on the knowledge needed to address significant health challenges. Open access enables authors to reach a much broader audience, which has the potential to increase the impact of their research. Only when research findings are widely available, enabling open scrutiny, will this evidence be translated into policies, technologies, health-related standards and practices, and new avenues of research that will benefit the health of Canadians and others. From a Knowledge Translation perspective, this policy will support our desire to expedite awareness of and facilitate the use of research findings by policy makers, health care administrators, clinicians, and the public, by greatly increasing ease of access to research.

Adhering with the new policy – Open access publications

CIHR encourages researchers to deposit all their peer-reviewed articles in PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada)

For journal publications, there are two ways to adhere with the policy:

  • Submit your manuscript to a journal that offers immediate open access or offers open access to the paper on its website within 12 months.
  • Submit your manuscript to a journal that does not offer open access, but will permit you to archive the peer-reviewed manuscript in a central or institutional repository within 12 months of publication.

The SHERPA/RoMEO database contains a searchable listing of journal publisher's copyright and self-archiving policies which will help researchers to determine journal's that adhere with CIHR policy.

Additional information and resources

CIHR has developed a suite of tools and resources that will help clarify this new policy and how it will affect grant recipients:

For further information, please contact


NSERC and SSHRC completed consultation with their communities about Open Access

Modeled after CIHR’s policy, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) held a consultation with their communities on a Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. The goal of the tri-agency policy is to have a unified approach to open access between the federal granting agencies. CIHR funded researchers are not affected by this consultation as CIHR’s Open Access Policy remains unchanged and mandatory.

For more information about the findings from the SSHRC and NSERC consultation on the Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy