Aid to Scholarly Journals Frequently Asked Questions
How does SSHRC define “immediate open access?”
Immediate open access is the immediate online availability of research outputs. For the purposes of the Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunity, this definition applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Immediate open access can be either entirely free of charge, or offered through a fee charged to authors (known as article processing charges or APCs, or as article publishing charges). Journals operating in an immediate open access model are eligible to apply.
To which version of the article does the open access requirement apply?
This requirement applies to the final published version (i.e., the version of record).
How does SSHRC define “delayed open access?”
Delayed open access is when research outputs are made available after an embargo period. Journals operating in a delayed open access model of up to 12 months are eligible to apply. For the purposes of the Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunity, this definition applies to peer-reviewed journal articles.
My journal currently does not offer immediate or delayed open access. Can I apply to the Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunity?
No, only journals that currently operate in an immediate open access model or a delayed open access model of up to 12 months are eligible to apply. The exception made in the 2018 competition for journals planning to transition to an eligible open access model has ended.
My journal has a moving wall of 12 months. Does this meet the Aid to Scholarly Journals eligibility requirement?
Yes, it does. A “moving wall” is another term for an “embargo period.”
My journal lets authors self-archive their articles in a repository. Does this meet the eligibility criteria for the Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunity?
No. This is typically called “green open access” and does not meet the eligibility requirements for Aid to Scholarly Journals funding.
Is my journal still eligible to apply for a grant if it does not use a Canadian not-for-profit digital content and distribution platform?
Yes. Your journal is eligible to apply as long as it meets the Aid to Scholarly Journals eligibility criteria. Using a Canadian not-for-profit digital content and distribution platform is not an eligibility criterion. However, it does determine a journal’s eligibility for the supplement of up to $5,000 per year.
If my journal plans to transition to a Canadian not-for-profit digital content and distribution platform, can I request the supplement of up to $5,000 per year?
If your journal expects to transition to an eligible platform, you can request the supplementary funding for the year(s) following the transition. The entire grant payment will be held back until you confirm the transition has been made. The transition must be made and confirmed prior to payment of the third and final grant instalment.
Can my journal sell back issues?
Yes. If the journal has recently transitioned to an open access business model and meets the Aid to Scholarly Journals’ eligibility criteria, it can continue to sell back issues.
I plan to publish more articles per year than I am able to enter in the “Funds Requested from SSHRC” module. What should I do?
Although you can state in your publication plan the actual number of articles your journal intends to publish, funds requested from SSHRC must not exceed the maximums allowed. You must, therefore, adjust the number of articles for which you are requesting SSHRC support to fit within the maximums.
My journal uses Open Journal Systems. Does it meet SSHRC’s definition of “platform?”
No. Open Journal Systems is a publishing software and does not meet SSHRC’s definition of a platform, as it does not host journals.
My journal was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and was unable to meet the publication minimums required. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes. Journals unable to meet the required publication minimums due to the impact of COVID-19 must describe these impacts in the “Journal description and outline of future direction” section of their application.
What can Aid to Scholarly Journals grant funds be used for under the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration?
Aid to Scholarly Journals grant funds must contribute to the direct costs of the journal. These include, but are not limited to: copy preparation (including copy editing and translation); document layout (including image presentation and conversion of images to digital formats); marketing and other promotional activities; fees paid to electronic publication and distribution service providers; printing and mailing; and technical assistance.
Can Aid to Scholarly Journals grant funds be used to remunerate editors, co-editors, and/or members of editorial or review boards of my journal?
Grants funds cannot be used for salaries, stipends, or release time for editors, co-editors, and/or members of editorial or review boards who are faculty members. Funds can be used for the salaries, stipends, or related federal, provincial and institutional nondiscretionary benefits for editorial support staff (e.g., administrative staff, technicians). Funds can also be used for pertinent training of journal staff (e.g., technological training).
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